Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Gift From the Heart Should Be Accepted With Grace

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My good silver set does not include a place setting for dessert. A dessert fork and spoon were never made for it.

I wonder, for a meal including a salad course and dessert, how is this problem to be solved? The salad fork cannot be placed above the plate with a place spoon, as it is needed for the salad course. The dinner fork, of course, has its function.

I realize some may consider this an arcane and asinine dilemma, but it has been bothering me for a good while now.

GENTLE READER: Now, now, that is perfectly understandable -- at least to Miss Manners.

Luckily for you, dessert services are not required to match the rest of the flatware used for a dinner. Also in your favor, although sad: Silver is in declining use, so you should be able to pick up a vintage dessert service cheaply online.