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Sue Leurgans
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« on: October 13, 2013, 12:58:13 PM »

 When reading listings of foods served at a party, I often read the words, a remove.  Best that I can figure out its a dish that literally gets removed.  However, this not making sense as I must be missing some unknown to me facts. Do all the remaining dishes stay and only that one get removed or replaced with another? Why?
 
Does anyone understand what this means?
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Sue Leurgans
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 01:29:34 PM »

I thought it meant 'a dish which replaces another dish'.  So, sample bills of fare in Mrs. Beeton's will have a course listed like "Hare Soup, removed by Turbot and Oyster Sauce. Fried Eels. Vase of Fried Whitings. Flowers. Oyster Soup, removed by Crimped Cod la Matre d'Hotel", which I interpret to mean: this course starts with hare soup, fried eels, fried whiting, oyster soup; ends with turbot/oyster sauce, fried eels, fried whiting, crimped cod.  I'm interested to hear if this is what others also get out of it.
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hanktrent
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 02:09:05 PM »

Here's a discussion of the word that might be useful:

http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/2009/08/entree.html

Scroll down to the paragraph beginning "By a hundred years later, in the 18th century..." and the paragraph after that starts talking about removes specifically.

Hank Trent
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Sue Leurgans
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 09:41:16 AM »

Interesting article which leads me to think that it is as literal and simple as it seems.

When thinking about how a dinner of this sort would function, all the dishes would be at the table where the guests sit to eat? 
 All the pictures with the layout of this sort of dinner that I have seen, do not look like there is space for people to eat at the same table.  But if I've understood the article correctly, they do. Huh 
 Crowded table if this is correct.  There's an article in Godey's that talks about dinner parties, I need to find that again.

Then each of the dishes is passed and guests take what they like,  eat some or all of that food, then the remove is replaced and that is passed around by itself? 
 If the dish were a fancy one, then it sort of makes sense, but often the dish that replaces removes aren't particularly fancy.

My modern mind can't seem to find the old time way for this part of a dinner.
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Sue Leurgans
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"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Elizabeth
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 11:19:27 AM »

A "remove" would indicate service at table--servants stopping at each diner's place and offering the dish. The previous dishes (food and dishes used to eat it individually) are removed from the table, leaving only the cloth or a charger plate.

The US in the 1850-1865 era will be right in the beginning of the transition to service a'la Russe (or in the Russian style), with food service dishes not being put on the table, but brought out by servants and served round individually in courses.

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Elaine Kessinger
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 01:25:49 PM »

When the dish is on the table, such as the soup... directions for setting the table indicate soup plates are also set. So the hostess dishes out a portion of soup and hands the dish to the servant to place before the guest on top of the main course plate.

When the soup course is done, the tureen and service utensils are removed. As each guest finishes the soup, the soup plate is removed ( leaving the main course plate).

The covers on the platter of fish and dishes of potatoes are taken away. The host carves and dishes out a portion of the fish and hands it to the servant to place before the guest. Sauces and potatoes are passed by the guest with the item closest to their place. (I don't know quite why, but instruction manuals say specifically that potatoes must accompany fish.)

When the fish is served, the platter of fish and the fish carving utensils are removed. As each guest finishes the fish, the fish plate is removed, again leaving the main course plate.

Then the Removes (fowl in classic French dining), service utensils, and appropriate plates are brought out and set before the host and hostess in the places vacated by the Soup and Fish. The covers on the accompanying sides are removed and taken away. The host or hostess dishes out a portion of the remove and hands it to the servant to place before the guest. The guests with accompanying sides and sauces pass them around. Once the remove is completely served, the platter is removed. Once the guest is done with the removes course, the plate is removed leaving the main course plate.

Then the main roast is uncovered and set before the host. The host carves the roast and portions it to his own plate which is taken to the guest. The guest's plate is removed and the filled former host's plate left in it's place. (Complicated procedure, but can be accomplished gracefully with practice.) The host helps a portion of roast onto the plate the servant has brought back and again the guest's plate is removed and the filled one left in it's place.
The guests closest to the sides and sauces pass them around.

