How to Entertain at a Dinner

This is the first article in May of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on May 5, 1907, and is the second last discussion on entertaining at meals.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Washington Times.

How to Entertain at a Dinner

A DINNER is the stateliest if social functions. The acceptance of an invitation to dine should be regarded almost in the light of a vow. We are all familiar with the dictum of a modern arbiter elegantiarum, who was also a wit: “Accept an invitation to dinner with care. When you have accepted, go, if you are alive. If your die, let your executor go in your place.” It is ill bred, because inconsiderate to the verge of unkindness, to send a regret, unless for reasons that would hinder you from the fulfilment of a business engagement of extreme importance.

The law is based like the majority of social rules upon common sense. In making up her company, the sophisticated hostess selects the component parts as she would compound a cake, considering the effect of each ingredient upon the finished product. I called attention to this fact last week, in our 1uncheon talk. The composition of a dinner party is yet more important on account of the longer time passed at table. The orderly progress of an eight or ten course dinner occupies from an hour and a half to two hours. To be tied to one’s chair when one’s next neighbor has not an idea in common with one, and sometimes no ideas whatever, so far as his companions can discover, is purgatory, not pleasure-making. Invite people who would enjoy meeting their fellow-guests, making sure to have one or more good talkers, who will act like leaven in keeping up general liveliness. So well is the expediency of this ingredient in the social loaf understood that some hostesses who do not number many brilliant conversationalists upon their visiting lists, go outside of the pale of personal acquaintanceship for what may be classed as good table talkers. The subject of table talk is one that has engaged the thoughts and pens of able writers. It is full of interest. With it we have nothing to do today.

Eight the Perfect Number.

Some one has called eight “the perfect number for dinner.” One additional leaf in the family board will usually grant all the room needed for that number. One word on this head may be useful, Avoid crowding chairs together to an extent that will make seating the guests a matter of difficulty, or bring their elbows into contact in the course of the business of the meal. Leave room for the waitress to pass plates to and from each place. But avoid, as the other extreme, wide reaches of cloth that impart to the air of a waste and dreary wilderness. Without crowding the decorations and the dishes of olives, salted nuts, celery, etc., that are catalogued as “hors d’oeuvres,” see to it that no ghastly expanses of white damask make the feast seem scantily set forth. These are minor details, but disregard of them has marred the symmetry of many a dinner.

Dinner is announced by the butler’s or maid’s appearance in the door of the drawing room, with a bow to the hostess, and “Dinner is served.” Have I ever told in this column the anecdote of the new maid who had been duly instructed her employer as to the proper form of announcing the several meal? When told the cook to let company know that all was in readiness for eating, she horrified that mistress by droping her Old World courtesy in the doorway, and voicferating at a pitch that turned all eyes to ward her:

“Please, ma’am, breakfast is on; luncheon is ready; dinner is served.” The matter of her lesson was correct. In manner and in discrimination of times and seasons she was woefully astray.

Your dinner, then, is served. You have already signified quietly to each man woman he is to take into the dining room. The woman takes his right arm, the party moves toward the entrance, the host leading the way with the guest of honor, or the oldest women present or the greatest stranger This question is between host and hostess in advance In unofficial Amen can circles there is no Axed law of precedence in these matters.

Setting the Table.

At each plate is the “service-plate,” and at the right of it as many knives as will be needed before dessert is served, each with the sharp blade turned toward the plate. Outside of the knives lies the soup spoon, with the inner side of the bowl upward. At the left of the plates the forks are arranged. Both knives and forks are laid in the order in which they are to be used, beginning with that farthest from the plate and working inward. If there be raw oysters, the oyster fork is placed at the right of the soup spoon or across the oyster plate itself. The tines of the forks are turned upward.

Spoons and forks intended for the sweets and for Roman punch or sherbet usually accompany the plates, saucers or cups containing these.

A glass of water stands just beyond the extreme tins of the knives. If wines be used, the first wine glass is between the knives and the tumbler of water, and the others are arranged in a curved line beyond the plate. Sauterne or some other light, sour wine goes with the fish; sherry with the roast, or other piece de resistance, and claret with game. If but one wine be served, it is usually sherry or claret. The waitress fills the glasses after each course from a bottle, about the neck of which a napkin is wound.

The table is lighted with candles in “fancy” sticks, or set in candelabra. If you have not enough of these to give sufficient light, supplement it by shaded gas or electric burners.

