Are Salad Forks & Teaspoons Outmoded?

In my everyday flatware drawer there are plenty of salad forks and small spoons. Next there are a fair amount of knives. But the regular forks and the soup spoons are down by about half from my original set. Why? Because unless I'm having a dinner party, and sometimes not even then, I seldom set the table with the full set. So the salad forks and small spoons rarely leave the drawer and therefore don't risk being accidentally tossed or lost like the forks, soup spoons and knives.

I've also noticed that some of the more contemporary, casual flatware sets are now coming with just the three main pieces (knife, fork, soup spoon) and this, I think, speaks to how we are shifting towards a more relaxed and less formal dining style, even when entertaining. Of course, a more formal meal would mean the complete five pieces of silverware and perhaps even more. But it's rare to see this, at least in my world these days.

I do use the smaller spoon and forks if I'm serving dessert and coffee/tea to guests, so I would argue that we cannot do without them completely. But I also like to change up my dishes and flatware when it comes to dessert, and so usually reach for my collection of miscellaneous, ecletic forks and spoons, bringing them to the table with the dessert and coffee pot.

How does your flatware drawer look? Which of the classic five pieces do you use the most often? Could you do without the smaller spoons and forks on an everyday basis?

Related: How Do you Set the Table for Dinner?

(Image: Dana Velden)

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