1. Have serving-dishes and plates for hot food hot, for cold food cold. To heat a dish quickly, dip it into hot water.1

2. Use dishes suitable in size and shape for the food they are to contain. Use covered dishes whenever possible except for food desired crisp or dry (boiled potatoes, griddle-cakes, bacon). Use a shallow flat-rimmed platter for meat to be carved, and deeper one for fricassee or stew.

3. Baking-dishes hot from the oven must be set on plates to protect cloth and table. Pin around baking-dishes of coarse ware a napkin folded diagonally into a band broad enough to conceal the dish.

4. Serve croquettes, boiled corn, and baked potatoes, on a napkin.

5. Make each dish as attractive as you can. A simple garnish makes a plain dish seem nicer, and takes little time. Do not garnish too lavishly; a few sprigs of parsley are prettier than a border.

Brief Reference List

For further development of topics treated in this section see: -

Earle : Home life in colonial days. Ch. 4, The serving of meals. Van de Water : From kitchen to garret. Ch. 2, The dining-room. Barrows : Principles of cookery. P. 18, Directions for waitresses. Springsteed : The expert waitress. For servants.

Hill : Practical cooking and serving. (See ch. 6, Hospitality and entertaining, for instructions for formal serving.) Hill : Up-to-date waitress. (For laundering of table-linen, see p. 134.)

1 The use of casserole-dishes and other attractive dishes in which the food may be both cooked and served saves work for the housekeeper.