Tableware and fine dining

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Stronzo, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I'm tired of talking about sexuality.

    Let's go light fare.

    You're having guests for supper.

    What do you use for the good linen? Quaker lace or damask? Silver plate or sterling?

    Do you use real china or earthenware?

    Is it the good glassware or the crystal?


    How do you set a table for Sunday dinner or when you're entertaining of an evening?

    See? Isn't it fun to put on the dog?
     
  2. Ethyl

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    Simple embroidered tablecloth (merci, grandmere). Lenox china (Hayworth). Mikasa crystal (Olympus) and whatever wonderful company surrounding me.:smile:
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    KFC, sporks, Chinettes and paper napkins for everybody.
     
  4. Usually no table cloth (I hate when those things bunch up :mad:), Lenox Black Royale China, & Waterford Crystal ... & something from take out because I can't cook much more than eggs ... :rolleyes:
     
  5. vinny_spiruccino

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    Can I get a "Amen"?
     
  6. CUBE

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    Dress the table to match the guest's comfort level in dining.
     
  7. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Now there's a girl after my own heart. Wonderful company and good conversation is key. How very clever of you to think ot it!
     
  8. Matthew

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    Amen, brother, and pass the boneless BBQ wings. :tongue:
     
  9. madame_zora

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    I no longer even have a table, sometimes I wonder if I've gone too far in downsizing. :tongue:

    Some of my best childhood memories are of helping my mother serve at her Gourmet Club, it was fun playing "dress up" and prepared me well for the future. I think it's important to be able to set a table and use your more sophisitcated manners, and also to be able to acknowledge when they are and are not appropriate.

    I have been impressed at times that amoung the VERY sophisticated, extreme bluntness is acceptable and even preferred. It is more often amoung we who are not as familiar in that world that we worry more about "minding our manners". I got my first taste for extreme bluntness from an English professor I admired back in the day, some things just stick.
     
  10. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Indeed MZ good point.

    Pam Le Boutillier (a Vanderbilt by ancestry and one of the wealthiest gals in The Hamptons) is inclined to do things "al fresco" with nothing more than paper napkins, chinette plates, an old blanket, and finger foods just as you suggest. Goodness know's the Villeroy et Boch is in the china cupboard but she's generally disinclined to use it.

    It's equally fun.
     
  11. SpeedoGuy

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    Or perhaps Kraft macaroni and cheese, a TV dinner, spam and a frozen pizza.

    And don't forget the plastic pink flamingos in the yard.

    Seriously, though:

    silver plated
    earthenware adorned with a colorful southwestern theme
    quality glassware
    damask
    ...and candles or small oil lamps

    Bon apetite!
     
  12. madame_zora

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    Oh, that's cute! I used to use the "good china" for company, but I've moved so many times and bought dishes so many times that I now have a weird conglomeration of just "whatever has survived" and very little matches.

    I was actually speaking more of the level of discourse at the table amoung the very sophisticated. It was surprising to me at my first few "big corporate events" that we were allowed, as it were, to discuss some very uncomfortable things and it wasn't considered to crude for "the table". In MY house, we avoided anything of content at dinner, we lowered our voices, and everyone had to be nice. We barely got beyond "how was your day?", and if anyone dared say anything negative, they'd get the evil eye from Mom that meant "that's not proper dinner discussion!"
     
  13. prepstudinsc

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    Why wouldn't you use the china, crystal, damask table cloth, etc. for a fine dinner when guests are coming over. I mean, how often does it just sit in the cupboard. If you've got it, use it!

    As for al fresco "dining", it can range from shabby to chic, depending on the occasion. If one is only having sandwiches in the park with the kids, paper just makes sense. If you're having a garden party, you could do something different. There are so many variables here...
     
  14. pichulon

    pichulon New Member

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    LMAO!!!!!!

    A dinner for the brutes of the internet!!!! LOL

    c'mon......if you eat like you talk.....must be a dog house......LMAO!!:eek:


    paper plates and KFC!!!!!!!!!

