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Cover for an Informal Meal - 14164_216
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Mess Management Specialist 3 & 2 - Military manual for maintaining a mess hall
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Seating Arrangements
After all covers are set, check the table once again to see that all covers are alike and that nothing was omitted. Be certain that spoons are laid with bowls up and that the cutting edges of knives are turned toward the plate. Place the chairs so the front edge of the seats are just against or under the drop of the tablecloth. Setting Place Cards Place  cards  are  usually  used  for  such  functions  as formal or informal dinner parties when the persons attending  may  not  know  one  another.  Place  cards  are prepared to eliminate confusion. When used, the place card is laid flat on the napkin. Setting Center Items After setting individual places, you should then set the dining table center items. The standard center items discussed  earlier  in  this  chapter  will  always  be  placed on the dining table when setting up the table. SETTING THE SIDEBOARD The  sideboard  is  normally  where  the  hot  and  cold beverage services are set up for the meals. Additionally, extra  tableware  is  placed  on  the  sideboard. Setting Up the Hot Beverage Service The  principal  hot  beverage  used  aboard  ship  is coffee. Hot tea or hot chocolate also may be used if desired  by  wardroom  members.  The  hot  beverage service should beset up following placement of the linen on the sideboard. The following steps explain beverage service  setup. 1.  To  set  up  this  service,  you  should  take coffeepots from the sideboard to the pantry and obtain enough  coffee  for  the  meal.  You  should  have  one coffeepot for each 10 to 12 diners. Place the pots on the  sideboard  coffee  warmers.  Select  at  least  one coffee pitcher for each dining table and place on the linen  next  to  the  coffee  warmers.  Coffee  servers should be filled just before serving and should not be placed  on  the  warmers. 2. To setup hot tea or chocolate, you should put hot water in a coffeepot and set it on the coffee warmer. Arrange  tea  serving  pots  next  to  the  warmer.  The number  of  teapots  is  determined  by  the  wardroom supervisor  or  through  experience.  Tea  bags  or  hot chocolate packets should be placed next to the serving pots. Setting Up the Cold Beverage Service To setup the cold beverage service, you should take serving pitchers from the sideboard to the pantry to obtain  the  cold  beverages.  Water  is  always  made available  even  if  another  beverage  is  served.  Cold beverages are prechilled and placed on the table just before announcing the meal. The pitchers should be ready on the sideboard for refills. When fruit juices are included on the breakfast menu, a galley serving pan insert should be filled with enough ice to cover half the height of the glasses. It should  then  be  placed  on  the  sideboard,  and  the  juice glasses then filled to the bulge with juice, and placed in the ice to cool. Setting Up Extra Tableware The  required  amount  of  extra  tableware  will normally  be  determined  by  the  wardroom  supervisor. Extra  tableware  should  be  included  for  occasional breakage of china during meals and the likelihood of unexpected  diners. If a second seating of diners is required,  tableware  should  be  placed  on  the  sideboard to permit quick resetting of the dining table after the first seating  has  finished. Obtain and neatly place the necessary items on the covered  portion  of  the  sideboard.  Dishes  and  bowls  may be stacked several high. Cups and glasses should not be stacked,  especially  during  rough  seas.  Silverware should be arranged by type and napkins should be prefolded  and  stacked  near  the  silverware. SETTING FOR BUFFET SERVICE Buffet  service  was  briefly  described  earlier  in  this chapter.   However,   there   are   unique   sanitary considerations involved in the setup and operation of buffet- or cafeteria-style serving lines. Open serving pans and trays provide ideal sites for growth and spread of  disease-carrying  organisms.  Following  a  few  simple rules can reduce the chance of infection. 1. Always keep hot foods at temperatures above 140°F, Discard the food within 4 hours of the beginning of  preparation  if  these  temperatures  cannot  be maintained. 2.  Display  only  limited  amounts  of  food  on  the serving line at any one time. This permits the balance of food to be kept in the pantry for temperature control. Refill serving pans and trays only as necessary. 3. Finally, use a sneeze shield whenever possible. The principal tasks involved in setting up the buffet serving line are presented next. 9-13

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