Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ask Mary: Table Setting

Dear Mary,
I know this will probably seem like an obvious question to you, but I’m always wondering how to best set a table. Help!
Thanks so much, Jodi

I always had a hard time remembering how to set a table. Back in the day, without fail, right before my guests arrived, I would run to my drawer filled with placemats and tried, with no luck, to desperately remember what Emily Post would do in this situation (as my gourmet meal started to burn on the stove).

Since rule-book etiquette isn’t second nature for most of us, I decided to draw a picture of my table to keep close at hand for future setting scenarios. Take a look at the picture above to get some ideas. I suggest drawing your own picture to help you stay focused and organized during the pre-dinner planning process. This will help to make the evening stress free, and allow you to focus more on the food.

This is definitely that time of year when you are entertaining more than ever, and when you’re entertaining so frequently, it’s the little touches that make a big difference. Simple touches – like a nicely set table – are worth the extra effort. Place cards add a wonderful touch as well. With a medium to large-sized group, assigned seating in the form of a charming place card is a blessing, and will ensure a really fun night. Just like food, some people go together better than others! Enjoy!

Happy Cooking! Mary

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