Sunday, January 23, 2011
Two-career couples were enough of an anomaly in the 1950’s to prompt the editors of The Good Housekeeping Party Book (first published 1949 – my copy is from 1958) to devote an entire chapter to the problem of entertaining guests when there was no traditional stay-at-home wife to handle all the pesky little details of a dinner party (actually, I want that life back – one of the editors’ helpful comments is to entertain the day that your cleaning lady is going to be there). Here are some of the suggested menus, all chosen from dishes that could be made in advance, bought at the supermarket or deli, or quickly prepared at the last minute.
Note: recipes are not provided. For those, the editors recommend you buy the Good Housekeeping Cook Book.
Couples’ Club Get-Together
Old English Hot Spiced Cider
Big Meatballs in Sour Cream Gravy
Tomato-Aspic Ring with Vegetable Salad in the Center
Toasted Celery Rolls
Roasted Mixed Nuts in Shell
Hot Coffee (Instant)
Why instant? They had percolators back then. I have dim memories of sitting on the kitchen floor and spinning the basket and stem from ours like a top.
Veal Paprika on Parsley-Almod Rice
Salad Bowl of Boston Lettuce, Scallions and Radishes
Hot Cheese Biscuits
Strawbery Ice Cream with Bing-Cherry Sauce
Doesn’t Mind Waiting
Platter of Chilled Asparagus and Peas with Garlic French Dressing
Iced Tea or Coffee
A Man’s Meal
Oxtail Ragout on Caraway Seed Noodles
Tossed Green Salad with Chives and Dill
Hard Rolls, Sweet Butter
Coffee Ice Cream with Hot Chocolate Sauce
Fresh Orange Cookies
Hot Coffee or Glasses of Milk
Most of the men I know are Mid-Westerners, and I have to say I can’t think of too many of them who would eat ox-tail ragout. Of course they're all in the emergency preparedness/response racket and, almost to a man, retired military, so it's safe to say they've eaten wierder stuff. As long as I gave them enough beer, I might get away with it.