Order of Dinner.
In order that a table may always look inviting and dainty, many little points must be attended to daily.
Butter-dishes should be washed and refilled; large pieces should not be put on, as they quickly become messy. It is better to have two dishes, with a neat slice or a few balls in each, garnished with a few tiny sprigs of parsley. In very hot weather the butter-dish may have a little cold water in it if ice is not available.
JAM. Jam and marmalade should be put out in small quantities, and the remainder replaced in the jar it was taken from, and the small dish washed. Marmalade jars, from 6 1/2 d. upwards, with a lid and a niche for a spoon, are convenient where marmalade is in daily use for breakfast.
Salt-cellars should be washed once a week and thoroughly dried before refilling : daily they should be replenished and tidied, either smoothly on the surface, or in some ornamental mode. Where silver or plated cellars are in use, it is especially needful to attend to them regularly, as verdigris quickly forms. Most metal cellars now have glass linings, which to a large extent obviate this difficulty. Salt-spoons should never lie in the salt, for the above reason.
Place two large lumps of ordinary salt on a plate on the rack, or in a cool oven, to become quite dry; then rub the two together till all is light and powdery, adding either arrowroot or cornflower in the proportion of one heaped tablespoon to 1 lb. of salt; this prevents it from becoming damp and lumpy.
Large cruets are not often used in a central or any other position nowadays, having been supplanted by small pepperettes, small salt-cellars, and small mustard-pots. These are usually placed in a group at each corner of the table; and, where means are not limited, they are to be found in front of each guest. Plated articles maybe bought from 4/6 each; solid silver costing from 7/6 upwards, according to the pattern, size, and weight.
The ordinary glass castors should occasionally be washed in warm, soapy water, well rinsed in cold water, and thoroughly dried. Thorough drying is absolutely essential, as any water left causes the contents to deteriorate.
MUSTARD should be of such a consistency that it will not run when put on the edge of a plate, nor should it be too thick; a pinch of salt improves the colour. It is better mixed in a small jug with a well-defined lip, as it is easy then to put it in the pot without soiling the edges and side.
These useful implements are sold from 7 1/2d. per pair, and with their aid butter may be made up in various forms. They should be scalded in boiling water, and then allowed to remain for a short time in cold water containing salt, as, unless so treated, the butter is apt to stick to them.
Before laying the cloth for any meal, everything necessary should be collected together, and the right number of spoons, forks, glasses, etc., counted out and put in readiness.
BREAKFAST is so simple in its appointments that no reminders are here necessary, beyond a hint to the effect that everything necessary should be on the table, thus avoiding the necessity for ringing for a missing cup, fork, plate, etc.; that the dishes should be hot; that a good supply of hot milk accompany the coffee; and that the toast should be properly made.