Luncheon Dishes. - Ordinary luncheons, as a rule, have fewer courses than dinner, but in other respects they are almost identical, and may comprise hors d'oeurves, soup, fish, meat, poultry or game, sweets and savouries. Hors d'ourves are almost invariably served as a preliminary; either soup or fish is frequently omitted, and the sweets provided are of a comparatively simple characters, such as soufflés, milk puddings, fruit tarts, compôte of fruit, etc. A joint of meat, a fruit tart or stewed fruit, or a suet or milk pudding, constitute the luncheon of many who dine late, more especially when the household includes children who share the midday meal. Or the luncheon may consist of the cold remains of the previous night's dinner, in which case parts of birds, tarts, creams, jellies, etc., are usually made more presentable by being cut into portions suitable for serving, and neatly arranged on a dish.
The Service of Luncheon varies considerably, for while luncheon à la Russe may be said to predominate in fashionable circles, yet a very large number of people still follow the older custom of having all the hot dishes placed upon the table.
The table arrangements for luncheons served à la Russe are the same as for dinner, the centre of the table being occupied by nothing but fruit, flowers, cruets, and other articles used in the service. Under any circumstances, each cover should comprise one large and one small knife, a fork, and a small fork for the hors d'oeuvre, but the old custom of placing a small fork and dessertspoon is no longer followed, except at informal meals. When fish is included in the menu, the knife and fork provided for its service must be laid to the right and left, on the outside of those already on the table, and if soup is to be served, a soup spoon or a tablespoon must be placed to the right, outside the fish knife. According to present fashion, the maximum alllowed to each cover is two knives and two forks, one fish knife and fork, and one soup spoon, all of which should be placed a quarter inch from each other and one inch from the edge of the table. When the dishes are placed upon the table, instead of being served à la Russe, each dish to be carved must be accompanied by appropriate carving-knives and forks, and each entrée, or sweet, by a tablespoon and fork. The wine to be served will determine the number of glasses to be used. If, say, claret, hock and minerals are selected, then tumblers, hock and claret glasses should be provided; but glasses should never appear on the table unless the wine to which they are appropriate is to be served.
Table-napkins should be placed in the space between the knives and forks.