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Old 01-04-2007, 05:21 PM   #1
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Etiquette Part 2

The current thread on table manners had me wondering a couple things:

How many of you actually set the table on a daily basis as opposed to putting food on plates, grabbing a fork, and sitting down?

Does anyone have an aversion to putting jars or bottles of food or drink on the table?

Do you use cloth napkins daily or go for the expendable paper ones?

So overall, how casual or formal do you get in serving and eating your daily meals?


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Old 01-04-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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I set the table daily

Usually I transfer condiments to some of my pretty pitchers, gotta justify buying 'em. The only exception is burgers where I plop the ketchup bottle on the table.

I use paper napkins for DH and me and cloth when company is around.

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Old 01-04-2007, 06:26 PM   #3
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My answer is much like Beth's. I do set the table each meal except when dh gets to the table in the morning before I do, then he gets a cereal bowl. I put condiments in small containers for the two of us. We only use cloth napkins when I set the dining room table - which is mostly when the kids or company come. As long as our children were home we always had at least one meal a day together. My opinion on manners is that it makes the meal more enjoyable for everyone.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:35 PM   #4
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OMG, we are way casual when it's just us. Grab a fork, a bev and bring the bottles of condiment of choice to the table.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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During the week SO and I sit at the kitchen counter on stools for dinner. She sets the places with plates, silverware, glasses and napkins and I serve the food either onto the plates or onto serving dishes.

Condiments stay in their jars for just us folks.

On weekends, we sit at the dining room table for dinner.

Paper napkins.

I did all the same things when I lived and ate alone. I figured I was worth it. I never ate over the sink.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
I never ate over the sink.
One of my favorite all-time fictional characters is Edward X. Delaney, a detective in Lawrence Sanders' "Deadly Sins" novels.

Delaney makes himself THE most mouth-watering-sounding sandwiches and eats them, lovingly, while standing up, over the sink, so he won't make a mess or dirty a plate.
Kind of an endearing.

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Old 01-04-2007, 10:33 PM   #7
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We do a bit of both. I would say four times a week my table is properly dressed and the other three are either eating out or grab your food from the kitchen and cop a squat. We always eat together as a family at the table though. With a nearly eight year old it's the only opportunity to really pick his brain.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:56 AM   #8
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Honestly? Nine times out of ten food is served at the stove, plates and utensils, salt, pepper and condiments laid out on the adjoining counter. Each person serves himself and we then eat sitting on the sofas, plates plunked onto some stacking IKEA stools bought for the purpose. We then watch the news.

Ketchup is served from the squeeze bottle it came in.

Napkins are often as not squares of kitchen paper off the roll.

... however, despite what common theory would have you believe, my two teenaged children do me proud when we eat more formally, whether at home or as guests or in a restaurant. They both, without reminding, first unfold their napkins onto their laps. They eat with their mouths shut and swallow before talking. The ask for food to be passed to them IF they're somewhere where that's done (like their grandparents' house in the States) and quietly reach for what they need where that's the norm (here), but never jam their elbows in someone else's face in the process.

They ask to be excused when done.

They both know how to pay polite attention to others at the table, to assist and/or amuse younger children, and not to complain about any of the food served nor request something special.

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!
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:37 AM   #9
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We (at my house) are in debate as to how long one should sit down and dine.
If we are at a serve yourself buffet, I think 45 minutes and they think 30.
If we are at fast food, I think 30 and they think 15.

At home it is 30-45 minutes for a weekday meal.
I can see eating a breakfast muffin with juice in 5 minutes.

Most companies give people 30 min to an hour for lunch. Is most of that errand time?

If you go to a restaurant and order off the menu, seems like the food doesn't arrive at your table instantly; sometimes it 30-45 mins before they bring it to you. And you know it's going to be longer than that if there's crackers on the table or they immediately bring you a bread basket. Longer if they refill your drinks. Longer still if they have a salad bar.
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:12 AM   #10
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Most of the time DH and I have our meals at the kitchen table and sometimes if convenient, that is, if the food can be piled up on a plate and eaten with a spoon like Chinese food, we would sit in front of the tv watching his favourite soccer and basketball games and of course Super Bowl. On special occasions, the dining table will be fully set with tablecloth, napkins, cutlery and the likes.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
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