Ah, the holidays! Parties, dinners, family and friends…I always enjoyed the holidays when my mom was preparing everything. Well, now the tradition has been passed to me and I will be hosting my 2nd Thanksgiving with friends and family. The planning of the menu, shopping for groceries, cooking for days and last but not least, pulling out my china, silver and crystal to set the table for the feast!
My mom taught me well…I am a stickler for a well set table complete with flowers, candles and a few seasonal decorations. For those of you who are always asking, where exactly does the dessert spoon go? Read on…
The distance between places at the table set must never be so short that guests have no elbow room. About two feet from plate center to plate center is ideal. Decide if you are going to be using place mats or a tablecloth. The dinner plates are first put around the table at equal distances. The silver flatware is placed in the order of its use closet to the place, therefore the salad fork is placed next to the left of the plate, then the meat fork. Just to the right of the plate is the salad knife and on the outside is the meat knife. The cutting edge of each toward the plate. Outside the knives are the soup spoon. Dessert spoons and forks are brought in on the dessert plate just before dessert is served. Or you can place them above the plate with the handle of the spoon facing to the right and the handle of the cake fork facing to the left.
If bread or rolls are to be served, a butter plate should be used. The butter plate is located above the forks at the left of the place setting. The butter knife is laid across it, slightly diagonally from upper left to lower right, with the sharper edge of the blade toward the edge of the table.
The wineglasses chosen for the formal table setting depend upon the menu, but their table setting arrangement is according to size, so that little ones are not hidden behind large ones. Place them directly above the knives in a straight row slanting downward from the upper left. Generally only one, at the most, two, wines are served, so a water goblet and one (or two) wineglasses are all that are necessary. Frequently wine is not served at all, and iced-tea glasses or simply tumblers for water are used.
If you plan to serve coffee with the meal, the cup and saucer go to the right of the setting, with the coffee spoon on the right side of the saucer.