Do not insist upon your guests partaking of particular dishes. Do not ask persons more than once, and never force a supply upon their plates. It is ill-bred, though common, to press any one to eat ; and, moreover, it is a great annoyance to many.
In winter, plates should always be warmed, but not made hot. Two kinds of animal food, or two kinds of dessert, should not be eaten off of one plate, and there should never be more than two kinds of vege- tables with one course. Asparagus, green corn, cauliflower and raw to- matoes comprise one course in place of a salad. All meats should be cut across the grain in very thin slices. Fish, at dinner, should be baked or boiled, never fried or broiled. Baked ham may be used in every course after fish, sliced thin and handed after the regular course is disposed of.
The hostess should retain her plate, knife and fork, until her guests have finished.
The crumb-brush is not used until the preparation for bringing in the dessert ; then all the glasses are removed, except the flowers, the water-tumblers, and the glass of wine which the guest wishes to retain with his dessert. The dessert plate containing the finger-bowl, also a dessert knife and fork, should then be set before each guest, who at once removes the finger-bowl and its doily, and the knife and fork to the table, leaving the plate ready to be used for any dessert chosen.
Finely sifted sugar should always be placed upon the table to be used with puddings, pies, fruit, etc., and if cream is required, let it stand by the dish it is to be served with.
To lay a dessert for a small entertainment and a few guests outside of the family, it may consist simply of two dishes of fresh fruit in sea- son, two of dried fruits and two each of cakes and nuts.
Coffee and tea are served lastly, poured into tiny cups and served clear, passed around on a tray to each guest, then the sugar and cream passed that each person may be allowed to season his black coffee or cafe noir to suit himself.
A family dinner, even with a few friends, can be made quite attrac- tive and satisfactory without much display or expense ; consisting first of good soup, then fish garnished with suitable additions, followed by a roast ; then vegetables and some made dishes, a salad, crackers, cheese and olives, then dessert. This sensible meal, well cooked and neatly served, is pleasing to almost any one, and is within the means of any housekeeper in ordinary circumstances.