DEAR ABBY: I was always taught that when a meal is served "family style," the food is passed to the right. However, I have been unable to find that statement in print.
Since I don't have Internet access, what books on table manners should I check? I've examined several at the library, but have been unable to find an answer.
Thanks, Abby. My family and I enjoy your column. -- ROSY JOHNSON, BREMERTON, WASH.
DEAR ROSY: I had to check a number of etiquette books to find your answer -- and to my surprise, the subject of eating "family style" was included in only one of them: "The New Emily Post's Etiquette."
She writes: "Often 'family style' means the host or hostess serves the meat, and the other dishes are passed around with each diner helping himself. These dishes are passed counterclockwise. Men do not offer the dish to the women on their right first, but help themselves when the dish reaches them. They may then, if they wish, hold the dish while the woman next to them serves herself."
I hope this is helpful.