One cardinal rule in serving a dinner is that a plate must be in place in front of each person from the first to the last course. The soup plate is set down upon the service plate, and is taken up with it; the soup plate, in turn, is superseded by that containing fish, and so on. All the serving is done from the kitchen and side table, now called the “service table.”

The waitress sets down the full plate at the left of the guest and takes the emptied plate from the right. She also sets down clean plates from the right.

In serving, she begins first at the right, then goes to the left of host, or the right and then to the left of the hostess, thus going down, or up, until the master or mistress is reached last. Some still persist in the custom of serving the hostess first of all, but the fashion is passing away. The only excuse for it was that if there were anything wrong wish dish or serving, the blunder might be rectified before the food reached the guests.

Clear Table for Sweets.

Just before the sweets are brought on the relishes, salt and pepper are taken off on a tray covered with a napkin, that the removal may be noiseless, and the crumbs are brushed off with a folded napkin. For creams, etc., plates bearing doilies and finger bowls are set on from the right of the eaters. The are one-third full of lukewarm water. The doilies are transferred to the table by the guests, and the bowls set upon them, leaving the plates clear for dessert.

The water in the finger bowl is usually slightly scented, sometimes by a bit of lemon verbena or rose gerainum left floating in it, on which the fingers may be lightly rubbed. At a recent well-appointed dinner the finger bowls contained liqueur glass in which were a few drops of essence of wintergreen, which, just before handing the bowl to the guest, the waiter deftly tipped into the finger bowl.

Coffee is taken into the drawing room for the ladies. They withdraw from the dining room at a signal from the hostess, the men rising and remaining standing until their fair companions disappear, after which they will sit down for coffee and cigars.

If liquers, creme de menthe, benedictine or wild cherry are the sequitur of the dinner, they are passed in tiny glasses to the women in the parlors, to the men at the table.

It is not form for the latter to protract the sitting over “walnuts and wine,” coffee and cigars, beyond the conventional half hour of separation. Nor is it considered “the thing” to linger late in the hospitable mansion after a dinner party. If the hour for dinner be half-past 7, carriages should not be ordered for a later hour than half-past 10.

Menu for a Spring Dinner.
Clams     Cocktails
Consomme a la Russe
Baked Shad with Sauce Tartare
Fried Potatoes and Cucumber Salad
Sweetbread Croquettes
Crown Roast of Lamb with Mint Sauce
Green Peas     Asparagus
Roman Punch
Broiled Spring Chickens Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Strawberry Ice Cream (with the fruit frozen in)     Cakes
Crackers and Gorgonzola Cheese
Black Coffee

N.B. —Full dress is imperative at a dinner party. Sack coats, Prince Alberts, and skirts of walking length are inadmissible.

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Housemothers’ Exchange

How to Entertain at a Luncheon

This is the final article in April of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on April 28, 1907, and is a discussion on how to entertain at a luncheon.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Washington Times.

How to Entertain at a Luncheon

IF IT be not the most delightful of modern social functions, it is likely to be one of the stupidest. As a rule, women are not gourmands. That her own share in what is cooked and served in her home is a matter of comparative indifference to the housemother has passed into a proverb. Where you meet with one woman who is addicted to the pleasures of the table, and like Watt’s sluggard.

“Talks of eating and drinking,”

you may count a hundred who, if each lived alone, would not have a regular meal cooked once a month. The epicure is a curiosity to her acquaintances. I was talking the other day with one of the gentlest and most charitable of her sex of the illness of her sister.

“The case is the more obstinate because the dietary is strict,” she remarked, lowering her voice, to a confidential pitch. “And” —here she glanced over her shoulder to make sure there were no eavesdroppers— “you know the poor dear loves good eating!”

What a Woman Enjoys.

The admission was a slur upon an otherwise well-bred kinswoman. Therefore, the enjoyment of a woman’s luncheon party depends largely upon the choice of one’s guests, and the disposition of the same in seating them at the table. When I find myself wondering secretly during the third course of the meal why I was invited to meet these people, and why, when there, I was seated next to a woman with whom I have not one idea in common, and who evidently is having hard work in the lame effort to be interested in what I am forcing myself to say—that party is to us two a dismal failure, no matter how elegant the appointments of the table, or how delicious the food.

It was a saying in my girlhood that passe belles had arrived at the “supper stage.” That is, that they consoled themselves with salads and sweets at parties where they used to enjoy the homage of admirers too much to care what they ate or drank.

