Monday, February 22, 2010

The American Woman's Cookbook (1942) - The Friends Who Honor Us

Another funny tidbit from the 1942 edition of the above cookbook.

How to put together a guest list for a dinner party. Page 724-725:

"The guest list must be carefully considered. When inviting persons for the purpose of introducing them to someone else, be sure that as far as can be discovered, there is no third person to inject a discordant note. One cannot take full responsibility for the emotional responses of all one's friends and acquaintances, but some caution can and should be exercised. When entertaining a group of professionals it is well to have several professions represented so that the conversation will be general and pleasant and not turn to moot professional questions that may start a sharp debate.

Many families, too, see in their social life an opportunity to train their children in the social graces and amenities. This, of course, can be overdone if not carefully thought out. Many guests are not interested in children and some are annoyed by them. But family parties are always the logical and pleasant opportunity to give the youngsters their chance. In any case, children should be prepared for what is ahead of them. Being more at ease in their own minds about what may happen and what is expected of them, they are much less likely to "show off" or behave like the "enfant terrible." Being reminded of the uses of the knife, fork, and napkin beforehand, too, and not reprimanded in the presences of others, will make for better behavior."

I guess this was the era of children being kept in the background. My goodness, I'm glad things are different now.

Our 7 year old niece frequently declares "dinner party" at The Sister's house. Mom, Dad and both girls have to dress for dinner and sit at a pretty table. She's also quite the party organizer (birthdays, etc.). She lists everything needed; plates, napkins, forks, balloons and so forth.

These are good skills for the niece to learn young!

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