An edwardian maid with a dogINDIVIDUAL TRAYS

Occasionally a member of the family, through illness or preference, wishes breakfast (or some other meal) in her own room. Perhaps a dainty individual breakfast service makes the fitting out of the tray an easy task. But if the china closet does not yield this latter-day luxury, select the daintiest ware at hand. Take linen without spot or blemish, and glistening silver. Then, if cream or choice fruit (especially in the case of sickness) cannot appear on both tray and breakfast-table, keep it for the tray. Consider the preferences of the one for whom the food is prepared, and let the eggs be "just right," the baked potato crushed to let out the steam, then rolled in a napkin, and the toast rack made hot in water, and quickly dried to receive the hot toast.

Make your tray a picture; lay the fresh fruit on green leaves, and, if cress or parsley be not at hand, find some bit of green on carrot or turnip root stored for winter use; for the bright green color that contrasts so happily with the delicate tints of broiled fish or chop, or the white and gold of a poached egg, will bring genuine pleasure to one shut in, and often your kind thought will be long appreciated and held in grateful memory, even though verbal expression be not vouchsafed. The well-trained waitress, whose work in the dining-room is a source of pleasure to those whom she serves, needs no admonitions as to manners and conduct when admitted to the sick-room with a tray of food or a simple bowl of broth or gruel. The gentle shutting-to of the door, the footfall that makes no sound, and self-effacement without servility, are acquisitions in daily practice by the skilful, well-trained waitress.