Monday, February 13, 2012

Jane Austen Month, Day 15: "We dine with four and twenty families . . ."

I'm not sure what it would be like to dine with four and twenty families.  All I know is that dining with my own family can be a feat in and of itself.  For example, last Wednesday I decided that our dinner table had degenerated into something akin to a barnyard buffet.  I knew I wouldn't make my children into dignified diners overnight, so I decided to start small.  I made a special effort to provide napkins (yes, I know I'm aiming high here) under the forks so that the kids wouldn't be tempted to use the table, their pants, or the curtains for wiping purposes.  When my 7-year-old saw the napkins he said, "Wow! What's with the fancy dinner?"  Napkins = fancy.  Reason 104,689 why I will never be mother of the year---or a close friend of Miss Manners. 

Tonight was the real test of our family's etiquette metal.  Not only was it our annual family Valentine's dinner, but we invited Great Grandma along for the ride.  Because I doubted my children's decorum once the food was served,  I decided to at least start the meal out right with a polished place setting.

For the place cards, I purchased each of my children a cheap little box of chocolates and wrote their names on the box in metallic marker.  When they came to the table you would have thought that Santa Claus himself had delivered the post-dated goodies from his sack of treasures.  Who knew Russell Stover could create such happiness with chocolates that taste like candle wax?

I then served a salad on real salad plates, followed by real chicken that wasn't pureed and shaped into dinosaur nuggets. 

All in all, I would say the evening was a success:  the boys kept their napkins in their laps for at least the first 3 minutes of the meal, I only had to tell my 4 year-old once to quit dancing on his chair, and no one attempted any magic tricks with their forks.

I'm not sure if we will ever reach the level of "refined" dining in our home.  However, if we ever have the distinction to dine with "four and twenty families," they are sure to remember our dinner table as memorable one.

Linking Up!
Between Naps on the Porch


  1. So I would like to know if you are passing judgement on me and my kind here: When P&M came to visit a couple of months ago, someone got sticky or something, and they were like "Can we have a paper towel?" And I was like, "No, we're fresh out of those." And by 'fresh' I mean 2 years. So then they requested a napkin... and then a tissue... and finally had to settle for I don't even know what, because we had only one paper product in the house, and it was located in the washroom. So yeah, I like to think of us as "Green," instead of "Too cheap to buy paper goods. :) GORGEOUS pictures, my darling sister :)

  2. ahahahah

    Too hilarious and honest.

    You need to take care of those special moments. In a daily basis. But they'll still embarass you by thinking and saying out loud "who's coming for the fancy dinner?"

    You got to love them for that too :love:

    Love the place cards... still laughing with the "chocolates that taste like candle wax" remark LOL

    Happy Velntine's

  3. That was a truly elegant table, fit enough for the Bennets at least! You need Jane to mind the little ones, since she loves children so. I shall be dining with the BBC version of Mr. Darcy tonight.

  4. You may not win mother of the year, but you sure are a brave mother. Chocolates, before dinner. Great post, Happy Valentine's day.

  5. Awwww, don't worry they grow up so fast and then want expensive stuff like steak and sushi when they go out! I'd love to still be able to serve a chicken nugget every once in a while! Lovely table! Visiting from BNOTP.
    XO Cindy

  6. While reading about your boys, I really smiled and my thoughts played §;-) I seems I see them infront of me, how they behave but I can still sense the naughty looks. Feels so cuties.

    Love the name tags...

    Happy TS...

  7. Very pretty those dishes. And I'll have you know I happily ate an entire heart-shaped box of those "candle wax" chocolates!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...