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THE following menu is chosen to illustrate the home dinner service, not so much that it is attractive in itself, as that it gives an opportunity for varied service, — that is, the use of the side dish, which is never seen at a formal dinner, and of a small dish, set in a plate, for the dessert.


Clam Soup Crisp Crackers
Sirloin Roast of Beef with Franconia Potatoes
Brown Gravy
Canned Corn
Dressed Lettuce
Graham Bread Sandwiches
Blanc Mange
Crackers and Cheese Demi-tasse


Lay the silence cloth, the table-cloth, the centerpiece, and the decoration, and follow the general directions for laying the table and serving given in a preceding chapter. Place for this dinner the service plate, a knife, a spoon for the corn, and a soup spoon ; two forks, one for meat and one for salad; water glass, bread-and-butter plate with spreader, napkin, and salts and peppers. The carving cloth, if used, is placed now. It is not always desired, but it protects the cloth from the spatters which are unavoidable in carving, and the particles of crisp fat which are apt to fly. It may be an oblong tray cloth, a carving cloth with opening for asbestos mat, or a dinner napkin.

It is as important that the maid prepare and lay out all necessary dishes, silver, and serving napkins that will be required during the meal as that she forget nothing in laying the table. A delay in the service which is caused by hunting for some piece of needed serving silver is unpardonable. When a maid serves from the table, she should always provide one plate more than the number of persons to be served, as this is necessary to work with.

If a salad is served with the meat course, place it on the right side, from the right. This is one of the very few exceptions to the rule of " placing everything from the left except beverages and extra silver." After passing vegetables, take them to the kitchen to be kept warm, the mistress ringing if a second helping is needed.

If the dining-room has no electric table-bell, for the best service the waitress should remain in the dining-room, when her duties do not require her presence in the pantry.

Some persons prefer the conventional method of having the serving silver placed on the table before the dish to be served is brought in. Others prefer the newer way of having the silver brought in on the platter. The latter saves time and steps. The soup should be brought to the dining-room after the family are seated, in order that it may be served hot. Soup at dinner should always be served in soup plates, never in bouillon cups, unless one is serving an iced consomme.


When the family are seated,

  1. Bring two filled soup plates from pantry, leave one on serving-table (right hand) and place the other (left hand).
  2. Return to serving-table for second plate, place, and repeat till all are served.
  3. Pass plate of crisp crackers (napkin).
  4. Remove soup and service plates together (left hand), and place heated plate (right hand).
  5. Place carving-knife and serving silver (right hand, right side) and carving-fork (left hand, left side), brought to table on napkin or tray.
  6. Place platterof beef and Franconia potatoes (napkin).
  7. While host carves, place dish for canned corn at left of each plate. Tak edishes from serving-table, one in each hand. Place the one in left hand at left, change the one in right hand to left hand, and place; return to serving-table and repeat till all are placed.
  8. Take filled plate from host (left hand), and place heated plate, the extra one for serving (right hand).
  9. Place filled plate before person to be served (left hand), removing heated plate (right hand), take to carver, and proceed as before.
  10. Pass gravy, ladle in dish (napkin).
  11. Pass canned corn, spoon in dish (napkin).
  12. Pass bread (napkin).
  13. Remove roast with carving set and spoon on platter.
  14. Remove carving cloth.
  15. Remove soiled plate (left hand), place plate for salad (right hand), take up side dish (right hand).
  16. (a) Place salad fork (right hand, right side), and salad spoon (left hand, left side) brought on napkin or tray ; or (b) bring in silver on salad bowl.
  17. Place salad before mistress (napkin).
  18. Take filled salad plate from mistress (left hand), and place empty plate (an extra one) brought from serving-table.
  19. Place filled salad plate before person to be served (left hand), first taking up the empty plate (right hand), which carry to server and repeat in same manner.
  20. Pass sandwiches (napkin).
  21. Remove salad bowl and silver.
  22. Remove bread-and-butter plate (left hand) and salad plate (right hand), clearing the place at once.
  23. Remove salts and peppers and any unused silver remaining on table (tray).
  24. Remove crumbs (napkin and plate).
  25. Place individual dessert plates, with doily on plate, small glass dish on doily, and spoon on right-hand side of plate. In placing, see that the plate is set down with the spoon in correct position on right-hand side of person.
  26. (a) Place silver for serving dessert, one piece right side (right hand), second piece left side ( left hand), brought on napkin or tray or ( b) brought in on the dish.
  27. Place dessert before mistress (napkin).
  28. Take filled dessert plate from mistress (left hand) and place the extra doily-covered plate with glass dish and spoon (right hand). XXIX. Place filled dessert plate before person to be served (left hand), first removing plate ( right hand). Repeat till all are served.
  29. Pass sugar and cream (tray).
  30. Remove dessert dish and silver.
  31. Remove dessert plate (left hand) and place service for next course (right hand), namely : a finger-bowl on a doily-covered plate and a small knife on right-hand side of plate.
  32. Pass crackers and cheese, knife on cheese dish ( napkin).
  33. (a) Bring in after-dinner coffee-service and place before hostess, who pours coffee, which waitress passes ; or, (b) bring coffee in cups on a tray and place (right side, right hand).
  34. Pass cut sugar and cream (tray), sugar-tongs arranged on sugar-bowl.
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