Table Manners

Outdoor Dining Etiquette

It’s that time of year for outdoor fun to begin. Sunshine and finger foods abound, but that doesn’t mean we lose track of our good manners. The key ingredient for these casual meals? Napkins! Finger foods are rather self-explanatory, but here are a few extra tips for consuming them without covering yourself in sauces and grease: 

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.
When outdoors, you have a better chance of remaining neat and clean if you hold them in a napkin while eating. This way, sauces and other condiments fall into the napkin instead of on you. If the sandwich is very large, cut it in half or quarter it so that you can take small bites and not have your cheeks bulging while attempting a conversation with other guests. 

Chicken and ribs.
Pick them up and eat them as neatly as you can. Have plenty of napkins at the ready to help you. If your host is a good one, he will have towelettes or moistened cloth napkins (or hand towels) for wiping your hands. 

French fries.
Eat them one at a time rather than taking a handful and shoving them in your mouth. If there is ketchup or dipping sauce, place some on your plate along with the fries and dip a fry in the sauce as you eat it. For side dishes served at outdoor gatherings, such as potato salad, baked beans, etc., hopefully there are utensils supplied by your host to assist in eating these. Otherwise, you will need to request a fork or else stick to the finger foods.

And again, don’t forget the napkins! Use them often during your outdoor meal. What is your most memorable outdoor meal experience?  Tell us about it.

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