Having my cake and eating it too (properly) – Part II

Continued from Having my cake and eating it too (properly) – Part I

The tale of too many utensils

The usual utensil setting should be as follows. The plate is the center and other utensils radiate from it. Closest to the plate on the right is a butter knife, with the serrated edge facing the plate and immediately to its right is a soup spoon. To the left of the plate are first the salad fork and then the standard fork. Above the point of the knife is the wine glass and to its left rests the water glass or goblet. The napkin is usually placed on the plate.

Yeah, confused you didn’t I? Easier still, just look at the picture below to get the idea.


I am ambidextrous, so….

You might be. But no, you cannot confuse your knife hand and your fork hand. It’s always fork in your left hand and the knife in your right. With the tines facing downward (curving towards you), hold down an end piece of whatever you are cutting (let’s assume it’s meat). Place your index finger along the top of each utensil, holding each at the end. This gives you greater control. Gently, using a sawing motion, cut the meat near the tines of the fork, so you have one bite-sized piece. Then lay down the knife (without allowing it to touch the table) and switch the fork (complete with pierced meat) to your right hand. Bring it up to your mouth, chew quietly and swallow when the meat is sufficiently masticated.

Here lil pea, on to my spoon…

There will always be one stubborn morsel of food left in the end which plays hard-to-get. So instead of embarrassing yourself too much, try pushing the last bits onto your fork with a piece of bread or the side of your knife.

To make the bitter butter better

If the dish in question involves buttering up your bread, always take some butter and put it on your plate, not on the bread. Now you have your own little pile of butter and won’t continually fish from the communal butter dish.

Then tear yourself small pieces of bread and butter them individually and pop them into your mouth. And remember no noisy chomping. And no thinking about the calories either.

Souperlicious manners

Was not aware of this one either. Only fill a soup spoon about 75 percent with soup, bring it up to your mouth and sip it from the side, with as little slurping as possible. When your soup runs low, it’s acceptable to tip your bowl away from you so you can capture the last bits of soup, but don’t do that more than twice.

And remember to lower your spoon into your soup gently so it doesn’t bang the bottom of the bowl.

The Grand Finale

Once you are finished with eating, don’t push back that chair, loosen that belt and  belch. Not yet.

There’s the placement of the cutlery to see to.

Once you are finished: Place your knife and fork on the plate so that they are parallel to each other, at the 11 o’clock position (a diagonal from bottom right to top left) with the points facing away from you.

When you are resting between bites: Cross your knife and fork like an “X” over your plate, which indicates that you are not done with the plate. To correctly use the “X” position, the fork bottom should be on the left and the knife bottom on the right.

And if all else fails….

Copy whatever your neighbor is doing or just fake it.

Author’s Note:  Data and images has been collected from various external sources.


12 thoughts on “Having my cake and eating it too (properly) – Part II

  1. Pingback: Having my cake and eating it too (properly) – Part I « And thats the Way I see It….

  2. Hey nice one..
    You have put in the points together.. 🙂

    But still in the end I love eating in the Indian way..to be very precise in the mallu way 😛

    I follow these only at parties and dinners 🙂 🙂

    • i knw..hands all d way for true Mallus like us. BTW, ur Inidan woman article was awesome..very thought-provoking

  3. Ahh…the basic table etiquettes. I belong to a Military family and these are taught to us by our parents from the moment we start eating by ourselves.
    Nice and correct information.
    P.S. This gives me an idea for a post. Can I use your reference?

  4. Pingback: Social Graces « Snow Leopard's Blog

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