Dining Room From www.wikipedia.com A dining room is a room for eating. It is usually adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving. History In the middle ages, Britons in castles or large manor houses would eat in the Great Hall. This was a large multi-function room capable of seating the bulk of the population of the house. The family would sit at the head table on a raised dais, with the rest of the population arrayed in order of diminishing rank away from them. Tables in the great hall would tend to be long trestle tables with benches. The Great Hall would have been extremely noisy, and likely would have been quite smokey and malodorous, making it an unpleasant place to hold a discussion. In response to the discomforts of dining in the Great Hall, the nobility began to construct parlours or drawing rooms off the Great Hall. These were far smaller rooms to which the nobility could withdraw to relax and talk in comparative quiet. Over time, the nobility took more of their meals in the parlour, and the parlour became, functionally, a dining room (or was split into two separate rooms). It also migrated farther from the Great Hall, often accessed via grand ceremonial staircases from the dias in the Great Hall. Eventually dining in the Great Hall became something that was done only on special occasions. Toward the beginning of the 18th Century, a pattern emerged where the ladies of the house would withdraw after dinner from the dining room to the drawing room, while the gentlemen would remain in the dining room having drinks. The dining room tended to take on a more masculine tenor as a result.  Modern Dining Rooms A typical North American dining room will contain a table with chairs arranged along the sides and ends of the table, as well as other pieces of furniture, (often used for storing formal china), as space permits. In modern American homes, the dining room is increasingly used only for formal dining with guests or on special occasions. Informal daily meals are often taken in the kitchen or family room. This was traditionally the case in England, where the dining room would for many families be used only on Sundays, other meals being eaten in the kitchen. Often tables in modern dining rooms will have a removable leaf to allow for the larger number of people present on those special occasions without taking up extra space when not in use. Service à la Russe From http://www.cuisinenet.com/digest/custom/restaurant/a_la_russe.shtml The table service that modern diners expect at events with any degree of formality consists of being given a plate with the food already arranged on it. This is the modern variation of a 19th-century style of banqueting known as service à la russe. The Russian Prince Kourakin was credited with having brought this practice to France in the 1830s (it soon caught on in England as well), and it offered a dramatic change in the ways people entertained. The banqueting style in favor before the introduction of service à la russe was service à la française, which had its roots in the fabulous feasts of the Middle Ages, and which gave rise to many of the dining terms we use today. At a medieval banquet, each course was composed of a huge number of dishes spread out all at once on the banquet table. Between these courses, entertainments were staged, which in themselves often involved providing more food to the guests. The diners served themselves, eating from the platters within their reach or calling for a desired item to be passed to them. The ceremony of the occasion was in the simultaneous display of plenty, the wild abundance and extravagant presentation. Service à la française was simpler, but it still involved presenting the dishes all at once and allowing the diners to serve themselves, like a modern buffet. Service à la russe, on the other hand, provided a different, sequential, way of expressing opulence. The dishes were presented one at a time, in a set order. An impressive item, such as a roasted joint, might be shown to the guests, but then it would either be served at a sideboard or taken back to the kitchen for carving. A servant would then return to the table with a tray, from which each guest was, in turn, expected to take a piece. Many fewer dishes were offered, but, as this method made sampling each one obligatory, guests were often forced to eat a great deal more than even the guests at Medieval feasts. The ceremony was expressed in the decorousness of the presentation, the display of the numbers of servants a host had in his employ. Serving and Being Served, a Few Pointers From http://www.cuisinenet.com/digest/custom/etiquette/serving.shtml Serving Order At a formal restaurant or banquet, food should be presented to guests in the following order: guest of honor, female guests, male guests, hostess, host. After the guest of honor, first the women, then the men, are served in one of two ways: (1) dishes can be presented to guests in the order of their seating, starting at the host's right; (2) dishes may be presented in order of seniority, starting with the most influential and proceeding down to the least prominent guest. Clearly, using the latter system requires the hosts to furnish information regarding the order of service ahead of time. In restaurants, most groups include neither guest of honor nor hosts, so the meals will simply be served first to the women, then to the men. From the Left In general, the diner is approached from the left for three purposes: (1) to present platters of food (from which the waiter will serve or the diner will help herself); (2) to place side dishes such as vegetables or dinner rolls; (3) to clear the side dishes that were placed from the left. The reason most often given for this is most people are right handed. So, for example, when a waiter must use his right hand to serve from a platter, it is least intrusive if he stands to the left. This way, the platter can be held safely away from the guest as the waiter leans forward (slightly) to reach her plate. And, in the case of placing side dishes, it makes most sense to put them to the side which is less in focus, leaving the right side free for the main dish. And from the Right (1) These days it is nearly universal practice, even in very formal