On several occasions, I’ve seen many an individual struggle with the bread basket, the bread and butter plate and even the bread itself. Fear not the bread basket my dears! When you are the first to be introduced to a basket of warm rolls – and what a delight it is – offer it first to the guest to your left, then take a piece for yourself and then share it with the guest on your right. That guest should then continue to pass it around the table.
A roll should be pulled apart gently with your fingers. No need to saw your roll in half, open it like a dictionary and begin slapping it with butter. You’d be breaking the hearts of pastry chefs around the globe with such rough treatment! Instead, gently pull a bite size piece of bread off the roll, help yourself to a pat of butter from the butter dish, place your pat of butter on your bread and butter plate and then, with your knife (not the knife found in the communal butter dish), butter each piece of bread as you go along.
Should you be treated to a muffin, piece of toast, sticky bun or Danish, then use your knife to cut the delicacy in half and butter or jelly the halves or pieces separately as you enjoy them. If an English muffin is being served and you wish to add honey or butter or jam (as you should – these ladies that partake in a dry English muffin are just a little too flawless for even yours truly), spoon the condiment of choice onto your plate first and then spread it on the muffin with your knife.
Of course, all breads should be on your bread and butter plate that will be found at the upper left corner of your dinner plate. If a bread and butter plate is not included at the place setting, simply place your bread and any accompaniments such as butter or jam on the edge of your main course plate.
So there it is, darlings – enjoy and remember that table manners are the bread and butter of all successful social situations.
Parker Presley is known in certain social circles as the preeminent expert in etiquette and invites you to contact him with even the most embarrassing question or tricky situation so that you, too, may be top dog in any setting. Please contact him at parkerpresley@epicureanCG.com.