Table this discussion: Salt and pepper’s here!

When it comes to dining, there are of course scores of rules designed to keep things civilized and to make life easier on those who are gathered around the table. One of the first things we remember learning as a wee tot was not to “divorce the salt and pepper.” It’s easy to remember and it prevents losing track of one or the other among the rest of the tableware.

That said, we are big fans of Fiesta and with its bright colors, it’s nearly impossible to miss. Check out these cute little green shakers ($14. 99 on the Dinnerware USA website:

Photo courtesy Dinnerware USA

We own a vintage set, but ours don’t match, because we are cheeky. Or because someone divorced the salt and pepper. Sigh.

So, from our table to yours, cheers!


Napkin 101

Normally, we try to avoid manual labor on Sunday, but yesterday we were overcome with the urge to iron the linen napkins and tea towels. Perhaps because they had just been laundered and were looking pitifully wrinkled in a pile on the dining room table, begging to be starched and pressed. We obliged and are feeling quite pleased with ourselves.


Freshly starched and pressed linen napkins and tea towels

Much better. Now we can rest easy. What do napkins have to do with etiquette? Well, there are a few rules of thumb regarding napkins that we thought we’d review.


Fold your napkin and half with the fold toward you on your lap upon sitting down to a meal.

Leave it on your chair (not on the table or on your plate) if you have to excuse yourself from the table, then place it back in your lap upon your return.

Place it unfolded, but not wadded up next to your plate or in front of you on the table when you are finished dining.

Place it unfolded on your lap during afternoon tea, during a shower or another type of gathering with heavy hors d’oeuvres served buffet style or where you’ll be seated in a living room or away from a dining table.


Put it on the table until you are finished with your meal.

Throw it on your plate.

Wad it up.

Tuck it into your shirt.

There you have it, Napkin 101. Bon apetit!



Let’s table this discussion: Plates

When it comes to dining out, the Re-find gang is always up for a good meal in a favorite restaurant or a new kid on the block. One might say dining out is a hobby of sorts. So, naturally learning the appropriate and efficient way to communicate with our service staff is a matter of survival. Today, we’ll focus on plates.

If you’d like to signal to your server that you are finished eating:

Do place your knife and fork together at the 5 or 6 o-clock position on your plate.

Don’t push your plate to the side or the middle of the table or stack with your companion’s dinnerware.

Do place your napkin to the side of your plate (no need to fold it).

Don’t throw your napkin in the middle of the plate.

In most restaurant settings, casual or upscale, the staff will know through these subtle indicators that you are done noshing and will swoop in to clear off the table, which is a timesaver for you and your busy server.