circumstances, for food to arrive already arranged on the plate (rather than to be presented on a platter). Pre-plated food (except for side dishes), as well as empty plates and clean utensils brought in preparation for upcoming courses, are always placed from the guest's right side. At the end of the course, these plates are also cleared from the right. (2) Wine (and all beverages) are presented and poured from the right. This is a logical approach, since glassware is set above and to the right of the guest's plate, and trying to pour from the left would force the server to reach in front of the diner. Clearing Order Just as the ideal of service is to present each course to the entire party at once, it is best to clear the plates at the same time, too. It has become common for waiters to remove plates as each guest finishes, in violation of this rule of serving etiquette, perhaps because it can be interpreted as extreme attentiveness on the part of the waiter. Nevertheless, the rule holds firm. The most elegant service facilitates the progress of a synchronized meal for the whole table. Table Setting From www.wikipedia.com Table setting refers to the way to set a table with tableware—such as eating utensils and dishware—for serving and eating. The arrangement for a single diner is called a place setting. Table setting The table usually has a centerpiece that performs a solely decorative function. If an informal dinner is being served that will fill the available places at the table, care should be taken to not make the centerpiece too large so that there will be sufficient room to place serving dishes. However, at a formal dinner in Europe the centerpiece may be huge and, including candles, may extend the full length of the table. Place setting Informal settings generally have fewer utensils and dishes but use a stereotyped layout based on more formal settings. Utensils are arranged in the order and the way a person will use them. Usually in Western culture, that means that the forks, bread plate, spreader, and napkin are to the left, while knives, spoons, drinkware, cups, and saucers are to the right, although the left-right order is reversed in a minority of countries. Formally, in Europe the cup and saucer will not be placed on the table until the very end of the meal. The Secret of the Formal Place Setting http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.cal academy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/portable.htm Formal A charger plate is placed at each setting. Utensils are placed about one inch from the edge of the table, each one lining up at the base with the one next to it. Utensils on the outermost position are used first (for example, a salad fork and a soup spoon, then dinner fork and dinner knife). The blade of the knife must face toward the plate. The glasses are positioned about an inch from the knives. In the order of use, white wine, red wine, desert wine, and water tumbler. The most formal dinner is served from the kitchen. When the meal is served, in addition to the place plate at each setting there is the roll, the napkin, and the following silver: knives, to the right, never more than three, and forks to the left, also never more than three. Coffee is served demitasse and spoons are placed on the saucer to the right of each handle. The dessert spoon, to the right, and desert fork, to the left, are placed on dessert plates when brought to the table. The utensils at a formal dinner must be sterling silver. Serving dishes and utensils are not placed on the table for a formal dinner.  At less formal dinner, not served from the kitchen, the dessert fork and spoon can be set above the plate, fork pointing right, to match the other forks, spoon pointing left. In Europe if many courses are to be served the table is only laid for soup, fish and meat. The pudding spoon and fork and the savoury knife and fork are then placed on the table as required   Informal Fewer eating utensils are used. Serving dishes are placed on the table. Sometimes the cup and saucer are placed on the right side of the spoon about four inches from the edge of the table. Often, in less formal settings, the napkin and/or cutlery may be held together in a single bundle by a napkin ring. However, such objects as paper napkin rings are never found in the United Kingdom or Italy. Casual Family Flower Meanings - from www.betterhomesandgardens.com Victorians loved the mystery of sending secret messages in bouquets. Definitions can vary by source, so it's best to learn your flowers' meanings by researching in books such as The Language of Flowers before you deliver an arrangement of blooms. * Allium Unity; patience * Apple blossoms Good fortune * Camellia Admiration; excellence * Camellia (pink) Longing * Camellia (white) Adoration; perfection * Columbine (purple) Resolved * Columbine (red) Anxious * Crocus Cheerfulness * Daffodil Regard, respect * Daffodil (yellow) Chivalry * Fern Magic; fascination * Forget-me-not True love; remembrance * Hyacinth Play; sport * Hyacinth (blue) Consistency; kindliness; sincerity * Hyacinth (red or pink) Playful joy * Iris Faith; wisdom * Jonquil Love me * Lilac Beauty; pride * Lilac (purple) First emotions of love * Lily-of-the-valley Return to happiness; purity * Lupine Imagination * Magnolia Nobility * Myrtle Love; true love * Pansy Thoughts; loving thoughts * Pinks (Dianthus) Pure affection; divine love * Primrose I can't live without you * Sweet William Grant me one smile * Tulip (purple) Declaration of love * Tulip (yellow) Hopeless love Stemware From www.wikipedia.com Stemware is drinkware that stands on stems above a base. It is usually made from glass, but may be made from ceramics or metals. Stemware includes: Wine glasses Champagne flutes Chalices and goblets Cocktail glasses (including martini glasses and margarita glasses) Brandy snifters Cordial glasses Drinkware includes: Collins glass Highball glass Pilsner glass Pint glass Sake set Shot glass Brandy snifter: This short-stemmed, small-mouthed, oversize glass is designed to be cupped in the hand so the brandy is warmed. White wine glass: This tulip-shape glass is designed for white wines, which don't need as much oxygen to bring out their flavor as reds do. Red wine glass: The rounded bowl