I don’t know if people will develop a love for tea parties later in life, or a desire to collect miniature tea sets to adorn their homes. Yet the endless hours spent in elaborate games involving something unusually delicate certainly builds a sense of appreciation for finery.

We teach our children to know the difference between flatware and tableware we use every day, what we use for company, and what we use for special occasions. The place settings also match the changing situations from plain paper napkins and table cloths to the color coordinated sets, to cloth, ringed and standing at attention.

We’re sure they know it’s all just for show, but also expect that they’ll understand what it means to treat guests even better than we usually treat ourselves. It isn’t necessarily about impressing company, but always about treating our friends and neighbors with respect.

Whether it’s an omelet, pancakes or Dover Sole having that food slide neatly out of the fry pan and onto the plate is to be expected. When it doesn’t, even the best recipe loses something because of the presentation. Thankfully garnish comes in handy to make up for slight imperfections.

Watching the pros while they flip pancakes in the air, or rotate sauteing vegetables without throwing them around the kitchen can be intimidating. Having confidence in ourselves is hard enough without working with tools that increase our handicap.

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