When I was very young my grandparents were pretty stickler about proper manners and just proper-ness in general. This included knowing how to properly set a table and knowing how to eat from even the most intricate tables. It wasn’t the most fun as a child, but now I really appreciate it.
These two images are scans from a 1999 publication of Better Homes & Gardens that my grandmother cut out and taped to the inside of the cabinets at her then house, which is now my family’s. While this is not how we normally had our family dinners, she did have some classy company every once in a while, and more importantly, she attended lavish events where this has come in handy.
As my mom is throwing a holiday party tonight, I thought it might be a little helpful for me to share my knowledge with you before your big holiday events.
I could still not tell you haw many different knifes, spoons, and forks there are, but I do have some super tricks that will save you in a pinch.
The first being able to tell which setting is yours. I always hated not knowing whose water is whose and which bread pate is mine, but after picking up this handy tip confusion is no more.
Simply (and discretely) make the A-OKAY symbol with both your hands. The one that forms a B is your bread dish and the one that forms a D is your drink! Super easy!
The next tip is to treat your setting like an onion, peeling away the layers. With utensils, start from the outside and work your way in. As you can see in the formal setting above, the first course utensils are on the outside, then comes the main course, and finally the desert utensils.
Sometimes utensils are also placed above your plate. These utensils are used last, so first work your way in, then work your way down.
Hope this helps ease your formal fears!