helps direct the wine's bouquet to the nose. Highball glass: Tall, straight-sided, and clear, this glass is perfect for a Tom Collins, gin and tonic, or a Long Island iced tea. Double old-fashioned (also rocks or lowball) glass: This squatty glass works well for on-the-rocks and straight-shot drinks. Martini glass: Sophisticated and small, its distinctive V-shape is perfect for classic cold cocktails, such as martinis and Manhattans, that must be finished quickly to keep from warming. Flute: The tall, slim shape and narrow rim help preserve the bubbles in champagne. Pilsner: Originally designed for lager, this glass suits any kind of beer -- especially today's popular micro-brews. Frozen or iced beverage glass: Useful for water, iced tea, or tropical concoctions, such as daiquiris. Single old-fashioned glass: Smaller than the double old-fashioned, it allows a drink to be finished quickly, before the ice can melt. Balloon wine glass: The largest of all wine glasses, it allows aged red wine to breathe more effectively. Napkin From www.wikipedia.com A napkin or serviette is a rectangle of cloth or paper used at the table for wiping the mouth while eating. It is usually small and folded. The word comes from Middle English, borrowing the French nappe—a cloth covering for a table—and adding -kin, the diminutive suffix. Conventionally the napkin is folded and placed to the left of the place setting, outside the outermost fork. In an ambitious restaurant setting or a caterer's hall, it may be folded into more or less elaborate shapes and displayed on the empty plate. A napkin may also be held together in a bundle (with cutlery) by a napkin ring. Great Inventions are stereotypically first conceived on a paper napkin. A napkin is also a small scarf placed on the head by a woman entering a Roman Catholic Church as a conventional token of modesty. This practice is largely extinct in modern times. See also Paper towel, a similar item, but used conventially to dry the hands and face. Napkin folding tutorial: http://www.roterochs.de/english/napkins/ Cloth-napkin folding tutorial: http://www.centralrestaurant.com/cms/tablecloths.htm Dishware From www.wikipedia.com Dishware is a general term for objects—dishes—from which people eat or serve food, such as plates and bowls. The term dinnerware is also often used, although the definition also sometimes includes cutlery. Tableware is a similar term that is also often used. Dinnerware or dishware is often made of porcelain china, although glass and durable plastics such as Melamine are also often used. Dinnerware/Dishware is also called Hollowware. Fine dinnerware is commonly referred to as fine china or bone china. Historically, dishes have also been made of wood, fired clay, animal fecal matter, and other materials. For casual occasions, disposable dishware is made from paper or lightweight plastics. In British English the term crockery is used. List of dishware: * Plates, such as dinner plates, salad plates, or bread plates * Bowls, including soup bowls, cereal bowls, or dessert bowls * Teacups, saucers and mugs * Sugar bowl and creamer * Platter Cutlery From www.wikipedia.com Cutlery refers to any hand utensil used in preparing, serving, and especially eating food. It is more usually known as silverware or flatware in the United States, where cutlery can have the more specific meaning of knives and other cutting instruments. This is probably the original meaning of the word. Since silverware suggests the presence of silver, the term tableware has come into use. The major items of cutlery in the western world are the knife, fork and spoon. Traditionally, good quality cutlery was made from silver (hence the U.S. name), though steel was always used for more utilitarian knives, and pewter was used for some cheaper items, especially spoons. From the nineteenth century, Electroplated Nickel Silver (EPNS) was used as a cheaper substitute; nowadays, most cutlery, including quality designs, is made from stainless steel. Plastic cutlery is made for disposable use, and is frequently used in fast food or take-away outlets and provided with airline meals. Two forms of utensil combining the functionality of various pairs of cutlery are the spork (spoon / fork) and knork (knife / fork). Etymology Cutlery gets its name from the term for a person skilled in making knives, a cutler. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers was one of the London livery companies, reflecting the importance of this trade in the Middle Ages. The Master Cutler is the head of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire established in 1624. His role is to act as an ambassador of industry in Sheffield, England. History Cutlery gained prominence during the Middle Ages. Among its most early widespread uses was in the 12th century, in the House of Nemanjić. The "Master Cutler" was the name of a train that ran between London Marylebone and Sheffield (the centre of the cutlery manufacture in the UK) during the 1950s and late 1960s. Midland Mainline now operate the Master Cutler between London St. Pancras and Sheffield. A History of Eating Utensils in the West: A Brief Timeline http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.cal academy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/portable.htm Ann Arbor Dinnerware Flatware Silverware Identification Guide http://www.aadinex.com/theguide.htm The History of Eating Utensils http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.cal academy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/portable.htm Cocktail fork: for seafood or fruit cocktail, lobster, and for serving pickles or olives. Salad fork: salads, fish, pies, pastries, and cold meats. Fish fork: in place of the dinner fork when fish is served. Dinner fork: for all entrees except fish. Steak knife: for cutting meats. Fish knife: in place of dinner or steak knife when fish is served. Butter knife: to spread butter pats, soft cheeses, chutneys, and relishes. Dinner knife: for all entrees except fish. Soup spoon: to dip desserts, cereal, soup, or as a small serving spoon. Teaspoon: coffee, tea, fruits, and some desserts. Iced beverage spoon: to stir any tall beverage or dessert. Demitasse spoon: serve with after-dinner coffee, condiments, and caviar.