I have fun at all the musters but take a particular delight when I’m doing a cooking demo and especially making dinner that someone actually eats. Lately, I’ve been researching various things to make to create a bill of faire. The visitors keep asking for recipes, so I thought I’d do something that people would make even today. For some reason, this led me to think about table manners. It galls me no end when I hear and see people eating with their mouths open; as a matter of fact, I’ve left the table or moved to a different table in a restaurant when I’m near the uncouth. I also know that manners, particularly table manners aren’t taught in the home anymore and it’s sad that schools have to pick up the slack…..but I digress. Fast-Day-1795-1024x758

In reading about table manners three-hundred years ago, I found that it’s not so different then as now in some ways ,for those parents who insist on table manners in their children. Oh to be sure, they used forks (if they had one), knives and spoons differently. Maybe they didn’t have the multiplicity of silver ware that my aunt and mother made me identify at the table and where the wine and water goblets go, but it seems that manners really haven’t changed all that much. The basics are still with us, theoretically at least . It’s interesting to note, though that there was a whole lot more than what we have and they were much stricter then in terms of what you can’t wipe and where you wipe it and who can sit where and what you can say when you’re at the table. The eating experience was a lesson on how to rise in class and learn from your betters. And when it came to kids, WELL! there was no McDonald’s playground and the kids better not be playing at table, if they happen to be allowed at the table with adults and not stand behind them. I LIKE that! The list below is the short list of MANY rules concerning eating at the table.

There's also rules for not throwing your bones under the table....

There’s also rules for not throwing your bones under the table….

School of Manners, 1701:

Feed thy self with thy two Fingers and the Thumb of the left hand.

Bend thy Body a little downwards to thy plate, when thou movest any thing that is sauced, to thy mouth.

Gnaw not Bones at the Table, but clean them with thy knife (unless they be very small ones) and hold them not with a whole hand, but with two fingers.

Bite not thy bread but break it, but not with slovenly Fingers, nor with the same wherewith thou takest up thy meat.

Dip not thy Meat in the Sauce.

Take not salt with a greazy Knife.

Sup not Broth at the Table, but eat it with a Spoon.

Smell not to thy Meat, nor move it to thy Nose; turn it not the other side upward to view it upon the Plate.

Throw not any thing under the Table.

Hold not thy Knife upright in thy hand, but lay it down at thy right hand with the Blade upon thy plate or trencher.

Before and after thou drinkest, wipe thy lips with thy Napkin.

Pick not thy Teeth at the Table, unless holding up thy Napkin before thy mouth with thine other Hand.

To know more, check on these sites.