Today is Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving, primarily because a day spent cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. Combined with the gathering of friends and family, it’s the perfect opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy an elaborate festive celebration.
It wouldn’t be a Clean & Proper holiday without a quick etiquette refresher. In honor of all the Thanksgiving food, I felt it appropriate that we engage in a quick reminder on the do’s and don’ts behind flatware at the table.
When it comes to which utensil to use when, start from the outside and work your way in. The salad always comes before the main course, therefore the most outside fork is your salad fork.
Once your flatware has been used, do not place it back on the table.
Use all forks. Don’t grab your dinner fork for everything you are served, especially if your table setting includes a salad fork. Respect the food courses!
Occasionally you may have a fish fork in the mix, but since fish isn’t traditionally on the Thanksgiving menu, we’ll save that lesson for another day.
When eating soup, move the spoon across the top of the soup away from you and toward the inside of the table. Remove any excess liquid by sliding the bottom of the spoon across the rim of your soup bowl. Sip the spoon from the side, not by inserting the entire spoon into your mouth. Never blow on your soup to cool it and never slurp your soup!
When the soup is too low in the bowl to gather, tilt the bowl away from you. When finished, your soup spoon should be placed on the saucer underneath your bowl.
In formal occasions, the dessert spoon is often brought out with the dessert. Otherwise it should be the smaller spoon to the left of your soup spoon (to the right of your plate), or it will be placed horizontally above your dinner plate with the handle on the right. When there is both a dessert spoon and fork, the fork will be placed above the dinner plate too, but with the handle on the left and tongs on the right.
The blade always faces your plate and is always on the right side of your plate.
This is important. I don’t care what some sources say, your knife should always be in your right hand and your fork in your left hand when cutting food. To eat your food, put down your knife and transfer your fork to your right hand, proceeding to eat as you would normally. Do not keep your knife in your right hand while eating and do not turn your fork upside down (so the tongs face down) to eat.
Using your utensils:
When you are finished with your meal, place your fork in the center of your place with the tongs facing up. The fork should be positioned in a 10:00 and 4:00 position with the handle closest to you. The knife should be placed above your fork with the blade facing the fork. The handle should also be in the 4:00 position to match your fork.
Note: When you are resting your knife while eating, it should be placed at the top of your plate in an 11:00 and 1:00 position, with the blade facing the center of the plate. Your fork should rest as it would normally when you are finished eating.