Saturday, November 26, 2016

The table is set

On a tour of Scotland and Ireland, we had a chance to tour the yacht used by Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip.  The crew included 20 officers and 200 crew members.  Of course, the crew included a chef (maybe more than one) and many kitchen helpers and cooks.  We saw the dining room with a table set for a large group of guests.  All the plates and glasses were perfectly lined up.  It would be sad for anyone to use anything on the table and spoil the perfect layout.

We are having our family of 12 here in a few minutes for a one-day-late Thanksgiving dinner.  We are late because various inlaws want to have their Thanksgiving dinner and some of our family members are past being able to eat two big dinners in one day.  Our friend says she is sitting down to a table of 18 but our group is probably louder than hers. When our table is set, it bears a close resemblance to the formal settings we saw on the royal yacht and some set in various castles.

I guess many women have had instruction from their moms or in school about the proper setting of a table.  We have observed the care that Hyacinth Bucket (boo - 'kay, please) uses to set the table according to scrupulous standards of placement and location.  We tend to supply only a single fork, a teaspoon and a table knife.  We usually place a glass of water at each place and sometimes a wine glass.  We have wine glasses that we use for either red or white wine.

We have had Chinese visitors who showed us that they can eat quite easily and comfortably with chop sticks.  I read that for a while table forks did not have a curve in them as most now do.  Without that curve, whatever was pierced with the tines tended to fall right off as soon as the fork was lifted.  The right curve sets the angle of the fork tines off a bit and makes the implement much more useful.

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