Dining Basics – Part 2: Flatware

You’ve got your pots and pans. You’ve got your cooking utensils and tools. You’ve got your plates. So next would be the eating utensils, also called flatware.

You can use plastic ones and hand wash them to get plenty of use out of them, but it’s better to buy a real set of utensils. They don’t have to be fancy. They don’t even have to match. You don’t need steak knives or salad forks. What you need are some standard dinner forks, some butter or table knives, some teaspoons and some table or soup spoons.

A set for four place settings will cost from about $20 to nearly $100. Remember, this is just service for you and maybe a friend or two later, so don’t get too fancy.

The knife in the set should be a butter knife, meaning it can cut through a roll or very tender meat and vegetables, but no more. If you’re someone who eats a lot of steaks, then by all means get steak knives. But these are lousy for spreading butter on a roll. Personally, on the very rare occasions I have a steak, I use my paring knife. I can’t afford to serve steak to guests, even if I had them.

Now it’s time to consider something to drink from. And that’s what we’ll cover next time.

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