by Harold Almon
Be at Ease School of Etiquette Austin
1. Soup is to be eaten as follows, “As the ship goes out to sea I spoon my soup away from me.” The spoon is to be balanced, loaded, locked, and then lifted to the mouth and the soup taken in from side of it. Avoid blowing soup, (same as for coffee.) Soup that is too hot can be stirred to be cooled. It may be allowed to stand until it is palatable. The bowl or plate may be tipped away from you and a spoon used to get the last of any item in it. You could avoid doing this. Soup served in a cup can be eaten by using a spoon or by picking up the cup by the handle(s) and drinking the item in it in small silent sips (pours.)
2. Soup can be served with croutons or oyster cocktail crackers. Each may be eaten by placing them in the vessel a few at a time and eating them with the soup. Saltine crackers are to be eaten separately from the soup. These crackers can be crumbled into chowder, but this is to be done only at a very informal meal.
3. Soup may be served with a relish tray. Items on it are considered finger foods, and are to be picked up with them. Each person can take up to two of each item and place them on a bread and butter plate.
4. Relish tray items may be placed on the edge of an underlying plate in the absence of a bread and butter plate. Olive pits could be taken out of the mouth with the thumb and the index finger and placed on the left edge of the plate.
5. The rest position for the spoon is handle in the four o’clock position. The finished position for a spoon on a plate is at four o’clock. The finished position for a spoon served with a bowl or cup is on the right side of the underlying plate.
6. Sherry may be served with a soup course. A sherry glass is to be set in formation to the right of the last wine glass. It can be filled half- full, without being lifted from the table. The glass is to be held by the stem in the right hand when drinking from it. It is to be set back in the position for it when the drink is rested or finished. Sherry could be omitted.