On Bread & Other Dinner Dilemmas
A co-worker was recently at a holiday dinner party and called me [from the washroom] to ask what the general rule was re: bread at dinner. I began giggling and asked if someone was using his/her teeth to rip the roll. His response, “how did you know?!”
There are a number of things that put the fear of Jesus into many people – my mother, tax deadlines, annual reviews and formal dinners. Whether the meal is served family style [on platters that people help themselves from] or plated course-by-course, many people seem to mess up when it comes to the bread.
1) Don’t bite into your bread. Tear off a piece of bread with your hands and, if so inclined, butter it. Yes, butter each piece of bread.
2) When you’re done with a particular course, it is acceptable to take a piece if bread and mop up the juices on your plate. Use your fork to move the piece of bread around the plate, in a gently wiping motion, not as if you are scrubbing away evidence.
3) Here’s the doozy. If you are not provided with a bread plate [I know right, but let’s not judge] the rule of thumb is to place your roll/piece of bread on the table cloth.
4) This has nothing to do with bread but rather the awkward moment created by the last morsel on the platter at family style dinner service. If you’d like the last prosciutto-wrapped quail, offer it to everyone at the table [pray that they all decline] and when they do, help yourself.