Setting up a table in an African space was unfamiliar and still is for some people especially from the rural aura. Usually, food is placed on the ground at a center place or by the fire and all family members gather around the food and eat. Now that we have tables, kitchen tops and raised surfaces to place our food how do you set the table in preparation of a meal?
Preparation should not only be limited to the kitchen since presentation is of concern to persons being served. It creates a sense of importance that someone actually took the time to set the table for them.
There are some important points to consider while setting a table
- Which setting are you trying to create?
- The number of persons sitting on that table.
- The size of the table.
- The type of food being served.
Types of table setting
Formal, Informal, Basic and Buffet setting. Each type of table setting is suited for a different occasion and has different users. In a case that you are setting your table at home then that is the informal table setting.
The formal setting is for work-related events. This includes dinner meetings, corporate functions and so on. The tone for this setting must reflect the seriousness of the function. Informal settings are the everyday ones, where you set tables for family and friends. Buffet settings on the other hand are more commercial, for large events with many guests. Buffet settings are designed to save on serving time and make the event more organized.
Table setting rules
Table setting rules are premised from the utensils used on the table, hence any table setting can benefit from these rules. For instance, all utensils are arranged in a chronological manner from starter meal to the last course of meal. This rule allows movement of utensils with ease and without confusion. Secondly, the knives, spoons and forks are arranged in a particular manner.
All forks are arranged on the left side of the plate also known as charger which is the center plate. The dessert and oyster fork are exempted from this arrangement. The dessert fork is placed above the plate while the oyster fork is placed on the right side of the charger. While setting a table one ought to consider that all spoons are placed on the right as a rule with the exception of a desert spoon. Lastly, when arranging a table, all the utensils should be an inch apart with evenness.
What you need to set up your breakfast table
You may need a cup for your tea or porridge. The cup is accompanied by a saucer to place hot substances. Secondly, you may want to add a glass to hold your juice or lemon and honey water. Thirdly, a plate may be of use to hold your toast, pancake or scrambled eggs. In order to fully set the table, some silverware is required such as the butter knife and some spoons. Lastly, a bowl for the cereal lovers is of essence. Every placement should be an inch away from the edge, set in accordance with the order of food being taken and from bottom to top always placing the glasses at the top part of the table.
What you need to set up your lunch table
Items you may require include but are not limited to the list below; place-mats, luncheon plates, silverware, glasses and a cloth napkin. Some salt and pepper will go a long way as well as a center piece. The same table setting rules apply when it comes to setting your table for lunch.
For most dinner settings what you need to set a table does not change. Often, you will need pretty much everything listed on the lunch table. Occasionally, you may add some wine glass, placements depending the meal course and some candle to bring out the ambiance of the setting.
How to set up a romantic table
There are really no rules for such a setting as long as you create something that your lover likes. However, for a first romantic date, the most key thing is the ambiance the soft background music, some candles set on the table and flowers to go by. Some people love flowers, others are allergic and others just love balloons. Nonetheless, the table should not be crowded with placements. In order to set a table for two, there should be enough space to hold hands and stare at each other. Hey, there are no laws or regulation to this kind of space.
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