Give my kids the simple instruction to set the table and less than 10 minutes later I am wishing that I had just done it myself.
After 5 minutes of yelling at them to tear themselves away from their rooms where they claim to be doing homework but are undoubtedly on Facebook or SnapChat or Instagram, or whatever social network is in that week, they appear grudgingly to slam knives and forks on the table.
And then along comes my husband…
and the simple task of setting the table becomes a battlefield with him muttering and realigning every piece of cutlery and my already aggrieved teenage kids becoming more hostile and grumpy with every cutlery movement. Then my husband thumps the cruet down in the middle of the table, exclaiming (a polite term) that he can’t understand why they haven’t learnt yet that the salt and pepper needs to be placed in the middle of the table at every meal. Ok, so this bit might be my fault as when he’s not around we never bother with the cruet, he’s the only one who uses it.
Not exactly the calm, relaxed atmosphere start to the mealtime that I was hoping for.
I mean why would we ever want to sit down as a civilized family and chat over the meal that has not just magically appeared out of nowhere but has been slaved over by an already exhausted mum?
So there are a few simple things that I would like my kids to remember about setting the table and if I put it out there on media they might actually take note.
- Dinner plates are placed in the centre of the setting with forks placed on the left of the plate and knives (blades facing towards the plate) and soup spoons to the right.
- Remember to place cutlery in the order that it will be used starting from the outside and working in towards the plate.
- Dessert forks and spoons should be laid above the place setting with the fork pointing to the right and the spoon above the fork pointing to the left.
- Side plates are placed to the left of the setting.
- Water glasses should be placed to the right of the place setting just above the table knife.
- And when Dad’s around, please put the salt and pepper in the middle of the table!