Tea Time Tasties: Good Finger foods to serve with Tea

Q: I will be responsible for serving an afternoon tea. The hostess will be serving a variety of teas and I am supplying the food. What is the proper etiquette when covering an event such as this?

A: For tea foods usually are finger foods – small sandwiches, small appetizer types of foods, small pastries, that can be managed by guests also dealing with a tea cup.

Fans Galore: How not to be ‘That’ obnoxious fan

Q: In your survey on obnoxious fan behavior, what exactly do you consider obnoxious behavior? When a fan buys a ticket, especially if it’s a season ticket, where do you feel that the behavior crosses the line of decency?

A: The purchase of a ticket – season or otherwise – does not entitle a spectator to act any way he or she pleases. In the first place, management has rules and guidelines about what is and what is not acceptable and may eject a ticketholder for breaking those rules. At spectator sports, obnoxious behavior can be defined as outside the good-sport guidelines: Be patient as you walk to your seat, taking care not to jostle or shove anyone.  Walk slowly with the crowd, not through it, when arriving and leaving. When vendors are hawking sodas and snacks in the stands, raising your arm to signal you want to buy something is preferable to shouting, “Over here!”  If you’re in the middle of a row and have to ask others to pass your money and food, be sure to thank those who did the passing. When a large group of spectators rises and blocks your view, go with the flow and stand.  If only one or two people are standing in front of you, be polite:  “Get down in front!” will raise hackles, while “Would you mind sitting so that we can see?” usually won’t. Watch your language.  Obscenities in public are by nature offensive, no matter how free-spirited the atmosphere.  Remember, referees and coaches are people, too.  Avoid being downright nasty if you don’t agree with a call or decision. Cheer your heart out after a play that goes your team’s way, but don’t be so loud or engage in so much horseplay that your behavior becomes obnoxious. At events where quiet is expected–a golf tournament, a tennis match, a game of billiards, or even a game of chess–don’t utter so much as a whisper when the players are trying to concentrate. These guidelines apply to season ticket holders as well as first time attendees.

Dinner Party Delay: How to handle tardy guests at a dinner party

Q: I recently attended a dinner party where the hostess announced in advance that dinner would be served at 7:00 pm. One of the invited guests was late. The hostess elected to wait for the guest to arrive. As a consequence, dinner was served roughly 30 minutes later than planned. Can you please share etiquette guidance on how best to deal with these kinds of issues? Thank you for your assistance,

A: Any hostess, after announcing what time dinner will be served, might wait up to 20 minutes for a late guest. After that time, she may serve the on-time guests, and when the late guest shows up, serve him/her whatever course everyone else is eating at that time. Otherwise, she may elect to wait, explaining to everyone else that they will wait a few extra minutes because the guest is unavoidably detained. However, when he/she shows up, she should not offer a cocktail and create a longer delay but rather escort everyone immediately to the dinner table

The Fine Dining Experience: How to know which utensil to use

Q: When dining at a fine restaurant with more than enough silverware, how you know which utensil to use?

A: The simple way to know is to start from the outside in. If there is a soup course, the soup spoon will be to the far right of the spoons – on the outside – so you use it first. The salad fork, if that is the next course, is to the far left of the place setting, and you use it for salad. If you follow the order of the placement of the silverware you should be fine.

Make it out to Cash: Is asking for cash as a gift rude?

Q: My granddaughter’s birthday is in December and she will be 12 years old. I casually asked her what are some of the things she would like as a gift for her birthday and Christmas. Her answer was ‘Cash’ or a ‘Gift Card’. I told her that I thought it really isn’t good manners to ask for money, that she could have suggested a gift that I could pick out for her. She said that if she gets ‘Cash’ she can then buy what she wants. Please tell me – is asking for money rude and did I give her the right answer?

A: In answer to your question, it is not incorrect, when ask, to tell someone, even your grandmother, that your most appreciated gift would be money because. . .. you are saving for. . . .whatever, when that is the case. However, many families are uncomfortable exchanging cash and prefer to be able to select a gift they know the recipient would enjoy. If you are more comfortable buying a present than sending a gift card or a check, it is fine for you to say so, and ask for a small list of some specific items she might enjoy opening.