Founded in 1980 the Kitchen Garden Association was created to teach the homearts to children using kindergarten methods. This little section from an 1881 publication was for teaching how to set and wait on the dining table.
LESSON V DINNER-TABLE SETTING AND PRICKING
OH! HOW CAN A POOR LITTLE MAIDEN?
Oh ! How can a poor little maiden like me
Ever hope in the service of ladies to be ?
To handle and carry all things with great care,
The china and glasses and bright silverware.
There will be dishes to wash and tables to set,
With breakfasts and dinners so patiently met ;
The knives and the forks should be shining and bright,
The linen so snowy our hearts to delight.
For why try to be a good little maid.
Unless to these things attention we’ve paid ?
For all homes we well know, to be happy and sweet,
Must be tended by hands that are nimble and neat.
And hearts that are willing all duty to meet.
What articles are to he put on a dinner table first ?
Knives, forks, butter-plates, glasses, napkins,
table-mats, salt, and castor.
Where does the castor stand ?
In the center of the table.
What are table-mats for ?
To prevent the hot dishes from spoiling the table.
Where should knives be placed ?
As taught in Lesson Second.
What is the rule for plates ?
Soup and dinner plates should always be warmed.
What other dishes should always he warmed ?
Soup-Tureen, platter, vegetable-dishes, and gravy-boat.
What things should always he on the table for the first course of a three-course dinner ?
The castor, salt, piece of bread at each plate, and soup-plates warm, by the tureen. It is well also to
have the glasses filled, unless there is a table waitress.
How should the things he removed ?
First pass out the tureen, then the plates, two at a time, never piling them together.
How should the next course he placed on the table ?
All the covered dishes should be put on first, so as not to leave uncovered ones to cool. Dinner-plates
should be warm.
What should be done between removing the dinner and bringing on the dessert ?
Everything should be taken from the table but the cloth and glasses and fruit, and the crumbs should be brushed off.
~Childrens Kitchen Garden Book