Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Set a Table

I was searching my recipe box so that I could post a recipe this morning, but I ran across a photocopied page out of a high school text book - page 44 to be exact.  I am not sure what text book this was from but I have been packing it around for some 30 odd years as the "proper" way to set a table.  I took quite a few "home economics" classes while I was in high school (it was an easy A grade).

I am of the firm belief that as long as you have the basics in place there is quite a bit of "wiggle room" when setting a table.  I always focus first on function and then on what looks good.  I consider the basics to be the plate in the center, knife to the right (sharp side facing the plate), spoon(s) to the right of the knife and the fork(s) on the left of the plate.  The drinking cup should be just above the knife.  Only put out the pieces that you will be using during the meal - for instance if you are not serving soup you will not need a soup spoon or soup bowl.  The silverware that you will be using first goes the farthest away from the plate (soup spoons and salad forks).

Image Key:
1.  Salad Plate
2.  Napkin
3.  Forks
4.  Butter plate and spreader
5.  Dinner Plate
6.  Glass
7.  Knife
8.  Spoons
9.  Cup and Saucer
    Tips on Table Settings:
    • Arrange the place mats about one inch from the edge of the table.
    • Place china and silver about one inch from the edge of the table.
    You don't need to have a lot of money to set a beautiful table, look for items around your house that you can create a table-scape theme from!  Holiday centerpieces can be made by filling a fancy glass bowl with seasonal items - like fruit, pumpkins and gourds or even glass Christmas ornaments or glass beads.  You can also check your local dollar store for items to supplement your table.
    My Valentine's Day Table - set up for the whole family.  Notice
    that I put the forks and napkin the wrong side - oops!  This was
    just a quick table set up so we would have something fun and special
    for Valentine's Day !

    Good luck and have fun with your tablescapes!



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