Dining Etiquette


I am sitting with Blanche
Weathers. In her dining room in Bowman, South Carolina. Blanche is the wife of our commissioner of agriculture
Hugh Weathers. And Blanche, agriculture which includes
forestry and all the things everything related to
forestry and agriculture farming is the largest
industry I believe in our state. It is. It is. A lot of
people think tourism is our largest. I think that we cap
’em out just a little bit. Yeah. And it is crucially
important that people understand the breadth of
the field. It’s not just getting on a tractor. No. There’s so
many aspects to it. So many things. And so many
opportunities. One of the things that I believe your
husband has wanted to do is. Expose young people
especially those who didn’t grow up with that
background, to those myriad opportunities and he
developed a way to do that. He did a few years back,
they started the commissioner school of
agriculture. Which is sort of a summer program. It’s a
week long camp, held at Clemson University and they
partner with the school of agriculture there, and so
about forty young people who are either rising
juniors or rising seniors can come. And it’s just a
terrific program that teaches them about all the
different aspects of agriculture and the
opportunities for them if they decide to go into this
area. And you play a role in that because we feel like
when they finish their career and begin to go out
for job interviews that they need to be
representatives of our state. That’s exactly right.
And so I had the privilege to help the school of
agriculture by teaching what we call an
etiquette class. And we do it at a dinner party. We set
up a a very nice dinner party and bring the
young people in and I do a little teaching about
etiquette. And so it’s great. Because you explained
to me that at the round tables because y’all go out
all the time you have to represent you and your
husband. Sometimes you’re not sure which is your glass or
which is confusing. Yes it is. And so many of the times
that these events that we go they’re at the round
table and it’s so fun to sit there and see people
trying to figure out which is my glass? Which is my
bread and butter plate? And so, when I teach the young
people, this is not something I came up with but
we teach them to hold their hands up just like
this. And so when they look at their hands, they
have a B. and a D. and so that means bread and butter
and drink. So you know that your drink is the drink of
your right hand and your bread and butter is to your
left. Cool! Yeah. Isn’t that neat? So if you were going
to a dinner, would the first thing be to put your? Yes.
The first thing would be to put your napkin in your lap,
with the fold against you. And that would be the first
thing you would do. And then we also teach them,
because a lot of times, they’re different courses
at some of these dinners and the silverware can be a
little overwhelming when you sit down at the table.
So what we teach what is taught is that you begin on
the outside and you move in as you go. So often the salad
in a fancy dinner would be right there, and would this
be my salad plate? This is your salad plate and this
is your salad fork. Sometimes the salad is
brought in and, and put you know served without the
dinner plate. And then you start at the beginning
course with the outside fork. And then when you come get
to the point of desert, your dessert utensil will
be at the top of the plate. And if it is, it is always
fun for me to say it’s a fork or it’s a spoon? It it’s
spoon, we always say it’s gotta be ice cream
or maybe custard. But if it’s pie or cake. Then we would have a fork. Now if it my salad it is there, do I
wait until my hostess begins to eat? Yes, you do.
And I say particularly at desert. You know everyone
wants, everyone wants to jump in on desert, but you
really are supposed to wait for your hostess. To lift
her utensil. And then everyone’s good to go. From
there. Now, the butter comes around, sometimes
they’ll be a knife on the butter plate and I use that
to get a pat. And if I’ve got a roll, am I supposed
to do smear the whole thing with butter? Or is there? –
Well I think I think my boys always just wanted to just
smear the whole thing butter and then woof it down. Of course. But the proper way would be to break your
bread, and then you butter the small piece and eat small
pieces of bread. I like it to do it that way. Because I
think you get more butter that way. That’s a good reason to pay attention to the rules. Now if it’s a biscuit. Can I
butter my biscuit? If it’s a biscuit you can butter that
biscuit yeah. And then at the end of the meal when I
finish. When we’re eating I think put my knife like that,
if I’m right handed and use it when I need to. But when
I finish my mother told me to put my knife at
4:20. 4:20 right. She said there’s two
things that would let the person clearing know that I
was through. But it also means that they’re not
going to, it’s no going to fall off the plate. If I left it
kind of caddywompus, it might fall off and make a racket. It would. It would. So that makes it easy and they would if you if
you’re at a dinner party the waiter would come
and remove, you know you serve from the right. Take
away from the left, if you’re helping your mom or
yeah in your home. And so when they remove it- yeah,
you would not- and if I finish before
you do I keep my napkin in my lap because nobody wants to
see a soiled napkin and then at the very end- When
we all get up from the table, we just fold it, drape it,
and just put it right back over here. Okay! Well Blanche I hope one day that I will once again my husband take me out to a wonderful fun place or that I will have enough time to
cook a wonderful meal at home, and remind my children of the wonderful things you shared with me today. Well good. Thank you.
Thank you for being such a gracious ambassador for South Carolina. I appreciate that.

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