Table Your Manners
Teaching manners to your children is difficult and sometimes following proper table manners yourself is even more difficult. The dinner table has become a free-for-all these days, and did you just see the “Lord of the Napkin Rings” just stuck his chewing gum on his plate? But before you double-dip your roast orc in the fondue, take a look around you. This is NOT Middle-Earth, and that is NOT your water glass! Oy Vay!
The first step to deciphering the individual place setting involves locating your drinking glass. While you should always, “drink right,” as in not gulping or slurping beverages, you should remember that your drink is on the right side of your plate. If you need a status symbol to boost your confidence, think of your BMW while you dine. Bread plate to the left; Meal plate in the center; Water glass to the right.
Use silverware from the outside in, and in the order it is presented (soup spoon on the outer right, small fork on the far left).
You have two choices when it comes to handling your fork and knife, which are American-style and European-style. When cutting meat, for example, both Americans and Europeans hold the fork in the left hand, tines down, and the knife in the right hand, blade down. After slicing meat into bite-sized pieces, however, Americans place the knife on the plate (preferably at a diagonal across the upper right side), and switch the fork to the right hand before eating. Europeans hold their fork, tines down, in the left hand while cutting and eating. Either style is correct.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen