One should also rise at the left of the chair.
THE KNIFE AND FORK.--There is but one "right" way to hold the knife or fork. When the knife and fork are used together, grasp the handle of the knife or fork with the first finger and the thumb so that the end of the handle touches the center of the palm of the hand. The hands should almost cover the handle, but the first finger should not extend down on the blade of the knife or on the prongs of the fork (see Figure 35). The knife is held in the right hand only, and is used for cutting foods and spreading butter on bread. For the latter, a small knife, called a butter spreader, is sometimes provided. After the knife has been used for cutting, it should be so laid on the plate, that it rests wholly on it, never partly on the plate and partly on the table. It is not pleasing to see a guest at the table holding his knife upright or waving it in the air while he is talking.
[Illustration: FIGURE 35--HOW TO HOLD THE KNIFE AND FORK.]
The fork is held sometimes in the left hand and sometimes in the right. It should be in the left, when holding foods that are being cut with the knife. It may be held in either hand when conveying food to the mouth. It used to be considered "good form" to use only the right hand in lifting food to the mouth, though this necessitated changing the fork to the right hand after the knife had been laid aside. The common-sense method of keeping the fork in the left hand to carry food to the mouth is now accepted (see Figure 36). When the fork is held in the right hand and used for conveying such food as mashed potato to the mouth, its handle should be grasped by the thumb and first finger in somewhat the manner as a pen is held.
When a second serving is desired, the knife and fork should be placed together on one side of the plate, in order to make room for the food. At the end of a course the knife and fork should be placed side by side in the center of the plate.
[Illustration: Figure 36--Keeping the Fork in the Left Hand to Carry Food to the Mouth]
THE FORK AND SPOON--Since both the fork and the spoon are used to convey food, there may be some indecision as to the best use of each. The fork should be used whenever it is possible and sensible to do so. Soft foods, such as soft-cooked eggs, custards, certain fruits, and desserts served with cream or sauce, should be eaten with a spoon. The fork should be used for brick ice-cream or stiffly frozen desserts. All vegetables, salads, and pastry are eaten with a fork. In the case of salads and pastry, it is sometimes necessary to cut them with a fork. It is unconventional to cut lettuce with a knife at the table; it may be shredded or torn into pieces before it is served.
For beverages, the spoon is used for stirring and tasting, but not for sipping. After the spoon has been used it should be placed in the saucer (see Figure 37). When tasting with a spoon, the side--not the tip--of the spoon should be used. When using a spoon for serving, or for sipping soup, there is less danger of spilling the food if the spoon is moved away from, rather than toward, oneself (see Figure 38).
[Illustration: FIGURE 37--THE TEASPOON SHOULD REST ON THE SAUCER]
THE FINGERS.--Almost all foods are served with a fork, or a spoon. The serving-dish for all such foods should of course be provided with a fork or a spoon. There are a few foods, however, such as bread, cake, and wafers, which should be taken with the fingers. A slice of bread should not be cut in pieces at the table. It is better to break off a piece of bread and then butter it than to spread the entire slice at one time. If cake is soft, it should be eaten with a fork. Celery, hard cheese (if cut into pieces), radishes, confections, and most uncooked fruits are taken with the fingers, and eaten from them. Olives and salted nuts may be taken from the serving-dish with the fingers, but usually spoons are provided for the purpose. Pieces of chicken or chops should be handled only with the knife and fork.