When we wait on ourselves, this should be done with cheerfulness, and all should take a share. After the food is on the table, one person can " help" one thing and one another. It is a good plan for the young people of the family to take turns as waiter in removing the soiled dishes and food and putting on the dessert. A quick method is to place a tray on a small stand near the table, taking the dishes from one place at a time, and sorting them on the tray as you go. The tray can then be carried into the kitchen, with the dishes partly arranged for washing.
Courtesy of the Dept. of Foods and Cookery, Teachers College.
Fig. 72. - A convalescent's tray.
One mother uses a plan for having everybody help at breakfast time, modeled after the tray system of a cafeteria. The breakfast is cooked ready to serve, and on the kitchen table is a small tray for each one of the family of four. All necessary articles are at hand, and even the boy of seven sets his own tray and helps himself to food, and takes his place at the table; and then when the meal is ended each one carries out his dishes and puts them in neat array for washing.
The waitress at a formal meal has to be alert, rapid yet gentle in all her motions, with a desire to make other people comfortable, and a faculty for remembering their likes and dislikes. A good waitress does not pass a second time a dish once declined.
The waitress must know the menu, and have everything ready for each course at hand on the sideboard, with dishes kept hot in the hot closet.
The table is laid in time, she herself is immaculate, and the room is well aired and the temperature agreeable. A piece of bread is folded in each napkin. If the first course is cold, - perhaps a grapefruit, - she arranges these at each place. If it is to be a hot bouillon, the cook tells her that all is ready, and then she informs the hostess that dinner or luncheon is served.
The details of this type of waiting vary with the place and the taste of the hostess, but the following method is simple and rapid.