The most tasteful way of arranging meat-salads or fish-salads is with whole, fresh, lettuce-leaves. Put two or more leaves together on the platter, and in the nest or dish thus made lay a spoonful of the salad, with the Mayonnaise on the top. In serving, slip the spoon or broad knife under the leaves and keep them in place with the fork. Put the salad on the plate carefully, in the same position, not tipped over. Or you may have a border of fresh lettuce-leaves in the salad-dish. With the fork lay one or two leaves on the plate, and then put a spoonful of salad on the leaves. In this way each person has the Mayonnaise on the top; the lettuce is underneath and fresh and crisp, instead of wilted, as it would be if all of it were mixed with the salad.
In serving vegetables, take up a neat, rounding spoonful. Lay them on the bottom of the plate, not on the rim or edge. Where there are several kinds, do not let them touch each other on the plate.
Serve, on separate dishes, fritters with a sweet sauce, peas, tomatoes, or any vegetable with much liquid.
Asparagus on Toast is a dish that one often sees served very awkwardly. Use a square or rectangular platter rather than one narrow at the ends.
The bread for the toast should be cut long and narrow, rather than square, and should be laid, not lengthwise, but across the platter. Lay the asparagus in the same direction, the tips all at the farther side. Put the knife, which should be broad and long, under the toast, and keep the asparagus in place with the fork. You will find it much easier to serve than when arranged in the usual way.
Macaroni as often prepared is another dish which it is not easy to serve neatly. Always break or cut it into pieces less than two inches long, before cooking, or before it is sent to the table.
In serving sweet corn on the cob, provide finger-bowls, or a small doily to use in holding the ear of corn.
One ladleful of soup is sufficient for each plate. It is quite an art to take up a ladleful and pour it into the soup-plate without dropping any on the edge of the tureen or plate, and it requires a steady hand to pass the plate without slopping the soup up on the rim. Dip the ladle into the soup, take it up, and when the drop has fallen from the bottom of it, lift it over quickly but empty it slowly.
Croutons and crackers lose their crispness if put into the tureen with the soup, and should therefore be passed separately.
TEA AND COFFEE.
Much has been written on the importance of serving neatly the various drinks for an invalid. But careful service is equally essential at the daily home table. It is mistaken generosity to fill the cup so full that when sugar and cream are added, the liquid will spill over into the saucer. One should never be compelled to clean the bottom of the cup on the edge of the saucer, or on the napkin, to keep the liquid from dripping on the cloth.