The average woman of society gives the menu a third-rate place in her reflections upon dinner, supper or luncheon. Her husband easily consoles himself for the stupidity of his neighbors at dinner by devoting himself more unreservedly to the capital dishes for his acceptance. If the soup be clear and savory, the fish fresh and piping hot and served with tied right sauce; the ducks done to a turn and the venison tender and juicy; if the entrees be toothsome, and the coffee complies with each of Talleyrand’s stipulations, John is measurably compensated for temporary boredom. When he reports the affair to his wife on his return home he begins with a recital of the menu, and, this done, observes incidentally that “there was a somewhat dull lot of people there.” He “wonders where Smith-Jones picked up so many fellows who can’t talk.” Or—“A rattling good set of fellows, too!” as the sequel of the tale.

The Opposite of Men.

A woman tells, first, who were at the luncheon, how they talked and dressed; what good stories and lively chat went around the board; then, how the rooms and tables were decorated—finally, and casually, what they had to eat.

Too many guests at a luncheon party, or at any other function in a private house where all must sit down to table, is a mistake. I shall dwell upon this point when we talk of the dinner party. Twelve are not too many if the elements composing the company are congenial in tastes and in the same rank of society. To bring together the vulgar rich and the refined poor is a fatal blunder. I do not imply, of course, that a majority of the newly rich are vulgar, any more than I would intimate that most of the many who have not suitable luncheon gowns are refined. But you, the hostess, will be more at ease if no plainly attired woman suffers inward mortification from the contrast with the superb costumes of the rest of the party.

Hats Are Not Removed.

It should not be necessary at this day to observe that hats are not removed at a luncheon. Yet I have in memory sundry incidents that show the expediency of fixing this freak of fashion in the mind of the unsophisticated guest. The hostess and her daughters and the guest whose visit in the house us the occasion of the function are the exceptions to the rule.

Punctuality is absolutely obligatory upon the guests. It is ill bread to the point of rudeness to be a minute behind the hour named for the luncheon. It is also awkward to anticipate that hour by more than ten minutes. The butler, or the parlor maid, announces that “luncheon is ready” from the door of the drawing room, addressing the mistress pointedly, more in dumb show than audibly. The appearance of the man in correct attire, or of the maid, in her neat uniform of black gown, apron and cap, is the signal for a general rising—the hostess setting the example. She marshals the party in a pleasant, off-hand manner, coupling them as she has arranged thorn in her own mind, bringing up the rear with the guest of honor.

It is no longer the fashion to have decorated place cards. A simple card with the name of the guest written on it lies at her place.

How to Use Flowers.

In decorating the table, avoid strongly perfumed flowers, and, if possible, carry out a color scheme so well as to give harmonious character to the display. The boutonnieres laid beside the plates must be alike, and accord with the low bowl of flowers in the middle of the cloth.

If your dining room be well lighted by the natural illumination of day, do not, I beg, follow servilely a fashion introduced by dwellers in closely built blocks, where the blessed sunshine is unknown by the seeing of the eye after one leaves the street. If the rooms in which you entertain your friends open (?) upon shafts and courts, you must, perforce, light the luncheon table with candelabra, supplemented by gas or electric burners overhead. Shade all with silk or paper screens corresponding with your color scheme.

Cream of Celery Soup.
Fried Smelts with Lemon Sauce.
Stuffed Potatoes.   Broiled Sweetbreads.
Asparagus a la Creme.
French Chops.   Green Peas.
Tomato and Lettuce Salad with Mayonnaise.
Crackers and Cream Cheese.
Strawberry Mousse.   Cake.   Coffee.

Coffee and Bonbons.

Small dishes of olives, celery, salted nuts, and bonbons are on the table throughout the luncheon until the ice cream is brought on. Then all are removed except the bonbons. Coffee may be served at table or in the drawing room In the latter case the bonbons are also taken into the drawing room or into the library.

All the carving and serving is done from the kitchen—nominally, from the butler’s pantry. With a little training a tolerably competent waitress will learn to garnish such dishes as are to be passed for the eaters to help themselves, and to arrange tastefully the individual portions to be set down before them. For instance, the salad of this simple luncheon—which is easily within the ability of any housewife of moderate means and experience—is put on the chilled plates thus: A cluster of three crisp lettuce leaves is the bed on which half a tomato of medium size is laid. Just before the salad goes to the dining room a great spoonful of mayonnaise is poured upon the tomato. Minced chives are a piquant addition to mayonnaise, or to French dressing.

