Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Giving A Dance"

By Madge (Mrs. Humphrey)

"THE chief consideration, after compiling the list of guests, is that of the refreshments that will be required. To combine hospitality with an outlay within one's means is the problem that confronts the average hostess. The well-to-do find no difficulty in it, but those of limited incomes have some thinking to do before arriving at conclusions. After having accepted invitations for one's young people from different families of one's acquaintance, a time arrives when reciprocity becomes necessary. One cannot go onaccepting hospitality without making any return. The alternative is to drop gradually out of the circle of one's visiting-list.

For an ordinary dance, whether given at home or elsewhere, there are usually buffet refreshments and a sit-down supper at midnight. It saves much trouble to employ a caterer, arrange with him the character of the menu for both, settle the price per head, and leave everything in his hands. He supplies buffet, tablecloth, glass, china, dishes, and attendants. Lights and flowers also come within his province, and occasionally he even supplies dance programmes.

The following menu for buffet refreshments is of an average description. The
cost is according to the number of guests. If they are under one hundred the charge is 3s per head ; if for one hundred and fifty, it is 2s. 9d. per head ; and if for two hundred, 2s. 6d. One cannot tell the probable number until answers to the invitations have been received, but the caterer should be informed as early as possible.


Buffet Refreshments.
Foie-gras a là Regence.
Saumon Fumé. Anchois.
Volaille. Concombre.
Gateaux Fraais.
Biscuits Assortis. Petits Fours.
Gateaux Variés. Brioches.
Coeurs d'Amandes. Crescents.
Chocolats. Bouchées des Dames. .
Creme aux Fraises. Creme a la Vanille.
Cafe glacé.

A bountiful provision has to be made, for dancing makes many people both hungry and thirsty, and it is the duty of every man to invite his partner after every dance to go and have some refreshment.

At a Cinderella dance there is no set supper. The buffet is all, and it has to be
well provided, even though the dance should finish at midnight ; for the dancers know that there is to be no supper. Cinderellas seldom end quite by midnight ; 1 A.M. is a usual hour, and sometimes invitations are from 9.30 to 2 A.M. By this time everyone is very hungry, and no hostess would like to see a half-empty buffet even at the last.

For a light supper the following menu can be supplied at 6s. per head for one hundred persons, 5s. 9d. for one hundred and fifty, 5s. 3d. for two, and 5s. for three hundred.


Filets de sole a là Royale.
Petites salades de Homard.
Medaillons de Volaille Bechamel.
Petites Langues en Surprise.
Bouchées de Jambon.
Poulets de Surrey. Langue de Bceuf.
Jambon d'York a la Gelée.
Gelée aux Fruits. Chartreuse d'Abricots.
Bavaroise d'Ananas. Bouchées des Dames.
Meringues a la Creme.
Gateaux Variés.
Biscuits Assortis. Petits Fours.
Chocolats. Fondants.
Marrons Glacés.
Thé. Café.
Creme aux Fraises. Eau de Muscat.
Consomme en Tasses.

This final item, hot soup, is of comparatively recent introduction, and it deserves the great popularity it has attained. Many a bad cold has been averted by this cup of hot soup taken after getting overheated in dancing and being about to face the night air. Some hostesses have it handed through the rooms on trays, just like tea, so that everyone may be served with it without going to the buffet. Sometimes it is served at a special table near the hall door."

From Every Woman's Encyclopedia, Volume 1, published 1911.


Packrat said...

Very interesting. (I have no idea what most of those foods are. I'll have to look them up.)

Due to the $$ involved "potluck" was a brilliant invention.

Lidian said...

This is JUST what I wish someone would whip up for our Sunday supper! (I'd make do with just the desserts, actually)

Sisiggy said...

The "every" in "Every Woman's Handbook" is rather ironic. I suppose the suggestion to employ a caterer made it more universal for those who didn't have regular house staff. But, of course, he balance of "every woman" who couldn't afford either staff or a caterer wouldn't have to worry about reciprocity, I guess...


All the dishes in french! Because I reckon the English can't cook.

Shay said...

The publishers of "Every Woman's Encyclopedia" targetted the middle classes (and those who wished to achieve middle class-dom). If I can find athe article, I'll post the two trousseaus they recommend, on for 200 guineas and one for 20.