Then comes the Great Removal of All Things. All the dishes, platters, utensils, and even the tablecloth are removed. A new place setting is set for each guest. A new round of dishes are brought to the table.

The sweets course is set before the host and hostess with the cake plates and custard plates. Again, the host and hostess will put a portion on their own plate which is handed to the servant. The servant removes the empty guest's plate and replaces it with the filled plate. The empty plate is returned to the host and hostess for filling.
Once the cake and custard are served, those platters and the utensils are removed. If sauces, sugar, or cream were needed, those are passed by the closest guest and then removed when done.

Next the covers for the salad and cheese are removed. The plates and serving utensils are nearby. The male guest closest to the cheese will carve the cheese onto his own plate and then passes that plate to the next guest who passes it on. The guest closest to the salad will serve onto their plate and hand it to the servant... and the Plate Ballet begins anew. Filled plate replaces the empty, which is brought back to be filled.

These plates stay on the table until after the guests have gone to the parlor for tea/coffee/port. This gives the poor, unappreciated servants a chance to rush to the parlors to set out the tea/coffee/port/sherry/glasses/nosh and to light the fires and lamps in preparation for the after-dinner activities.

The preceding was from careful notations of the serving procedures outlined in the following sources (and from a few others that I just read through that verified what the other sources had specified):
"Household Work or Duties of the Female Servant" by J. Masters, 1850
?Miss Beecher?s Domestic Receipt Book? by Catherine Ester Beecher, 1850
?The Servant Behavior Book? by Emily Augusta Patmore, 1859
?The Cook?s Own Book and Housekeeper?s Register? by N.K.M. Lee, 1842
?The House Servant?s Directory? by Robert Roberts, 1829
?The Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and HouseKeepers? Guide? by Tunis G. Campbell, 1848
?Cookery and Domestic Economy for Young Housekeepers? by William & Robert Chambers, 1862
?The Book of Household Management? by Isabella Beeton, 1861
The House Keeper?s Encyclopedia of Useful Information? by E. F. Haskell, 1861
?The Household Encycolpedia, or Family Dictionary of Everything? by Anonymous, 1858
?The Lady?s Receipt Book? by Eliza Leslie, 1847, beginning page 365
?The Young Housewife?s Daily Assistant? by Cre-Frydd, 1864, beginning page xviii
?French Domestic Cookery? by Louis-Eustache Audot, 1846
?The Improved Housewife, or Book of Receipts? by A Married Lady, 1851
?Cassell?s Household Guide? by Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, 1869
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Sue Leurgans
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2013, 08:54:43 AM »

Elaine
Wow, thanks!  The light bulb moment was when reading, The covers of x,y,z, are taken away.
There is that piece of the puzzle that suddenly makes a mystery start to unravel. I had not visualized any dishes with covers and somehow that piece just made the layout of the table, make more sense. Still think a 'remove" is a silly part of the process and wishing for a logical reason for it but will continue to read about food and hopefully someday find that logical reason. 
 Grateful for the explanation.


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Sue Leurgans
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Elaine Kessinger
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 01:03:50 PM »

It is important to the 19th century hostess to provide enough variety of dishes that each guest can find *something* in each course to enjoy. If all the dishes were always on the table, the table would be too crowded. Thus, the "remove" gives the hostess the opportunity to offer two kinds of "meat" and two rounds of sides. The fowl "removes" the fish and soup. The roast "removes" the fowl.  The hostess offers a course of fowl in case you don't like the roast. It's a 19th century way of saying "chicken or beef?"

...and don't even get me started on the tid-bits like potatoes accompanying fish... or who "helps" the fish and who the soup.
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 11:51:24 AM »

Thanks so much for all that, Elaine. The "Plate Ballet" is an indelible image.

I suppose this practice of having certain guests doling out the things nearest them is yet another spanner in the always complicated problem of seating. I mean, you do want to make sure that blind, deaf, shaky old Lord Weaselbottom is NOT put in charge of doling out the salad, for example.
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Sue Leurgans
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2014, 10:14:26 AM »

 blind, deaf, shaky old Lord Weaselbottom is NOT put in charge of doling out the salad, for example.

LOL!

Had not considered that problem.  Cheesy
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Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
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