In the last few years I've been stockpiling casual cotton napkins in an effort to do away with paper napkins in my home, so I was charmed to read on David Lebovitz' lovely food blog about several French traditions having to do with cloth napkins.
Evidently, for example, if invited to a French summer home for the weekend, you're expected to use the same napkin for each meal. Some hosts provide lots of different napkin rings to help guests identify which napkin is theirs. Others fold the napkins in certain shapes or make special knots to indicate which napkin belongs to whom.
Still other hosts ask guests to write their names on the napkins. We love this idea; the names fade over time in the wash, of course, but I think it's fun to have this reminder of all the guests who've come before. It's a nice way to be a "green" host while creating an atmosphere of casual warmth.
Click over to David Lebovitz' blog to read the full post.
(Images: David Lebovitz)