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Proper Use of Silverware and Eating Utensils

    The rules that are commonly observed for the use of table silver, china, 
    and other items of table equipment were made for convenience and ease 
    in serving and eating food. They are usually based upon common sense, 
    consideration for others, and general good taste.
    Using the Serving Silver
    If food is passed to you so that you may serve yourself, it should reach 
    you from the left. You will find the serving spoon or fork in the dish, and 
    you should use your right hand to help yourself to a portion of food. Use 
    your left hand to pass the dish on to the person at your right. If butter is 
    passed, a butter knife should be passed with it. Use the butter knife to 
    transfer a piece of butter to your bread-and-butter plate or to your dinner 
    Using the Napkin
    Pick up the folded napkin with your left hand, and place it in your lap. If 
    the napkin is large, leave it folded halfway. Use it during the meal to 
    remove food or liquid from around the mouth.
    Using the Table Silver
    It is important that you know and practice the correct use of a knife, fork, 
    spoon, and other special pieces of table silver.
    a. the knife is used to cut pieces of food on the plate, and to spread butter or 
    jelly on bread if there is no butter spreader. In using the knife for cutting, hold 
    it in your right hand with the handle resting in your palm and with your thumb 
    and last three fingers steadying it. Place your forefinger on the back of the 
    blade as you cut. When the knife is not in use for cutting or spreading, lay it 
    across the back of your plate with the cutting edge toward you. If you 
    remember the rule that used silver should never touch the table, you will never 
    rest a knife or fork on the edge of the plate in "gangplank" fashion.
    b. the fork is used, with tines up, to carry all kinds of food to the mouth except 
    those that are too soft or too watery to be lifted with a fork. It is also used to 
    hold food in position so that the knife can cut it. In using the fork while cutting 
    with the knife, hold it in the left hand with tines down and brace it with your 
    forefinger at the bottom of the handle. After cutting one bite of food and laying 
    the knife across the plate, transfer the fork to the right hand with tines up, and 
    use it to carry the food to your mouth. For cutting the next bite, change the 
    fork back to the left hand and pick up the knife again.
    You may use the side of the fork to separate pieces of food that are not too 
    hard to handle in this way- for instance, vegetables, cake, or pie.
    Use a salad fork with tines up to carry food to the mouth. If the salad requires 
    cutting, use the side of the salad fork, or use your table knife as you would in 
    cutting food on the dinner plate.
    c. the spoon is used for dipping soft or liquid food and carrying it to the mouth. 
    Hold it in the right hand as you would a pencil. Take only as much food on the 
    spoon as you will put into your mouth at one time. Eat from the side of the 
    spoon. Between bites or when the food is eaten, place the spoon on the saucer 
    or plate which is under the bowl or cup. Never leave it in the bowl. In eating soup, 
    dip the bowl of the spoon into the soup away from you-not toward you.
    Use your spoon only for stirring or for testing beverages. Never drink a beverage 
    with the spoon in the cup. Remove the spoon after stirring or testing and place 
    it on the saucer or plate under it.
    d. the butter spreader is used to butter the bread. You may use your knife, but 
    never use the butter knife that is passed with butter. When you eat bread, break 
    off a moderate-sized piece with your fingers. Hold it on the edge of the 
    bread-and-butter plate, and spread butter on it with the knife or butter spreader. 
    Never hold the bread in the palm of the hand while buttering it. 

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