RULES FOR WAITING ON THE TABLE
The Way to a Man’s Heart (1903) “The Settlement Cook Book”
Always heat the dishes in which warm food is served.
Never fill the glasses and cups more than three-quarters full.
When passing a plate, hold it so that the thumb will not rest on the upper surface.
When refilling the glasses, take hold of them near the bottom and draw them to the edge of the table, then remove them from the table.
In passing dishes from which a person is to help himself to a portion, pass it always from the left side, so that it may be taken with the right hand. Place the dish on a tray and hold it low and near to the person who is being served.
In passing individual dishes from which the person does not help himself— such as coffee, etc.—set it down slowly and easily from the right hand side.
When the dishes are being served by a person at the table, stand at the left hand of that person, hold your tray low and near the table, and take on the tray one plate at a time and place it before the person for whom it is intended, setting it down from the right side.
Serve first the most honored guest.
When one course is finished, take the tray in the left hand, and stand on the left side of the person you are waiting upon, and remove with your right hand the spoons, knives and forks. Then remove the plate and small dishes, never piling them on top of each other, but removing them one at a time.
Fill the glasses before every course.
Before the dessert is served, remove the crumbs from the cloth, either with a brush or crumb knife.
Do not let the table become disordered during the meal.
The hostess should serve the soup, salad, dessert and coffee, and, at a family dinner, the vegetables and entrees.
The host serves the fish and meat.