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 Things your Mother taught you about food manners

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Lone Star

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  • Location: Houston, TX
Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 06/26/03 5:12 PM (permalink)
My Mother taught me that it was the height of rudeness to refuse the offer of a glass of tea when visiting in someone's home.

I don't really know where the rule came from, but I cannot refuse an offer of ice tea.

What food does and don'ts were you raised with?
 
#1
    VibrationGuy

    • Total Posts: 229
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    • Location: Seattle, WA
    RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 3:25 AM (permalink)
    It's tacky to serve fried chicken at anything other than a picnic (polite members of society don't eat with their fingers).

    Dark meat in the chicken salad is a sign of poor breeding.

    Always tear salad greens such that guests will never risk ruining a knife blade by needing to cut up the salad. (old family silver often has carbon-steel knife blades that rust at the drop of a hat).

    Never have a picnic on a windy day unless your family has old, heavy silver - otherwise, you risk the tablecloth flying up.

    Breaking off the bottom of the asparagus is for the nouveau riche; better to peel the thicker stems.

    Napkin rings are for family, not guests. (the idea being, they're for facilitating napkin reuse).

    Don't start eating until your host/hostess does, course by course, unless they insist otherwise.

    Eric, Victim of Childrearing
     
    #2
      EliseT

      • Total Posts: 2849
      • Joined: 7/11/2001
      • Location: L.A, CA
      RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 5:03 AM (permalink)
      Don't ever take the last of anything...EVER.

      You have not done your duty as a hostess until people are so stuffed they can't move...then you bring out the dessert.
       
      #3
        mayor al

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        • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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        RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 5:30 AM (permalink)
        Mother's Rule, came from grandmother--
        Serve hot foods HOT and cold foods COLD! To do this use plates related to the temperature of the food being served. Salad plates were refrigerated and dining plates were heated carefully in the oven, prior to meal time.

        We were NOT a "bread at every meal" family. I never knew people did that til I joined the Army. (Not a Mom rule, but the Army was almost as powerful as she is).

        She was a big fan of eating salad "California-Style"...don't know why it is called that. That's when the salad course is served between the main course and dessert. So for us dinner would be 1. Soup, 2.Main Course, 3. Salad, 4. Dessert. Some of our relatives did the same thing, but not all.
         
        #4
          RubyRose

          • Total Posts: 2187
          • Joined: 5/7/2003
          • Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
          RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 7:09 AM (permalink)
          Never, ever rest your elbows on the table.

           
          #5
            CheeseWit

            • Total Posts: 1393
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            • Location: West Chester, PA
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            RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 8:00 AM (permalink)
            Don't talk with your mouth full. Don't blow your nose at the table. Don't reach across someone else's plate to get something.
             
            #6
              Bushie

              • Total Posts: 2902
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              • Location: Round Rock, TX
              RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 8:38 AM (permalink)
              Yeah, my mother taught me all the usual manner stuff, but she used to drive me crazy with one particular thing. When we would eat soup in restaurants, she insisted that we scoop the spoon AWAY toward the opposite side of the bowl. She said that was the "proper" way to eat soup in public. I never could understand what the hell difference it made, and I always felt like pouring the soup over her head when she would bug me about it.

              Today, I eat soup like "normal" people, when I bother to use a spoon at all!
               
              #7
                CheeseWit

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                RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 8:42 AM (permalink)
                So Bushie, when you cut into a matzah ball, you need to cut it away from you and then eat it with the soup???
                quote:
                Originally posted by Bushie

                Yeah, my mother taught me all the usual manner stuff, but she used to drive me crazy with one particular thing. When we would eat soup in restaurants, she insisted that we scoop the spoon AWAY toward the opposite side of the bowl. She said that was the "proper" way to eat soup in public. I never could understand what the hell difference it made, and I always felt like pouring the soup over her head when she would bug me about it.

                Today, I eat soup like "normal" people, when I bother to use a spoon at all!
                 
                #8
                  Bushie

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                  RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 9:00 AM (permalink)
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by CheeseWit

                  So Bushie, when you cut into a matzah ball, you need to cut it away from you and then eat it with the soup???



                  Ok, CheeseWit. I've had this nagging suspicion that I didn't understand your question this morning, so I'm editing this post.

                  If you're asking "how would I be able to cut a matzah ball away from me", that's a good question. As I indicated earlier, I'm not too good at cutting those first few bites without the thing rolling around in the bowl anyway. To cut it in the opposite direction would be near impossible for me.

                  Hope I got it right this time.
                   
                  #9
                    Lone Star

                    • Total Posts: 1730
                    • Joined: 5/22/2003
                    • Location: Houston, TX
                    RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 10:05 AM (permalink)
                    Eric, I hope you got some therapy....

                    Another one from my family, serve and pass to the left, clear to the right. Unless it was my Grandma Rose. She would snatch up plates when she thought dinner should be through whether you were finished or not.

                    Oh yes, napkin on your chair if you had to leave the table, to the right side of your plate when you were finished.
                     
