Meaning Of Table Laying
Table laying is the process oof setting a table. It means the arrangement of tableware or table appointment (plates, glasses and cutlery) for each person who will be eating a meal.
Importance Of Table Laying
Table laying is important because
1. It makes the dining table more attractive.
2. It makes the meal more convenient to eat.
3. It helps to make the meal more enjoyable.
4. It helps in training younger children on table manners.
Guidelines And Processes Of Table Laying
Table can be set or laid for both formal and informal meals.
1. Determine the number of persons to be served and the menu before laying the table. Each person must have a cover. A cover refers to the place set for a person on the table. The cover contains the table mat, glass cup, side plate, and table napkin for each person. A cover normally is about 6cm long.
2. Make the table design simple and natural.
3. Choose and use colour and materials to achieve an attractive table design.
4. The table setting should complement the meal. The materials used for table setting should suit the type of meal and the method of serving it.
5. Aim at the comfort and enjoyment of the people who are going to eat the food. For instance, high flower arrangement which could make conversation across the table awkward should be avoided. When deciding where each cover is to be placed, the size and shape of the table as well as the convenience of serving must be considered.
6. The dining room, table linen, and all other materials required for the meal must be properly cleaned.
7. The pieces of cutlery should be placed fairly close together.
Materials For Table Setting
The following materials are necessary for table setting:
1. Table cloth.
2. Side plate.
3. Meat fork.
4. Soup spoon.
5. Tumbler or glass cup.
6. Table napkin or serviette.
7. Place mats.
8. Bread knife.
9. Meat knife.
10. Dessert spoon and fork.
11. Wine glass.
Procedure For Informal Table Setting
Family meals are often informal. They can be made up of two or three courses. A three-course meal could be made up of:
a. Soup as a first course;
b. Jollof rice with beef as the second course, and
c. Dessert, e.g. Fruit salad, as the third course.
To Set The Table
1. Collect evey item you need for the table setting on a tray or trolley where available.
2. Lay the tablecloth on the table. Place the centre fold of the cloth to the centre of the table. Draw down the edge of each side and ensure that it hangs evenly round the table.
3. A good flower arrangement at the centre of the table adds colour to it.
4. Place the placements for each cover. Allow enough space for each person and for serving the meal.
5. To place the cutlery, start from outside and work in. Cutlery for the first course is on the outside of the setting and so on.