A sauce of butter, beaten to a cream with lemon juice and colored with finely minced parsley, is put into the emptied halves of lemons and set in ice until the fish is served. A half lemon accompanies each portion of fish.

Watercresses garnish the sweetbreads, which are passed on the dish, no carving being necessary. Asparagus is the accompanying vegetable, as the stuffed potatoes go with the fish, and green peas with the chops. Celery and olives go around in a desultory fashion at any stage of the luncheon after the fish course; crackers and cheese attend the salad.

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How to Entertain at a Breakfast

This is the third article in April of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on April 21, 1907, and is a discussion on how to entertain at a breakfast.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Washington Times.

How to Entertain at a Breakfast

“THERE would seem to be no leisure-class in this country of yours,” said an Englishman to his American host.

“What do you mean by a leisure-class?” asked the other.

“Oh, men who have no profession—no stated—ah—ah—employment. Who may dispose of their time as they like—ah—with no beastly sense of duty unperformed—don’t you know?”

“Oh, yes! we have plenty of that kind with us,” with an enlightened look. “But we call them loafers over here!”

For the lack of any other class of men who have time to take their pleasure early in the working day, the breakfast party is a rare function with us except on holidays, and in the summer vacation. That which I shall describe was given on Decoration Day by the happy possessors of a country house within an hour’s journey by rail from a great city.

As a matter of course, each of the two dozen guests who alighted at the station at 11 o’clock A. M. had had a light breakfast before leaving town. Equally as a matter of course, the last days of May were the hottest of a hot season. A thundershower had missed hopes of better things the previous afternoon, but, after the manner of May storms, had done its work in a half-hearted style. The air teemed with moisture on Decoration Day, and the moisture was steam.

“Breakfast in the garden, I suppose?” murmured an elderly bachelor on the drive from station to house. “The correct thing, I suppose. When I was a boy, my sister used to sing a song that expressed my sentiments concerning al fresco feastings. It was called ‘Tea in the Arbor.’ and told of

“Roses and posies to scent up your noses,
Lilies and billies, and daffydowndillies,”

and how spiders fell into a fellow’s cup and caterpillars crawled down his neck, and all that. This eating under the trees, and sprawling on the grass, with a teacup in one hand and a sandwich in the other, is a relic of savage feasts—of the stone age and cliff dwellers.” “Didn’t you enjoy picnics when you were yo—a boy?” queried a girl, her change of intention in framing the reply so evident that everybody smiled.

“Never did!” protested the bachelor, stoutly. “Give me civilized food eaten from solid mahogany, with knives and forks, and not with fingers and gnawed as the noble red man takes his victuals. It is a notable fact in this connection that your rural citizen never eats his meals in this barbaric fashion except when he has visitors from town. He knows better than to swelter in the hot outer air, tormented by flies and mosquitoes, when he could be comfortable in a shaded room with screens in every door and window. Of all modern humbugs, the playing at ruralizing is the most absurd. For we all know it isn’t rural at all!”

Had they been less oppressive an argument might have ensued. As it was, silence, felt by more than one to be depressing, lasted until the carriages discharged their respective loads at the foot of the steps leading up to the vine-shaded veranda.

The grumbler may have had the grace to feel ashamed of his unmannerly tirade when the company assembled in the great central hall through the wide folding doors of which the interior of the dining-room was visible. He made no sign of penitence unless that his admiration of the aforesaid interior was more pronounced than that of some of his fellow-guests.

A goodly sight was that framed in the arched doorway. Shadows that were faintly green and softly gray, and all cool, filled the long room. The blinds were bowed, and the light that found its way through the spaces left at the bottom and top of each window, was tempered before it entered, by vines and trees. The wistaria, enshrouding the house with draperies of pale mauve that looked like wreaths of fleeciest chiffon, lent perfume to the whole atmosphere.

With rarely fine taste, the hostess had banished other flower odors. No dying agonies of blossoms suffocated by the noonday heat and human breaths, would taint our food. The exquisite suspicion of wistaria-scent was sufficient unto us. The same just taste had ordered that the trailing vines relieving the snow of the table-covers should have their stems in water. The smell of withered smilax and ferns is especially disagreeable as the meal progresses and appetite is jaded.

The tables were round and of varying sizes. Some were laid for four, some for six, none for an odd number of eaters.

