A refresher on table-setting at the Old Farmer's Almanac. And check out a little over-the-top inspiration from Valentino and Nanette Lepore at Neiman Marcus.
Okay, this may label me as a country hick, but am I just supposed to "know" the difference between spoon #8 and spoon #9? Is there a key somewhere that tells me which is the water glass, which is the wine glass... okay, I'm just an unsophisticated hick.
Beth: Click on the Farmer's Almanac link and you'll get the explanations.
Jane- Thanks, I didn't know the answer either (and didn't know to click the link for the answer). Happy Holidays!
Oh, how I dream of a formal Thanksgiving with a beautifully set table and witty, sophisticated conversation over candlelight and fine wine.What I will get is my husband and his brother belching in unison as they spill gravy all over my Marimekko tablecloth.Anyone know a good stain remover?
I'm with you Lori, I would absolutely die for a formal, classy dinner, I don't mind if its not for thanksgiving (aussie here)With fine china, silver wear polished to perfection, crystal cut glasses, a gorgeous set of flowers and candles, with gentle lighting, the men in dinner suits and the ladies in there posh frocks.Oh to dream ones dreams.
don't put it all on at once. I think the rule is 2 per utensil per side max.Oh what the heck. Do what you want.
Beth -- You aren't supposed to know the difference, as Emily Post would have fits at that much flatware appearing on the table all at once. In practice, you'd know because you always work from the outside in, so you "use up" spoons as a course requires them.Actually, neither teaspoon should be on the table at all. Teaspoons are used for tea (and for coffee), not for eating any course served during the meal. In traditional formal service, dessert flatware is brought in with dessert, not set on the table during the meal, so there's also at least one fork too many.Sorry -- that's what traditional American etiquette says. No one can make you do it that way, but I'm surprised the Farmer's Almanac doesn't know better.
The legend for that diagram says there are two teaspoons on the table - bizarreIf you have someone doing silver service waiting at your event then this might be helpful...For everyone just wanting to do the best they can for Thanksgiving then you put out the number of utensils for the number of courses (e.g. if you're doing a soup starte put out a soup spoon etc) and make sure the ones you'll use first are on the outside and work inwards according to the order of the coursesthe side plate should be where the napkin is on that diagram not suck in the middle of the table where you can't reach it
Lori- if you toss the Marimekko it in the washing machine while they are still belching and watching football, the stains will not set in.How very interesting the table setting from the Almanac: were do Americans put the fruit knife and fork? Are they used at all? My mother made me practice peeling and cutting fruit a lot before I was promoted from the children table: no worst torture than peeling, cutting, and eating an orange without squirting juice all over everybody.
No the plate is in the correct position - the bread plate always goes above your forks. Interesting, I've only seen formal service with all the utensils set prior to service. I'm assuming these spoons are not for dessert but rather a palate cleansing course.
Good lawd... two of these place settings could fill a dishwasher.
Lori- definitely use oxyclean for non-greasy food stains, and a dab of pinesol (check for colorfastness first!) and then a ton of oxy for greasy food stains ;-)I grew up having these formal dinners on holidays with our extended family.... and to date, no child has ever broken one of the precious glasses or plates, so I guess it is do-able.... well, as long as the adults behave like adults!we definitely will set our table like that for the holidays... but without the table cloth. Glass table tops are sooo convenient!
I guess this looks nice, but it doesn't look fun to me. Give me casserole dishes straight from the oven, over-flowing gravy boats, hands in the bread basket and elbows on the table. If there aren't spills, too many trivets, and someone rolling onto the floor in laughter, it's doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. Perfect place-settings would hardly be noticed!
I'm so proud that I could guess them all except for getting the red and white wine glasses confused. (Which isn't to say that I wasn't surprised to see two teaspoons, etc., or that I'd ever be able to manage setting such a table without a cheatsheet.)
This reminds me of the kind of spreads theyd have in House and Garden with the sterling silver animals and pepper shakers spread throughout the table (sigh). I'll miss them
Of the three place setting diagrams I have seen this season all have been accompanied by a photo of a place setting that was "wrong" according to the diagram. I take that as a sign.
If you wish to put the dessert utensils, I suggest you place the dessert fork and the teaspoon at the top of the plate. The server must move them each side of place setting before bringing the dessert. For that reason, it is more efficient to bring the cup and saucer and the dessert utensils at the dessert course.Just to confuse some of you more, a dessert spoon is larger than a teaspoon and smaller than a tablespoon. It is not a popular custom in North American, but once you try it, it is quite enjoyable to use.If you eat French style, you never place more than 3 utensils on each side of the plate. In a multiple course meal, the soup spoon and the fish utensils (fork and knife) are typically brought at the table when serving the course.
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