Etiquette at the dinner table; also known as why can’t I eat my peas with a spoon?

Vintage table setting
Vintage table setting courtesy of

As Easter dinner approaches it is a good idea to keep these tips on etiquette as found in the 1869 book “Good Manners; A Manual of Etiquette in Good Society” close at hand.

A few of the tips I found interesting. In this time period, etiquette advised to start eating as soon as you are “helped.” It’s interesting how these habits have changed. I’ve always been under the assumption that you wait to eat until everybody is served. Murphy’s Law always states that the slowest eater at the table (usually me) is served last. I’ll also have to try to remember not to “bend the head voraciously over the plate.” I don’t want to convey a “shocking want of good breeding,” right mom?

These are for your enjoyment and in the hopes that you become “a very expert fruit eater.” If there is ever one out there, I’d truly like to meet them!

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Potato recipes for Easter as found in the “Home Queen” Cook Book from 1893

Easter Image
Vintage Easter image courtesy of

In researching old-time potato recipes for Easter, I came across “The “Home Queen” Cook Book, Two Thousand Valuable Recipes on Cookery and Household Economy, Table Etiquette, Etc.” Contributed by over Two Hundred World’s Fair Lady Managers, Wives of Governors and Other Ladies of Position and Influence, edited by James Edson White (1893). The World’s Fair would be referring to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.

I found the qualifications for submission interesting…

“In the preparation of the Recipe department of the “Home Queen” the plan has been to secure a few choice and well-tried recipes from each of hundreds of individuals scattered throughout every State and Territory in the Union… The recipes are not necessarily all original with the contributors, but are such as have become favorites by long use.

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