Today we had a wonderful chat with Kim Bailey, who is not only a caterer/chef but also hosts Food Talk in Tampa, Florida. As we listened in before it was our turn to talk about “Which Fork Do I Use?”, he was going in to great detail teaching us how to make a corn chowder and the addition of crab at the end. It was a little distracting…in a good way. After all, it was lunch time on the West coast. He had a way of engaging his audience, and dang we KNOW that was going to be great soup!
When we wrote “Which Fork Do I Use?” we felt it was as important to share some of the mishaps we have had or witnessed as a host or guest. At one point Mr. Bailey asked both of us to share a common mistake we have seen repeated frequently. Rosemarie began by explaining many people will sit down at a table (this is especially true at a banquet where place settings are scrunched together) and have no knowledge of which bread and butter plate is theirs or even which water and wine glass is theirs. Just know that (sorry lefties) it is a right-handed world. Your water glass and or wine glass is placed on the right side of the place setting – always, no exceptions. And if it is a breakfast or brunch, your coffee cup and saucer or mug will also be placed on the right. The logic is that you will be drinking throughout your dinner. That leaves the bread and butter plate on the left side of your place setting.
Linda’s story related to guests who show up early. She was hosting a fourth of July potluck BBQ at her new home for 70 guests. One out-of-town family arrived two hours early. They were clients of her husband’s and she didn’t know them well. They caught her in the pre-party chaos that all of us party-givers experience. She hadn’t showered or dressed for the party, and was in the last minute clean-up mode. The kitchen floor had yet to be mopped and in general the kitchen was a disaster. As the guests entered the kitchen, in a perky voice the woman asked what she could do to help. Early guests are difficult for a harried host. The host feels obligated to chat with the guests and every minute counts in getting ready to the party to begin. Linda quickly responded with “you can clean the toilet.” The guest did clean the toilet, and lesson learned – they never came early again!
Tip of the day:
- Do not arrive early to a dinner party, unless you have coordinated with the host. Otherwise, arrive at the designated time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, call and TALK to the host. Don’t count on them hearing a text come through.