It's not recipes I enjoy so much, it's all the other informaton included in the books that fascinates me. Information on how to set-up and manage your household, table settings and service, daily menus, as well as party or holiday menus.
And my favorite bits of advice are how to be a good hostess in this new "servantless" era in which we find ourselves.
From time to time I will share tidbits from "The American Woman's Cookbook" (1942 edition) with you. The purpose of this is:
- to provide a peek into a style of life that is now long gone (at our house anyway)
- give us an opportunity to learn something new (old, I should say) about dining customs
- perhaps inspire us to do things differently in our own home on occasion
Following text found on page 79:
Styles of Service
There are three styles of service:
RUSSIAN: In this style of service all the food is served from the kitchen, by attendants. The host and hostess take no part in the service. No food is put on the table except the decorating dishes of nuts, candy and fruits. The food may be placed in individual portions before the guest, or may be separated into portions and arranged on serving dishes for each guest to help himself.
ENGLISH OR FAMILY TYPE: In this service all the food is served at the table by the host, hostess, or both.
COMBINATION OR MIXED SERVICE: In this service the main course is usually served at the table, while the soup, salad and dessert are served from the kitchen. Sometimes, the salad is served from a large salad bowl, and the hostess serves the dessert at table.
I vote for the Russian style tonight at my house!