Author Topic: Setting the (regular dinner) table...  (Read 5458 times)

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Heavenly

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2007, 10:55:08 PM »
LOL...thank you!!

I still put on a teaspoon because as I stated before--I don't like to eat jello/corn/rice/small things with a fork.  But it's nice to know the correct setting.  Hee Hee!

artk2002

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2007, 11:36:27 PM »
Dear Miss Manners
My boyfriend and I have moved into an apartment together, and every time I set the table I give each of us a fork, spoon and knife. Well, my boyfriend has the idea that if we don't have a dessert, we don't need a spoon on the table. I tell him that it is the proper way of setting the table. This questions has a bet going, so please tell us who is right.

Gentle Reader:
He is. Oh, dear. Miss Manners just hates to spread disharmony at the dinner table by taking sides, and is forced to do so only in the service of Truth in Etiquette. She hopes that the gentleman will be gracious in victory and take into consideration that you are disarmed, now that Miss Manners has taken your spoon away from you.

She also addresses restaurants, basically saying putting out all the silverware is pretentious, and a basic serving set should be provided then things added later as needed. The 'there is no excuse for this' came from the fact that in formal service the menu is planned and known in advance.

So there we go then  :)

Thank you!  (I couldn't find my copy of Amy Vanderbilt to reinforce my personal opinion above, so I didn't quote it.)
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Sophia

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2007, 11:39:56 PM »
I set it with what is needed. My mother believes in having everything.  Even while eating pizza. 

sparksals

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2007, 04:10:17 AM »
So, if you're only having a salad--you only put a fork on the table?



If I had company, I wouldn't only be serving salad.  However, if dh and I were having only salad or only soup for a meal, then I would only put on the appropriate piece of cutlery.

veryfluffy

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2007, 10:05:37 AM »
If we're having pasta we also set out a large spoon at each place because you can't eat spaghetti without twirling it on the spoon!!

Unless you are Italian.
   

Sophia

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2007, 11:34:17 AM »
If we're having pasta we also set out a large spoon at each place because you can't eat spaghetti without twirling it on the spoon!!
Unless you are Italian.

I thought the South did, but the North didn't?  I am not Italian, just something I heard. 

ninja710

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2007, 05:24:49 PM »
Sorry, but I *have* to set the table with fork, knife and spoon plus anything additional needed whenever I set the table.  It just isn't right not to.  (I have a dishwasher so having extra unused utensils is no big deal.) 

For a regular meal we usually don't even set the table, just pick up what we need in the kitchen.

graceh9

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2007, 06:44:38 PM »
My MIL doesn't use spoons unless she's eating soup or cereal.  So when we go to her house for dinner, I just make sure that we all have spoons because we like to eat our jello/corn/mashed potatoes/etc. with a spoon.  Should you provide for your eating styles or provide for the possible eating styles of your guests?
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obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever -- but eating things other than soup or other clearly 'spoon' foods with a spoon is considered gauche -- something only a child would do -- there is no place for a spoon in a normal dinner setting except for a soup spoon (but if grandpa likes to eat his corn and potatoes with a spoon -- well what the heck)

for a salad, it is appropriate to set the table with fork and knife (most of us don't have salad knives or other smaller knives -- so the table knife is used)

it is correct to set the dessert spoon and fork horizontally above the plate, but I find that when I do that, people end up using the fork on salad or whatever and I run out of forks, so I usually now, just bring in the forks with the dessert to save emergency fork washing between courses

teaspoons or coffee spoons come out with the coffee and a teaspoon doesn't belong in a table setting - although the typical 5 piece place setting includes them -- there is no place for them at an adults plate -- only with coffee or tea

kckgirl

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2007, 06:57:19 PM »
We don't set the table at our house. Plates are made up in the kitchen from the stove, then you stop at the silverware drawer on your way by. We don't have dinner parties, casual get-togethers, etc., so this method works for us.
Maryland

Heavenly

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2007, 07:10:46 PM »

Quote
obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever

Um...that was a little rude. 

hellgirl

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2007, 07:20:04 PM »

Quote
obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever

Um...that was a little rude. 

Really? I took that quite differently, just to mean that it is very informal, so you are more able to eat according to personal preference rather than using the 'socially accepted method'. As in things you would have to attack awkwardly with a knife in public, at home you can pick them up (I'm thinking chicken with bones in particular).

But maybe that's because I will pick up grilled potato/capsicum/anything else pick-up-able with my hands if I feel like it if it's just DH watching and I feel like it. I would never do those things if someone else was around.

But then again if it's just me watching he will eat soup and put the spoon back after - as he's just used his bread to soak it all up. I'm not sure how many people have mastered eating soup with their hands, but he certainly has  ::)

Heavenly

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2007, 07:34:52 PM »
Quote
obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever -- but eating things other than soup or other clearly 'spoon' foods with a spoon is considered gauche -- something only a child would do -- there is no place for a spoon in a normal dinner setting except for a soup spoon (but if grandpa likes to eat his corn and potatoes with a spoon -- well what the heck)

Perhaps I'm just being sensitive.

I found this whole paragraph rather demeaning.

StuckInCube

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2007, 08:47:23 PM »
If we're having pasta we also set out a large spoon at each place because you can't eat spaghetti without twirling it on the spoon!!

Unless you are Italian.

I'm Italian and we all have used the spoon method. All the Italians I know use spoons, the non-Italians typically don't, at least that I've seen.

Edited to add stuff
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 08:51:26 PM by StuckInCube »

loopey2u

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2007, 09:06:01 PM »
Quote
obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever -- but eating things other than soup or other clearly 'spoon' foods with a spoon is considered gauche -- something only a child would do -- there is no place for a spoon in a normal dinner setting except for a soup spoon (but if grandpa likes to eat his corn and potatoes with a spoon -- well what the heck)

I didn't find that comment rude at all either.  The OP was just stating that when you're eating with family it is generally more laid back.  That's all I got from it.  I don't think she was trying to insult anybody.

StuckInCube

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Re: Setting the (regular dinner) table...
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2007, 09:11:38 PM »
Quote
obviously at your family table you can eat with your hands or eat with a spoon or whatever -- but eating things other than soup or other clearly 'spoon' foods with a spoon is considered gauche -- something only a child would do -- there is no place for a spoon in a normal dinner setting except for a soup spoon (but if grandpa likes to eat his corn and potatoes with a spoon -- well what the heck)

I didn't find that comment rude at all either.  The OP was just stating that when you're eating with family it is generally more laid back.  That's all I got from it.  I don't think she was trying to insult anybody.

I think it was using the term 'gauche' and likening it to a child (with no manners basically) that may have caused some confusion. It does sound a little rude when you first read it, especially since someone had mentioned liking to eat peas (or corn?) with a spoon.  So, it could read as a bit of a slam against them.