The English style of serving should be followed. The hostess may thus have the aid of the host and the other members of the family in serving. Moreover, serving in this manner gives an air of hospitality.
As hostess, a woman must not leave her place at the table many times or for many minutes. If the details of the meal have not been well planned, she will have to make many trips to the kitchen. This is one of the indications that the presence of guests is a burden to the hostess. She should never leave or enter the dining room empty-handed, for a saving of energy is more sensible than faithful adherence to form. The soiled dishes, as they are removed from the table, may be placed upon the serving table. By the use of the latter, the dining table can be kept free from an overcrowded appearance and the hostess saved many steps. The lower shelf of the serving table is the most desirable place for the soiled dishes.
For a family meal, the table may be crumbed as follows: Let the hostess use the crumb tray while seated at her place, and then let her pass it on so that each member of the family may in turn remove the crumbs from his own cover. It is perfectly proper to omit crumbing when guests are present and where there is no maid.
The host and the other members of the family can do much to add to the pleasure of a meal by introducing an interesting topic of conversation that will occupy the attention of the guests during the absence of the hostess. If the hostess is sole entertainer, she would do well to start an absorbing subject of conversation just before leaving the dining room.