Sunday, November 29, 2009

Old Fashioned Holiday Entertaining

Practical Recipes for the Housewife is a hardcover book published by the Detroit Times in 1934. I picked it up along the way for my cookbook collection. I thought I would share some of the entertaining tips with you today.

Buffet Table Arrangements

The table cloth may be of damask, lace or embroidery or runners if the hostess prefers. Careful arrangement of the centerpiece, be it flowers or fruit, are its main charm. Candlesticks come next, or a candelabra may be used for the center, with flowers on either side. Candles are not used, however, before four in the afternoon.

The coffee or tea tray, or the punch bowl, are placed at the opposite ends of the table. Plates filled with sandwiches, tea cakes, etc., are arranged down each side, with the silver and china needed close by so that guests may serve themselves easily. Piles of napkins, too, must be where easily reached. Guests stand or sit at a buffet meal, as they wish.

Tips for Table Setting

Never decorate your table with ribbons. (Brenda's note: I'm not sure why!)

Pickle jars, catsup bottles and tooth picks likewise have no place on the well dressed dinner table. Pickles and sauces, if you must have them, are served in glass dishes with small serving spoons--likewise jelly or marmalade.

There was also a note that ladies no longer have to retire to the drawing room while the gentlemen smoke. All I could think of is how I make people go outside if they need to smoke, It's interesting to learn that in 1934 the ladies of the house were already taking a stand:)



  1. A genteel way of life, my mother-in-law who is 90 now must have had this book. It sounds just like her teachings.
    Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

  2. Oh how I was born too late,love the beauty of homemaking.

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  4. I see its available via pdf. I wonder if its still possible to get the physical book. I love old housekeeping publications like this.



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