Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eating Etiquette, Part III

This is a continuation of a four part series from the same Social Manual for Seminarians by Rev. Thomas Case and Rev. Leo Gainor, O.P, that I have quoted from previously. The previous posts can be found here: Part I and Part II.


Table Manners

III. The Pig

He digs in the moment he is served. He knows he doesn't have to wait for the hostess, who will be served last, but he's apparently too hungry to remember that he should wait until two or three others at the table have also been served. (This practice applies when you are a guest at another's table. When you are in your own seminary you follow the custom of your house, as mentioned in the previous chapter.)

He uses a piece of bread, tightly gripped in his hand, to mop up every last drop of sauce, every last morsel of food. His plate then looks as if it had just come out of the dishwasher. If his favorite food is bread and gravy, he may break off a small piece of bread, drop it into the sauce, then eat the bread with his fork - but he shouldn't scrub or mop or use an unbroken slice of bread.

He spreads butter on his bread in midair and all at once, as if he intended to eat the whole piece in one bite. Except in the case of tiny, hot biscuits, bread should be broken and buttered only as needed - in quarters or bite sizes. it should be held against the rim of the butter plate during the spreading, and not waved all over the place or held chest high.

He cuts up his whole plateful of food at one time, as if he couldn't bear to stop eating once he had begun. Unless he is under ten years old (and we are not) he should cut his food only as he eats it.

He drinks his coffee and spoons his soup with a loud sucking noise. He tilts his soup bowl or plate toward him. Properly, he would tip it away from him, just as - properly - he would spoon the soup away from him. But this is not the shortest distance between two points, and the pig is blatantly starving.

He elbows his way through the meal. When he cuts, his spare arm serves as a prop, enabling him to eat much faster. Elbows on the table are "socially acceptable" when you are not eating, but the safest course is to keep your spare hand in your lap. While you're eating, your elbows should be as close to your body as in a good golf swing.

He gnaws on bones, as if he's afraid to miss the tiniest morsel of meat.

He sucks his fingers, on the same sort of comuplsion. If he is so messy as to get food on his fingers, he should use a finger bowl and/or the napkin, not his lips, to clean up.

He squeezes the last drop of juice from his half grapefruit. If you can't get it out with a spoon, it's out of bounds.

Finally, when he's finished he pushes his plate away from him as if to say, "Well, that was good, now what do we eat?" Instead, he should sit quietly without rearranging the table, without pushing or tilting his chair back, and without loosening his belt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a pig...
Who'da thunk it?

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