Sunday, May 12, 2013

"On The Subject of Entertaining"



Linens Come First. After the invitations are issued, the first concern of the perfect hostess is the matter of table linens.  For the formal dinner of luncheon, of course, nothing has yet replaced the quiet elegance of pure white damask.  However, just as correct these days are the pastel shades in damask, or an Italian or Spanish filet, for those who prefer them.

For the summer cottage, or for bridge tables, snappy colored covers are in order.  A trip through the shops will provide no end of variety in these -- quaint checkered gingham effects, Roman stripes, modernistic designs in hand blocked linens, hand embroidered sets, organdy -- and runners and doilies galore.  an of these may be used for the informal meal, and are THE thing at impromptu luncheons, suppers, or midnight snacks.

For the children, and novel occasions, there are charming sets of oilcloth, in scotch plain and chintz patterns, to say nothing of the great variety of paper sets suitable for all occasions.

The hostess who does a great deal of entertaining often goes in for filet or embroidered doilies under glass, which is very charming.

The Silver.  Silver should be in harmony, as near as possible, with its surroundings.  Since most of us cannot have several sets, it is best to buy a pattern suitable for all occasions, in open stock, adding more pieces as the time goes on.  Designers and manufacturers offer a wide variety, from which to choose.  While the plain and simple lined solid service handed down for generations, is greatly prized by many, there are any number of "new" patterns carryin the charm of good taste, from which to choose.

The China.  The china, like everything else, must match the character of the house.  For the cottage or bungalow Early American patterns are charming.  For the modern home choose Wedgewood, or any of the many inexpensive varieties that suit your personal taste.  The home that runs to the modernistic may safely go in for china of like trend -- black and white or other contrasting color in chic designs.

From The Detroit Times Cookbook, 1936.

6 comments:

Sam said...

Let's be honest. A pretty table makes any meal better. Even my most disliked meal, meatloaf.

Kristen said...

I'm lucky enough to have a copy of this cookbook - my grandma tells me it was a family favorite. Made the handwritten peanut butter cookie recipe in the back and yum...

Shay said...

Sam, you just haven't had any really good meatloaf.

Maureen said...

Wedgwood was considered inexpensive?? - well, there we are, I prefer Crown Derby anyway!

Sam said...

Shay, you are probably right. But given the fact my mother's meatloaf went uneaten by 4 kids, 3 cats and the raccoons...can you blame me for being leery of this dish?

Bunnykins said...

Every woman should have the good luck to marry a man whose mother was not a great cook. Makes for a much happier kitchen.