This section is from the book "Cook Book", by The Ladies of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
In changing from one coarse to another, it is against all rules of "the proprieties" to remove more than one plate at a time. An assistant in the servant's pantry or in the adjoining room to receive the plates and transmit others, is of great advantage in expediting matters, for nothing reveals incompetency more than a table draggingly served.
After the soup, the "hors-d'oeuvres," or relishes, are passed, and the plate which has been retained under those used for the oysters and soup, now comes into requisition. In Europe, these relishes are often very numerous, including the Russian "caviare," sardines and a variety of things unknown to us, but we generally content ourselves in America with olives, radishes and celery. The fish comes next, after which follows the "entree" or "made dish".
The roast is next in order. All the carving should be done "behind the scenes," and the pieces of meat laid daintily upon the platter with fork and spoon at one end. Carving scissors may be had that cut poultry and game with such nicety that the pieces may be rearranged upon the platter in the original form of the fowl or bird.
It is a custom borrowed from the French, to serve after the roast a single vegetable like asparagus or artichokes, with its appropriate sauce, after which comes the game.
In serving salad with game, in order that its crispness may be preserved, a small cold plate should be placed at the left of each person at the moment the salad Is offered, being "better form" than to set the plates around the table in advance. After the game the table is cleared for the sweet course. The servants should remove the salts, peppers, etc., on a serving waiter, covered with a doily to prevent the slightest noise. At every course, upon removing each solid plate, a clean one should be substituted.
The more quietly a table is served the more it appears to be well served. The butler or waitress should be "shod with silence," and all rattling of silver or dishes carefully avoided. The crumbs are next brushed, or rather scraped from the table, as a silver crumb scraper does its work better than a brush.
Salted almonds and olives which are offered between every course after the fish, usually remain upon the table from the beginning until the end of the dinner. As they are served in dishes of either cut glass or silver they add to the attractiveness of the table.
A side table provided with extra knives, forks, spoons, etc., is a necessity. Upon this the finger-bowls ready filled and each containing its slice of lemon or geranium leaf should be placed. These now come into requisition for the fruit course, set upon as handsome plates as the hostess may possess with a dainty doily between the bowl and plate. The fashion still prevails of having a different set of plates for every course, where the purse will permit such a display, and the choicest are usually reserved for the fruit. If but one set of plates different from the entire dinner service be used, it is customary to introduce it at this time.