Things your Mother taught you about food manners

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Lone Star
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Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 06/26/03 5:12 PM
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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?

VibrationGuy
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 3:25 AM
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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

EliseT
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 5:03 AM
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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.

mayor al
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 5:30 AM
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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.

RubyRose
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 7:09 AM
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Never, ever rest your elbows on the table.


CheeseWit
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 8:00 AM
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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.

Bushie
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 8:38 AM
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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!

CheeseWit
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 8:42 AM
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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!

Bushie
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 9:00 AM
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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.

Lone Star
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 10:05 AM
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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.

VibrationGuy
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 06/27/03 1:28 PM
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"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

CheeseWit
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 10:43 AM
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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.

goldsborscht
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 6:12 PM
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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.

Sundancer7
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 7:59 PM
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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

Bushie
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 8:01 PM
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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.

JaneDough
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 10:47 PM
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Bushie:

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

JaneDough

BigGlenn
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Sat, 06/28/03 11:41 PM
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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!

Bushie
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Mon, 06/30/03 10:26 AM
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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."

vinelady
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Mon, 06/30/03 7:51 PM
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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.

N. O. Ben
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Wed, 07/2/03 10:00 AM
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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.

EliseT
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Wed, 07/2/03 5:45 PM
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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.

CCJPO
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Wed, 07/2/03 9:35 PM
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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.

BigGlenn
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Wed, 07/2/03 11:57 PM
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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?

Lone Star
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 12:04 PM
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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!

VibrationGuy
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 3:36 PM
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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

Sundancer7
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 3:49 PM
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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

Sundancer7
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 3:55 PM
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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

peppertree
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 6:55 PM
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My mother never taught me any manners. This leads to many fights with my wife. Some day I will learn.

mayor al
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/3/03 8:28 PM
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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) !!

Mayhaw Man
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/10/03 3:26 PM
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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.

EliseT
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/10/03 4:27 PM
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That reminds me of a story perhaps a little off topic...the priest in my mother's farm town survived solely on meals provided by the local families. He would sit up on the hill and spy through the window until her family was just sitting down to dinner and suddenly show up uninvited. This left them no choice but to just grab another plate and chair. If they knew he was coming they would have killed a chicken, and he knew they could ill afford it.

jmckee
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/10/03 5:55 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by EliseT

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.


Oh my GOSH.....Me too.....To this day, I am incapable of eating the last of anything, even though my wife and son are the only other people who live here. Golly--it just occurred to me that I don't often take the last if I'm HOME ALONE.....AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGH!!!

jmckee
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/10/03 6:00 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by CCJPO

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.



One of Justin Wilson's last books said his Mama did the same thing. But if there was plenty, she'd say "MIK": More in Kitchen

jmckee
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Thu, 07/10/03 6:09 PM
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OK...I'm still catching up on posting from when I was on vacation in the Outer Banks.....

My mother, rest her compulsive Kentucky soul:

Always insisted that you should never, ever be the first in line for food at a party. She never explained what would happen if everyone declined to be first. This caused me some awkwardness when I worked at a small college where everybody got a birthday luncheon thrown for them and you were supposed to eat first. Couldn't do it. Not even once in the six years I was there.

Insisted that Wine was not the main beverage to be drunk with the meal. That was for iced tea or milk. Wine was sort of the "side dish" of the beverage world...So when we had wine with dinner, as she began to drink a little wine "for my health", the wineglass went to the right of the "real" beverage glass. Try finding THAT one in your Emily Post.

Repeatedly put forth her strongly held notion that nobody should ever, ever....ever, ever, ever....ever....everevereverever eat strongly scented cheeses, particularly Parmesan or any of the blue cheeses. This also applied to garlic, which was the absolute "thou shalt not" of her culinary oeuvre. (This was also the woman who loved green onions raw, when in season......ah well. Our family has never been big on consistency.)

When I was in my twenties, I spent a good deal of my time breaking this rule; still do. And she would greet me with lowered brows, a sniff of the air, and an immediate identification of what I had eaten the night before. But Mom wanted a daughter-in-law, and worried that the smell would drive away any likely candidates. Fortunately, I found a wife who loves this stuff as much as I do.

yumbo
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Fri, 07/11/03 2:51 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

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.


Paul -

Me too. To this day I *have* to clean my plate, even if I'm not hungry. One time my dad used this Chinese children line, I shot back: "Then why don't you send this to them?" and I got sent to my room.

The whole guilt thing around eating everything is something that I'm not going to repeat with my daughter.

tiki
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Mon, 07/14/03 10:51 AM
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with so many family members in the food business we learned all the normal "Manners" and service rules but what really remember where the cutural"rules" that came along with this crazy bunch of Italians---
1. NEVER turn down food offered to you in someone elses home--no matter how strange looking or sounding it may ba---this led me to the discovery of 1000,s of wonderfull treats as we tended to hang in very ethnic neighborhoods and we aye all the time!
2. Its a MORTAL sin not to know how to cook!!!!!
3 When invited to dinner---bring dessert--oer wine--or flowers---NEVER show up empty handed!
and lastly----when a guest belches---thank him and ask if hes got room now for another slice of pie!!!

Rick F.
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Mon, 07/14/03 11:19 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

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
You can get them clean with that ultimate sanitation aid, "mamaspit" applied with a napkin. One could use one's own, but that would be tacky.

VibrationGuy
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RE: Things your Mother taught you about food manners - Mon, 07/14/03 1:15 PM
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Ooh, I forgot one:

Since offerring guests enough food and drink that they're in danger of imminent rupture is the Prime Directive for hostesses, one will often be in the position of offerring seconds, thirds or...

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing about such offerrings is to *never have any indication that you're keeping track*. Thus, it's "Would you care for some pie?" rather than "Would you care for some more pie" or "Would you care for a second piece of pie". This form of feigned amnesia is *particularly* important when dealing with Women Of A Certain Age, who wouldn't *DREAM* of having a second piece of pie, but would feel awkward turning down "some pie".

Eric