|“All sorts of small relishes, like radishes, olives, salted nuts and bon-bons, are eaten from the fingers, but this must be done very daintily.”|
Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time
is the Giveaway
“A man by nothing is so well betrayed as by his manners.”— Spenser
THERE are many persons who feel that a man’s table manners are an index to his general good breeding. If he handles his knife and fork in the way that is accepted as “correct” they will put him down as well bred until they have very conclusive evidence that he is not; but if he shows ignorance of, or indifference to, this accepted method then it will take much to make them believe that he has any claim to good breeding. This may be unfair, but it is true.
Here are some of the things that convention requires us to remember in our manners at the table:
- The salad is cut with the side of the fork and then eaten from the side of the fork.
- Fish, soft entrees and, in fact, anything that does not absolutely demand the use of a knife, are separated into small pieces by the use of the fork, which is most excellent, as the knife at its best is a most ungainly utensil.
- That you should never mash your food with your fork and never sit with your fork or knife upraised, like a telegraph pole.
- That when not in use, either knife or fork must be laid on the plate at one side.
- Never tilt your fork and knife on the sides of your plate, that is, with the handle on the tablecloth on either side and the tips on the edge of the plate.
- That every time a course is removed you should lay the knife, fork or spoon used in eating it on the side of the plate.
- Do not cross knife and fork on the plate, but lay them side by side.
- In eating soup, custard, fruit, or any dish which demands a spoon, be sure you sip the food noiselessly from the side of the spoon, never from the tip.
- Never dip your individual fork or spoon into a dish that is passed to you, but always employ the fork or spoon which will be found on the tray beside the dish, or on the dish itself.
- All sorts of small relishes, like radishes, olives, salted nuts and bon-bons, are eaten from the fingers, but this must be done very daintily. — By Mary Marshall Duffee, 1921
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