    :biggrin1:
     
  15. ManiacalMadMan

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    My initial thought is to just take out those old tray tables and pass around a pot of stew along with a wooden spoon but that's too much of a trip down memory lane

    So I would go with a bare table since I see no sense in hiding the beauty of the wood and the table top pattern underneath some hideous piece of cloth which will become filthy as soon as the first guest sits down and reachs for something Besides there's a glass top on top protecting the wood. Why would anyone use an ugly rag to hide the fine beauty of wood? I despise table clothes although they do make up for the cheap napkins most people provide Napkins of course should be of a soft combed cotton and of a decent size, not some itty bitty nipple bib
    No silverware, I prefer stainless steel flatware since the taste of silver even from silver plate does not enhance food flavor but rather it destroys it with an unpleasant aftertaste
    I use regular glassware and have never seen any reason to waste money on crystal which looks the same as glass anyway but is more of a scare when it is chipped or broken

    Obviously it would be Wedgwood china its the only china I ever use and incidentally I use it on a regular basis not just for guests I only hide it when family comes over at which point we go back to the pot of stew and the wooden spoon...
     
  16. thirteenbyseven

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    Ah yes, Royal Daulton Biltmore and break out the Waterford Crystal for the annual Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Do send out the engraved invitation for that cad Peter Cook out on the Hamptons and send Smithers down to the wine seller for a worthy bottle of Premier Gran Cru.

    Tut-tut, foo-foo, and be fashionably late for the affair.
     
  17. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    You know MMM? There's something to be said for those old style tray tables. I know we're talking a bit off-topic here but when I was spending too much time with my minister's daughter back in my teens I was easily at their house 4 out of 7 nights for supper. And it was "supper" not dinner too. There is a difference. The minister's wife was a Michigan gal by birth whose veggies were straight from the can and her idea of "haute cuisine" was one of those canned hams. Nonetheless I have fewer fonder memories than that fare being served on a flowered "t.v. tray" in front of the tube watching some innane show. There we were; the minister, his wife, and the two brats. They're among my fondest memories. And as for the dishes? There were those plates - ones she'd gotten with coupons - and that stainless steel cutlery was standard with plastic glasses for our milk!

    It was divine.

    But here we part company. I was lucky in that I received much quality tableware from various sources in previous generations. I'm fortunate to have my great great grandmother's damask table cloth with matching monogrammed napkins too from 1901. But I only use them for guests when my boyfriend and I are entertaining for Sunday dinner (alas less and less frequently).

    My grandmother on my mother's side had things from generations of her family which when used each Sunday set a table that was par excellence. I recall those Sundays (damask tablecloth and sterling flatware included) after church services where my dad and his two brothers would talk politics when dessert and coffee was served as some of the highlights of my youth. One brother's in Florida now so that phenomenon is gone forever. My brother and I were allowed to sit and observe these learned men as they bounced ideas and beliefs off one another. They could get heated in their discourse but never rude.

    I can recall one time my brother actually saying "Gee they're smart, huh??" Yeah, they were. And I think the atmosphere in that room on those Sunday afternoons instilled a connection of ideas and family that I relish in my mind's eye to this day.

    Wedgwood is nice. But what I use most regularly on those dressy occasions is my great great grandmother's Limoges. It's a bit lighter and the clink of the silver on the surface somehow makes the food taste the better.
     
  18. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    The company is the most important part. Secondly, good food. The rest is icing on the cake. I've had 99 cent bbq on fine china, crystal, and sterling. I've had a gourmet meal on corell with stainless. It doesn't matter as long as the company and food are good. For a formal table, it's royal doulton, sterling, crystal, a porcelain and crystal serving pieces. I don't use place mats. I use chargers. This old buzzard can cook too.
     
  19. MH07

    MH07 Member

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    For "dress up": Damask tablecloth (as mercurialbliss said so well, Thanks, Mom); Haviland "Rosalinde" (Thanks, Granny); "Meadow Rose" sterling (Thanks, Granny, again).

    For 99 44/100ths of my life: tray placed across arms of recliner in front of TV with the fast food item of the day on it. Could be KFC, could be Taco Bell, could be pizza, you just never know.

    I will say, touching on someone else's post: there is nothing in my house I'm afraid to use. I lived through that growing up; you can't use the "company towels"; the china and sterling are for special occasions; you can't go in the "living room". I use every towel I have; I use my "living room" to "live in"; I sit in any chair I wish; there are times, home alone, when I WILL break out the crystal and china and sterling just because I want to do so (not very often; you have to hand-wash all that stuff).
     
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