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Setting And Clearing The Table

( Originally Published 1918 )

The following points must be remembered when a meal is to be served: The dining-room must be clean, well aired, sufficiently lighted and in good order.

The table must be perfectly clean and covered with a clean white cover (table-cloth, doilies, paper napkins, or (oil-cloth ),

A vase of flowers or leaves or a small potted plant, in the centre of the table, will help to make it attractive.

The table should be prepared with everything necessary for serving the meal, but only those foods should be placed on it that will not he spoiled by standing. If there is danger of the food attracting flies, (cover it carefully.

Plates for everyone who is to partake of the meal should be arranged at equal distances from one another, and half an inch from the edge of the table.

The knife should be placed at the right of the plate with the cutting edge toward the plate, and one inch from the edge of the table.

The fork should be placed at the left of the plate with the tines turned up, and one inch from the edge of the table.

The spoon should be placed, bowl upward, at the right of the plate, to the right of the knife. It should be placed one inch from the edge of the table. Spoons and forks for serving should he placed at the right and left of the dish to he served, or in another convenient position. No one should have to use the personal fork or spoon for serving.

The napkins should be folded simply and placed at the left of the fork.

The tumbler should be placed at the upper end of the knife.

The cups and saucers should be placed at the right of the plate with the handle of the cup toward the right.

The bread-and-butter plate, if used, should he placed at the upper left hand of the fork.

The salt-cellars and pepper-shakers should be placed near the centre of the table or at the sides, where they can be conveniently reached. Individual salt-cellars, if used, should be placed immediately in front of the individual plate.

The chairs should be placed at the table after it is set. Care should be taken not to put them so close to it that it will be necessary to move them after they are occupied.


If possible, arrange to give this lesson before Lesson VIII in the series of " Twenty Lessons in Cooking" is given; then the emphasis in that lesson may be put. upon the food to be served, proper combinations, etc., while this lesson gives the drill in the arrangement and handling of the dishes.

It is desirable to give the pupils a thorough drill in table setting and table service, since much of the pleasure derived from eating depends upon the attention paid to these processes_

Be careful to see that evervthing necessary is on hand to set the table simply but daintily. For class practice a small table may be set for four. This will necessitate a table-cover, four or more dinner plates, four bread-and-butter plates, four tumblers, four cups and saucers. four knives, four forks, four teaspoons, four napkins, a salt-cellar, a pepper-shaker, a platter, one serving spoon, and one serving fork. If these things are not already In the school, probably they can be brought from home by the pupils. If linen cloths are not used and cannot be afforded on the tables in the homes, the pupils should he taught to use a white oil cloth.

Have a diagram made on the black-board by one of the pupils of the arrangement of an individual place at the table.


The process of table setting should be demonstrated with the materials at hand. and the work should be adapted to home conditions.

If there is no available table in the school-room, the desk tops may be used for individual places.

Reasons for the arrangement of the table should be given the convenience of placing the knives and the spoons to the right, the forks to the left, the cup and saucer and the tumbler to the right, the use of the napkin, etc.

Household Science in Rural Schools:
Arrangement And Care Of The Kitchen

Care Of Cupboards And Utensils

Care Of Foods

Disposal Of Waste

Making Soap

Setting And Clearing The Table

Waiting On Table

General Cleaning Of A Room

Care Of The Bedroom

Care Of Lamps

Read More Articles About: Household Science in Rural Schools

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