When presenting a dish hold it low enough to enable the guest to help himself with ease. When this course is finished, step to the right of the one first served, take up the soup plate, leaving the other plate in position, and carry it to the pantry. Continue in order until all are removed. The fish may be served in one of two ways: First, the "turbans" may be disposed on a large platter with the sauce around it, the whole handsomely decorated, and the diamonds of potato upon another platter, neatly garnished with parsley. Carry a warm plate or one in each hand from the serving-table to the guest at the right or left of the host, and continue in order; then carry the platter offish, on a folded napkin laid on the flat of the hand, to the right of the one first supplied with a plate.
Place a turban of fish and sauce upon the plate. Repeat until all are served. Then serve the potato diamonds in the same manner.
Have the fish plates prepared in the pantry, a turban of fish with sauce and diamond of potato on each. Bring two plates from the pantry; set one upon the serving-table, and carry the other to the first individual to be served, and set it down from the right upon the place plate. Return for the second plate, and, when this is set in place, bring in two more plates prepared as before, and so continue in order until all are served with this course.
In ideal service, with several maids in attendance, but one plate is carried at a time.
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When two plates, one in each hand, are brought from the pantry, set the one in the left hand on the side-table, then transfer the one in the right hand to the left hand before setting it down before the guest. Bring six chilled plates of small size to the serving-table. Set one of these plates to the right of the glass of water at each cover, beginning with the guest to whom fish was first served. Then, carrying the salad bowl, with a spoon in the bowl, on a folded napkin laid on the flat of the left hand, go to the right of each guest, and dispose half a dozen slices of cucumber and a little dressing upon each plate.
If any guest signifies that salad is not desired, pass quietly on.
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The cucumbers are eaten with the fish fork. A separate fork is not necessarily provided for a salad served with fish, roast, or game. It is always supplied for salad served as a separate course. Remove the cucumber plates first, one at a time or one in each hand. The entree of croquettes with asparagus tips may be disposed on individual plates, and set down with the right hand upon the service plate as the fish is taken up with the left hand.
The retention of the service plate gives opportunity to eat the celery or olives that may still be upon this plate. If preferred, empty plates may be set down as the fish plate is taken up;.. Bring in two dinner plates holding turkey. Leave one on the serving-table. Then, going to the right or left of the host begin the courses, alternately, on the right and left , take up the service plate with the croquette plate upon it and set down the plate of turkey.
Continue in order, exchanging the service and croquette plates for the dinner plate until all have been served with turkey. Bring in the dish of potato a spoon pressed down into it on the flat of the left hand, a folded napkin between the dish and hand. Go to the right of each in order, beginning with the first one served to turkey, and place a "helping" of potato on the plate. Serve the giblet sauce, egg plant, and cranberry jelly in the order given and in the same manner, noting quickly the quietly spoken disinclination of a guest to be served to any dish.
Now, if needed, pass bread or rolls to the left for each to help himself, and fill the glasses with water.
While waiting for this course to be finished, you may lay above the plate a fork or spoon for the Roman punch. As in all cases where an article is set down, not passed, set the spoons in place from the right of the guests. Punch is frequently served with the roast rather than as a course by itself. When served by itself, in ideal service, the fork or spoon with which it is to be eaten, if not set in place when the table was laid, should be brought in on the tray with the glass of punch and laid upon the cloth beside the glass.
When the main course of the dinner is finished, bring in two glasses of punch on small plates covered with doilies.
Leave one on the serving-table, and carry the other to the guest at the left of the host. Use a tray, if spoons for the punch are brought in at this time. If the guest on the right was served first to the first course, take up the dinner plate with the left hand, and set down the punch with the right hand and from the right. When the punch has been disposed of, in the same manner as before, serving first the guest at the right of the host, replace the plates holding the punch glasses with plates upon which the venison and rice cups with jelly are disposed. When all are served, set small plates, one at a time, for those wishing salad.
These plates may hold the salad when brought to the table or the salad may be placed upon the plates after each has been set in its proper place. When this course is finished, remove the salad plates, two side by side on a tray or one at a time without the tray.
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Then remove the game plates, always one at a time, and in the same order in which they were brought in. With a tray take up salt and pepper boxes; and, when these have been disposed of, return and free the table from crumbs. Have the moulds of jelly and fruit with cream decoration ready on individual plates. Set these, one at a time, before each guest, at the right.
Bring in the finger-bowls on small doily-covered plates, one at a time, and take out the dessert plate. After all are provided with these, the bowl and doily being removed from the plate, pass the bonbons and nuts on a tray to the left of each, that each may help himself. The almonds may have been passed before, as they are in order at any time, when there is delay in serving a course.
Bread is passed and glasses are filled with water whenever needed. Coffee in cups is now brought in and set down as usual from the right, and cream and sugar on a tray are afterwards passed to the left of each guest. When the main dish of the dessert is not shaped in individual portions, but a portion is to be cut for each individual, the finger-bowis may be brought in upon the dessert plates with a doily between.
These plates suffice also for the bonbons.
The directions given for serving breakfast after the English fashion can easily be modified to suit the serving of dinner. At the hour appointed for dinner, let the waitress ascertain if the family be ready for the meal. Bring back two soup plates; set one down to be supplied with soup, then take up the filled plate and set down the other. Set the plate of soup on the service plate of the one for whom it was prepared and take another plate from the side-table to set down on taking up the second filled plate, and thus continue. Whatever be the style of service, the waitress should look after the re-filling of the glasses at the end of every course.
Glases should be re-filled from the right side, and the water or other beverage ought whenever possible to be poured into the glass as it stands on the table, without moving it from its place. When this is inconvenient, the waitress should remember that the glass is never to be lifted, but drawn a little way along the cloth towards her; and in doing this her fingers should not touch the body of the glass - the place where the fingers of the guest naturally hold it - but only the extreme lower part. Where a tumbler is used, the waitress's fingers touch the thicker glass at the botom; with a goblet two fingers press the flat standard and the goblet is moved a little way without touching either the stem or the cup.
The old rule was that all removing should be done from the right. This, because most of the articles composing the cover could be more conveniently taken away from this side. But with the introduction of the plate for bread and butter, the half-moon shaped plate for the salad to accompany the game course, it became evident that this should be removed from the left, otherwise the waitress should stretch across the guest - an inexcusable act.
It is therefore admittedly correct that articles may be removed from either side. But wherever possible, the waitress should in removing use the hand wich corresponds to side of the guest at wich she stands. This rule should be considered invariable except where the waitress is obliged to remove with the one hand the dish used in any course and with the other hand to place a dish for the next course. In such a case she removes with the left hand, and places the fresh dish with the right. My dad's Sullivan family ancestors were descendants of the famous Powhatan "princess".
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