Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1875

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A joint of meat, a fruit tart or stewed fruit, or a suet or milk pudding, constitute the luncheon of many who dine late, more especially when the household includes children who share the midday meal. Or the luncheon may consist of the cold remains of the previous night's dinner, in which case parts of birds, tarts, creams, jellies, etc., are usually made more presentable by being cut into portions suitable for serving, and neatly arranged on a dish. A tart with a huge gap is an unsightly object, but it presents an altogether different appearance when the fruit is placed at the bottom of a glass dish, with the pastry cut in sections and arranged at equal distances on the top of it.

The Service of Luncheon varies considerably, for while luncheon à la Russe may be said to predominate in fashionable circles, yet a very large number of people still follow the older custom of having all the hot dishes placed upon the table.

The table arrangements for luncheons served à la Russe are the same as for dinner, the centre of the table being occupied by nothing but fruit, flowers, cruets, and other articles used in the service. Under any circumstances, each cover should comprise two large knives, with forks of corresponding size, but the old custom of placing a small fork and dessertspoon at right angles to them is no longer followed, except at informal meals. When fish is included in the menu, the knife and fork provided for its service must be laid to the right and left, on the outside of those already on the table, and if soup is to be served, a table-spoon must be placed to the right, outside the fish knife. According to present fashion, the maximum allowed to each cover is two large knives and forks, one fish knife and fork, and one tablespoon for soup, all of which should be placed a quarter of an inch from each other, and one inch from the edge of the table. When the dishes are placed upon the table, instead of being served à la Russe, each dish to be c must be accompanied by appropriate carving-knives and forks, and each entrée, or sweet, by a tablespoon and fork. The wine to be served will determine the number and kind of glasses to be used. If, say, claret, hock and minerals are selected, then tumblers, hock and claret glasses should be provided; but glasses should never appear on the table in a private dining-room unless the wine to which they are appropriate is to be served.

The table-napkins should be placed in the space between the knives and forks, either folded in some neat design that will form a receptacle for the bread, or left unfolded with the bread laid on the top, the latter being the newer, although less effective, method of the two.

A custom that is coming more and more into favour is that of placing a very small cruet to each cover, or sometimes one small cruet is made to do duty for two persons. When fewer and larger cruets are used, each cover should include a small salt-cellar, or, what is still better, a small silver salt-dredger.

It is almost needless to add that the disposal of the dishes, salads,