                    #10
                      VibrationGuy

                      • Total Posts: 229
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                      • Location: Seattle, WA
                      RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Fri, 06/27/03 1:28 PM (permalink)
                      "As a ship goes out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me".

                      I'm not sure about the "California Style" reference; what's described is European service, with the salad after the entree / roast. California is widely credited (thanks to Lawry's Prime Rib in Ell Lay) with the innovation of serving the salad before the entree, which works really well for a la minute cooking in restaurants, as it gives the kichen some respite from hungry diners planning mutiny.

                      Oooh, oooh, ooh. Another one from mom. Coffee mugs are for truck drivers. Gentlepeople are served with a cup and saucer. (to this day, my mother uses a china cup for coffee, even in the office and car).

                      Eric, Who Gave Up On Therapy And Eats Heavily Instead
                       
                      #11
                        CheeseWit

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                        RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 10:43 AM (permalink)
                        Bushie, I was just trying to be funny. I, too, was told to eat soup with the spoon going away from me. It was when I was eating matzah ball soup that I usually "messed up" and ate the soup any way that I could. Now that I'm an adult, I eat my soup any way I please, but I still hear my mother's voice. Is this Jewish guilt??
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by Bushie

                        quote:
                        Originally posted by CheeseWit

                        So Bushie, when you cut into a matzah ball, you need to cut it away from you and then eat it with the soup???



                        Ok, CheeseWit. I've had this nagging suspicion that I didn't understand your question this morning, so I'm editing this post.

                        If you're asking "how would I be able to cut a matzah ball away from me", that's a good question. As I indicated earlier, I'm not too good at cutting those first few bites without the thing rolling around in the bowl anyway. To cut it in the opposite direction would be near impossible for me.

                        Hope I got it right this time.
                         
                        #12
                          goldsborscht

                          • Total Posts: 128
                          • Joined: 4/16/2003
                          • Location: brooklyn, NY
                          RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 6:12 PM (permalink)
                          No meal without bread. No meal with mayo or ketchup. No silence while eating. No chain fast food. No leaving food on the plate. Never eat alone. Food is to be enjoyed.
                           
                          #13
                            Sundancer7

                            RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 7:59 PM (permalink)
                            Mom taught me something that I believe is a mistake. She always said when we left food on the plate that children in China were starving and we should clean our plate. That led to something that I have been fighting my entire life is being overweight.

                            I learned a lesson from that and I never insisted my daughter clean the plate. At 34, she is as thin as a rail, me? I fight being overweight constantly. I am not overweight, but it is not due to me not wanting to be that way. I am constantly hungry, but I limit myself to no more than two meals a day and most of the time only one. However, I always enjoy evening libation

                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN
                             
                            #14
                              Bushie

                              • Total Posts: 2902
                              • Joined: 4/21/2001
                              • Location: Round Rock, TX
                              RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 8:01 PM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by CheeseWit

                              Bushie, I was just trying to be funny. I, too, was told to eat soup with the spoon going away from me. It was when I was eating matzah ball soup that I usually "messed up" and ate the soup any way that I could. Now that I'm an adult, I eat my soup any way I please, but I still hear my mother's voice. Is this Jewish guilt??



                              Hey, CW, you ARE funny! I think it's just a "Mother" thing. G-d bless 'em.
                               
                              #15
                                JaneDough

                                • Total Posts: 127
                                • Joined: 5/9/2003
                                • Location: Drexel Hill, PA
                                RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 10:47 PM (permalink)
                                Bushie:

                                Yes, CheeseWit IS funny... that's one of the reasons I'm marrying the guy...

                                JaneDough
                                 
                                #16
                                  BigGlenn

                                  RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Sat, 06/28/03 11:41 PM (permalink)
                                  No sleeping at the Table! Hot Summer evening after a hard days worth of playing I started to nod off.....then BAM! I found myself getting up off the floor. Thanks Dad! My personal pet peeve is "SMACKING" it just kills me. I have left restaurants if I hear other people smacking. In some cultures is seems to be the Norm. But it just drives me nuts! Time for another session with the Doc I know!
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Bushie

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                                    RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Mon, 06/30/03 10:26 AM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by JaneDough

                                    Bushie:

                                    Yes, CheeseWit IS funny... that's one of the reasons I'm marrying the guy...

                                    JaneDough


                                    As Jessica Rabbit said when asked why on earth she was attracted to Roger Rabbit, "He makes me laugh."
                                     
                                    #18
                                      vinelady

                                      • Total Posts: 162
                                      • Joined: 4/14/2003
                                      • Location: Seattle, WA
                                      RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Mon, 06/30/03 7:51 PM (permalink)
                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


                                      She was a big fan of eating salad "California-Style"...don't know why it is called that. That's when the salad course is served between the main course and dessert. So for us dinner would be 1. Soup, 2.Main Course, 3. Salad, 4. Dessert. Some of our relatives did the same thing, but not all.


