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Old 01-05-2007, 06:10 AM   #11
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Hi Suzy

When my children were younger and actually still present for meals, yes we did set the table for every meal. Breakfast was placemats but dinner was a tablecloth. For an everyday meal I'd use paper napkins, but anything even slightly festive got cloth napkins.

Now that I more or less live alone (my son commutes to college now, but I rarely see him) I usually eat alone, as well. Dinner for me is a can of soup or some leftover. I will set a place for myself with a placemat.

When I cook on Saturday and Sunday, however, it's back to the old way. Cloth tablecloth, and now we always use cloth napkins.
Yes, I eschew bottles or jugs or jars on the table. I have bowls and pitchers and even a lovely decanter for those items that may require it. I may make an exception to a bottle of wine that shouldn't be decanted.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:41 AM   #12
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I`m with Ayrton totaly, we do exactly the same, that`s not to say that if we Had the space to put a table, we wouldn`t eat from there, we simply just don`t have anywhere to put one.
we have a Garden set with a table that we eat at in summer though.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:46 AM   #13
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Well, since I'm baring my soul today, I'll admit even further that it's not for lack of tables that we eat as we do. In fact, within spitting distance of my kitchen, I have THREE tables, all fully functioning. I have the kitchen table, the "good" table, and the balcony table.

It's really just that by the time we get in from the office and cook, it's time for the news which neither my husband nor I want to miss (the kids could do without, I cannot tell a lie) which is how this weekday habit evolved.

We do eat Sunday lunch/dinner at the kitchen table which is then set with everyday china, cutlery, and glasses. The paper towels, however, provide continuity ...
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:12 AM   #14
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In my effort to reduce my usage of paper towels, I made about one dozen cloth napkins to use in DH's lunchbox. Picture this; DH opens lunch box, spreads cloth napkin on lap, takes out ww bread sandwich, usually meatloaf and kale, small baggie of fresh cut carrots and home made rolls, washed down with bottles of our spring water. Of course his co workers have the white bread/bologna and various bags of chips, cakes, cookies and pastries with cans of pop. They all kinda move away from him..........
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:34 AM   #15
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Day in and day out...very casual here. Table set with knives/forks/glasses etc. Plates are set out on the cabinet...everyone serves themselves off of the stove/counter etc. The table always has Salt and 2 pepper mills..Louisiana Hot Sauce and Tabasco. Paper towels are the norm for everyone except me...I use a wash cloth!!
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton

In short, let's not make a cause-and-effect link between the failure to maintain a family dining table and poor manners, because it ain't necessarily so!
I can only assume that this comment was directed at me because I was the last poster. I fail to see where I (or anyone else) implied that this is so. I don't think it matters where you eat at all. In fact, my son's table manners are horrendous (which is something we're working on constantly). I really didn't mean to offend you.
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBedHead
I can only assume that this comment was directed at me because I was the last poster. I fail to see where I (or anyone else) implied that this is so. I don't think it matters where you eat at all. In fact, my son's table manners are horrendous (which is something we're working on constantly). I really didn't mean to offend you.
First of all, not even slightly offended!

Secondly, no, it wasn't directed at you. Had it been, I would have quoted you. It was just a general comment about where I felt -- rightly or wrongly -- the thread might be heading. It was just the first thoughts that popped into my mind upon reading the rest of the thread which is usually how I post here!

You're right, I don't think anyone on this thread implied such a thing, but I do think that in general this theory's out there kicking about in the world. You know, the general decline of civilization as we know it being due to families no longer eating together, etc., etc.
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:01 AM   #18
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at least our way no one can ever say "get your elbows off the table" ;-P
I`ll go one further, quite often we`ll just use a fork, no knife or anything (depending on the dish), and when I do soup I serve it in large Mug type bowls, and we`ll consume it without a spoon :)
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YT2095
at least our way no one can ever say "get your elbows off the table"
Speaking of elbows on the table, did'ja know that Miss Manners isn't really against this? Or at least not between courses when you're just sitting and talking and not actually trying to eat something with your elbow glued to the table (which is awkward, if nothing else).

Just thought I'd mention it, having stumbled across it in her book last evening (obviously inspired to pull it off the shelf by these threads).
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:40 AM   #20
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I live alone, so I usually just fill my plate and grab some silverware. I often eat in front of the computer or the television. I do have my standards, however--food goes on a plate, no eating from the pot or other container.

When my son or other visitors eat with me, then the table is set. No containers on the table--food goes into serving dishes, condiments into small bowls.

I was talking to one of our child development specialist recently about this whole eating dinner together phenomenon. She said many low income folks don't even have a table.

The first furniture purchase is a bed, then the TV, then a sofa. Dining tables are way down the list.
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