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THERE are three forms of service, the English, the Russian, and the Mixed. The last, as its name indicates, is a compromise between the other two.
When deciding how much or how little form is to be used in the serving of meals, one must first take into consideration the number of servants employed as well as one's personal preferences.

The English service is the most practical where help in table service is limited, as all the food belonging to one course is placed in suitable dishes
before the host, hostess, or some other member of the family, and served from the table.

The Russian service is "from the side" and is in use entirely for formal dinners and luncheons. It is in use also for all meals by those who care for formand have the servants to conduct it well. The plates are placed, empty, for the successive courses, and all the food is passed, attractively arranged on suitable dishes, from which each person helps himself; or the food may be arranged on individual plates and placed before each person, although this
is not the best form of the service.

The combination of the two forms results in the Mixed service, in which some of the courses are placed upon the table in the English way, while others are served from the side in the Russian style. For example, the soup may be placed (Russian), the meat carved at the table by the host (English),
the vegetables passed by the waitress (Russian), the salad served by the hostess (English), or passed by the waitress (Russian), and the dessert served by the hostess (English).


Special watchfulness of each person's needs in the dining-room is expected of a waitress. No person should be obliged to ask for bread, butter, rolls, or
water. An attentive maid keeps these supplied. During the progress of a meal she should speak only when addressed.

The cook and the waitress should be furnished with menus of the meals for each day. The service will be much smoother than if they are obliged to rely
upon their memory.

If the English service is used, the maid should lay out one more plate for each course than there are people at the table; this is used for the working

Before serving a meal, the maid should have arranged in groups, on the serving-table or in the pantry, the serving silver required for that meal, also all the silver required for a single cover. Then, if some piece is accidentally dropped by a person at the table, it can be quickly and unobtrusively replaced.

The waitress should have, within easy reach, a soft napkin, which she can bring to absorb any liquid which may be overturned. The spot should then
be covered with a fresh doily or napkin. She should have at hand, also, a heavy, damp, woolen cloth to use in case of accidents, such as candle-shades taking fire, or the lamp of the tea-kettle or the chafing-dish burning beyond control. Under no circumstances should the maid carry out the flaming article, for it is dangerous to attempt to move it. The flame should be smothered.

No sound of a voice or of running water or noise of any kind should come from the pantry, while people are at the table.

Be sure that all plates and dishes which should be heated are heated, and all dishes for serving ices and salads and cold desserts are chilled. In arranging the various >plates for the courses, have in mind the color combinations of food on decorated china, and select the china which will harmonize best with the food to be served.

Always place a linen doily in a plate to be used for bread, rolls, crackers, sandwiches, or cakes. Paper doilies are not good form, unless it is necessary to use a doily with food which would be damaging to a linen one.

Avoid filling cups and glasses to the brim. Do not lift a glass to refill it; if it is difficult to refill, on account of the closeness of the covers, draw the glass out on the cloth to a position near the edge of the table where it can be filled easily. Move the glass by placing the hand near the bottom, never over the top.


Before announcing a meal, the waitress should see that all doors and drawers are closed, all shades properly drawn, and all necessary articles for the serving of the meal at hand.

Two minutes before a meal is announced fill each water glass two thirds full of water and set a form of butter upon each bread-and-butter plate. In announcing a meal, it is sufficient for the maid to appear at the door of the drawing-room, standing in silence for her mistress to recognize her presence ; or she may announce the meal by the formula " Dinner is served" "Luncheon is served." If the family is large and scattered, she may use a Japanese gong as a summons, but only for the informal meal. A formal luncheon or dinner is always announced by the waitress in person. Breakfast is announced according to the preference of the hostess ; sometimes at the chamber doors, sometimes by the Japanese gong, or by personal announcement, if the family is assembled in one room.

A maid should pass, serve, and place everything from the left, except beverages and extra silver, which are served or placed at the right, from the right. Place and remove plates, one at a time. To facilitate service, it is permissible to bring two plates of food (soup or salad particularly) to the dining-room, placing one on the serving-table and the other on the dining-table ; returning to the serving-table for the second plate rather than to the pantry saves time and steps.

In exchanging or placing plates, the hand should grasp the edge of the plate, never allowing the thumb to be placed over the rim. See that the rims of all
plates and the bottoms of all serving dishes are clean before taking them to the table. When placing or removing one plate, always use the left hand. If
removing and placing at the same time, use the left hand for the plate containing food which might be spilled if the elbow were jostled, and use the right hand for the empty plate or the one containing food less likely to spill.

When presenting any dish containing food, have a squarely folded dinner napkin on the palm of the left hand, under the dish. Have the serving silver
placed on the dish in a position convenient for the person to be served ; this silver should be arranged in the pantry, not as the dish is being presented.
Two pieces of silver, placed one at either end of platter, are essential in most cases for the best service.

Hold the serving dish firmly and low, and near the person to be served. Hold it in the left hand and if too heavy for one hand, steady or balance it with the right hand on the edge of the dish. Stand slightly back of chair and keep as far away from the person being served as is consistent with good service. Close contact should be avoided.

Always pass the most important accompaniment to a course first and others in the order of their importance.

The folded napkin is used under all dishes containing food to be served. The napkin is not used when placing or exchanging plates, or in removing from the table dishes containing food. The serving tray is used principally when it is necessary to pass or remove two or more small articles, such as cream
and sugar, or salts and peppers. The tray should be fitted with a linen doily, which helps to keep the articles from sliding.

In clearing the table for another course, remove all dishes containing food, not taking the silver from them ; first of all the platter or principal dish, placing the carving-knife and fork side by side on the platter, if the carver has not already done so ; next, the soiled plates and silver; and last, all clean china and silver which were not used.

Bread-and-butter plates remain upon the table until after the salad course. Salted nuts, bonbons, and all water and wine-glasses remain upon the
table to the end of the meal. In some sections of the country, it is customary to remove the wineglasses as each course of wine is finished. The disadvantage of this custom is the fact that persons who care for only one kind of wine during dinner are inconvenienced.


In clearing the table for dessert, remove any relishes which may have been upon the table, the bread-and-butter plates, and the salts and peppers;
that is the only time during the meal that a person is left without a plate before him. Remove the crumbs from the table, using a small napkin and a
decorated plate for the purpose. The use of a doily in the plate depends upon individual preference.


After a meal is over, set the chairs back in their places, then brush up the crumbs which may have fallen to the floor, lest they be trodden into the rug.
In clearing a breakfast or tea-table where there has been no change of courses, remove the glasses and silver first. Put any food that is to be saved on small dishes to be set away. Scrape the table dishes, empty and rinse the cups, and neatly pack together those of a kind, near where they are to be washed. Brush the crumbs from the cloth or table, remove doilies, or fold the cloth in its creases, and put away carefully.


The order of serving depends largely upon the wishes of the hostess and the occasion. Serve first the hostess or the guest of honor, then the next person to the right around the table in succession, whether a man or a woman. The majority of persons prefer serving the hostess first, and there are dvantages in doing so. It enables her to see if the dish has been properly prepared
and provided with suitable serving silver. Also, if the course is unusual or puzzling, the guest, by observing the hostess, may learn how to serve herself.

At a formal dinner, two waitresses are usually in attendance. One begins with the woman guest of honor at the right of the host and serves to the right. The other starts with the hostess and continues around the table to the right, ending with the host. This method of service gives one of the maids more persons to serve than the other

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