                                      This is also very European. My partner is the same way.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        N. O. Ben

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                                        • Joined: 1/13/2001
                                        • Location: Longview, TX
                                        RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Wed, 07/2/03 10:00 AM (permalink)
                                        I always had to warn guests at my mother's to take their plates to the kitchen or she would refill them without hesitation whether you said NO or not.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          EliseT

                                          • Total Posts: 2849
                                          • Joined: 7/11/2001
                                          • Location: L.A, CA
                                          RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Wed, 07/2/03 5:45 PM (permalink)
                                          Oooh, that reminds me...one time a visitor placed her hand over the teacup to prevent a refill and my mom accidentally poured hot tea all over it!!! I remember how shocked my mom was that anyone would do something so crazy.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            CCJPO

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                                            • Location: Fallon, NV
                                            RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Wed, 07/2/03 9:35 PM (permalink)
                                            FHB - Family Hold Back. When we would have unexpected company for supper, my mom or dad would say FHB. It meant that the kids shouldn't eat much, so that the guests would have enough to eat. We would then get peanut butter sandwiches later to fill us up.

                                            Also, always pull the chair out for your mother or other female adult guests when sitting down for supper. Sisters and young female guests were fair game for a "butt buster", that is when you continued to pull the cahir out and they fell on their butt. Hilarious at the time even though you knew mom or grandma was going to give it to you later.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              BigGlenn

                                              RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Wed, 07/2/03 11:57 PM (permalink)

                                              Originally posted by VibrationGuy

                                              It's tacky to serve fried chicken at anything other than a picnic (polite members of society don't eat with their fingers).

                                              Is there another way to eat fried chicken? I guess "polite members of society" don't venture down to the south much Huh?
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Lone Star

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                                                • Joined: 5/22/2003
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                                                RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 12:04 PM (permalink)
                                                Bigglen - you can imagine my astonishment when at an English birthday party as a child, the Mother announced " You may eat with your fingers as this is a party"....we were having fried chicken and being raised in Texas with an Okie Daddy I was shocked. I did not know there way any other way!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  VibrationGuy

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                                                  • Location: Seattle, WA
                                                  RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 3:36 PM (permalink)
                                                  Glenn:

                                                  Let me assure you, there is much fried chicken eaten with knives and forks in parts of the South. Besides, if you eat it with your fingers, you'll get grease all over the napkins. (You *do* use cloth napkins, right?)

                                                  Eric
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Sundancer7

                                                    RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 3:49 PM (permalink)
                                                    I use a knife and fork with my fried chicken simply because I do not like to get messy fingers. Even if you have a napkin, you cannot get your fingers clean and you will always get grease stains on your clothing, brief case, papers, cell phone, car and etc.

                                                    Paul E. Smith
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Sundancer7

                                                      RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 3:55 PM (permalink)
                                                      Mom taught me early on never to touch rest room door knobs, rest room fixtures and rest room water dispensors at the sink. She insisted that I always use paper towels.

                                                      I did not understand until I was in a microbiology class at the University of Tennessee. The prof insisted that we go to the rest room in the student center and culture door knobs, rest room toilets, water dispensors at the sinks.

                                                      Guess what?

                                                      Each came back and identified by all of us heavily contaminated by E Coli. This is evidenced by the high percentage of the people who do not wash their hands after rest room usage. When you do wash your hands without proper technique, you often leave the rest room more contaiminated than when you came in.

                                                      Paul E. Smith
                                                      Knoxville, TN
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        peppertree

                                                        • Total Posts: 301
                                                        • Joined: 6/15/2003
                                                        • Location: Austin(Brooklyn guy), TX
                                                        RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 6:55 PM (permalink)
                                                        My mother never taught me any manners. This leads to many fights with my wife. Some day I will learn.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          mayor al

                                                          • Total Posts: 15069
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                                                          RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/3/03 8:28 PM (permalink)
                                                          We went thru the detailed learning process in our youth...but it seems that more than half (or more) of our meals are not "at the table" anymore. Hard to uphold the "Mother's Standard's" when one is yelling at the TV during the evening meal (and news) !!
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Mayhaw Man

                                                            • Total Posts: 589
                                                            • Joined: 7/5/2003
                                                            • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                                                            RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners Thu, 07/10/03 3:26 PM (permalink)
                                                            Let me assure you, there is much fried chicken eaten with knives and forks in parts of the South. Besides, if you eat it with your fingers, you'll get grease all over the napkins. (You *do* use cloth napkins, right?)

                                                            Eric

                                                            Huh, I can safely say that I have never seen anyone eat fried chicken with a fork and I have seen alot of people eat fried chicken. I am sure some people do it, but no one who I know. And as far as social class differential in the fork/no fork argument, it doesn't matter. As far as serving fried chicken to company, it has been the main Sunday sit down meal in the deep south forever. If you invite the minister over for Sunday after Meeting dinner, he is looking for chicken (along with peas or butterbeans, rice and gravy, maybe squash casserole, and rolls (not bisquits, they are for breakfast) with butter and jelly (mayhaw if ya got it, please, peach or blackberry in the summer). And yes, chances are he will be using your mama's good cloth napkins. Using paper would not only be tacky, but it would also indicate the economic status in your household might be lacking.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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