There were six waitresses, dressed in white from crown to toe—all attentive, and all so quiet that their gliding to and fro was like the passing of shadows through the gray-green spaces separating the groups of revelers.

Glasses, filmy with iced dews, and with a celestial compound of minced fruits, prepared parched palates for coming dainties. We named it “Decoration Day Ambrosia” on the spot, and by this name it is still known among those who tasted it then for the first time. Jellied chicken bouillon followed, accompanied by Virginia wafers, that melted in the mouth.

By now, appetite awoke to the appreciation that it craved something substantial at high noon after a thirty-mile trip on the railway, even on the hottest day of the (alleged) spring. Salmon timbales, masked by bechemel sauce, “did not,” as one connoisseur murmured to another, “mar the unities of the scheme.” Finger rolls went around with them. Cold tongue, embedded in tomato aspic, was the next course.

Then glasses of Roman punch revived the digestion for the more serious business of broiled spring chicken and the attendant asparagus a la viniagrette, laid within crisp lettuce-hearts. Cassava biscuits and cream cheese—homemade and delicious—intervened before strawberries, that had been gathered that morning — each a very paragon of its species in size, color and spicy lusciousness—were set before us. They were eaten in the English fashion—one we would well to adopt as a habit. Caps and stems had not been removed, and, holding the stems as handles, we dipped the beauties into fine sugar and made two bites of each. For beverages, we had iced coffee, tea a la Russe.

When we arose from table, we were at peace with digestions and the rest of the world and—stranger still! no hotter than when we sat down. I have eaten other summer breakfasts at which nothing hot was served. She was a wiser caterer who judged that one or two freshly cooked dishes appeal to the taste of really hungry people. She recollected, too, that some stomachs do not assimilate chilled food as readily as they accept warm; also that there is still with us a fair percentage of old-fashioned folk who do not affect “made dishes,” and account the serving and the eating of them as unpatriotic truckling to foreign tricks and manners.

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Tasty Morning Dishes

Novel Ideals for an Afternoon Reception

This is the second article in April of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on April 14, 1907, and is a discussion on how to entertain at a afternoon reception.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Novel Ideals for an Afternoon Reception

IN THOUSANDS of American homes the habit of 5-o’clock tea is as confirmed as in the parent country, where the fashion is now hoary with age. It is a comfortable and a heartening custom. The tea-tray is brought into the family sitting-room—into the mistress’ sanctum—or, if the family be large, and the elements various, into the dining-room—wherever it is convenient to assemble the several members. The tea is poured by mother or daughter, a plate of bread and butter is passed, perhaps one of tea biscuits or light cake; there is cheerful talk over the teacups for fifteen or twenty minutes, if the household be busy, and the little party breaks up, each going her way until dinner time.

Should a visitor chance to call near tea time, the function is not altered. The tray is carried by maid or butler into the drawing-room, and the members of the family who are at home follow it.

In households where tea-drinking is dignified into a ceremony, and the quality of the beverage is made a matter of importance, the furniture of the tray includes teakettle and alcohol lamp, and the tea is brewed in the sight of the party. It is a graceful and a gracious “ceremony.” Stiffness and strangerhood melt before it, as frost under the sunshine. Talk is stimulated and good fellowship established.


The afternoon tea and reception is an expansion of the daily custom. An evening “affair” involves the necessity of a formal and a more or less elaborate supper. There must be music, and, nowadays, the hostess considers herself bound to provide some kind of “entertainment” other than dancing for the young people and cards for the elder guests. I make no pause here to bemoan the decadence of conversation as a lost art. Cards and dancing have taken the life out of talk. If a girl waltzes well, nobody asks if she can converse. If her mother, aunt or elder sister can hold her own at whist, or be an Horatia at the “Bridge”—what need of further social accomplishments?

Dancing and cards are varied by vocal and instrumental music, recitations, amateur theatricals—any novel fad that promises diversion to blase wordlings. The function is expensive, laborious and, to all save the debutante and the “young” beauty, tedious and trite.

“The only difference is in the caterer,” sighed a society girl in her third season. “I have been to twenty this winter. We say the same nothings; we meet the same set of people, and I know it all by heart before I go.”


The afternoon function is a happy combination of the best features of the two forms of hospitality. There must be a set table in the dining-room, or, if more convenient, in the back parlor. The hostess compliments two of her friends by asking them “to pour,” one at each end of the prettily decorated board. If the room be not well-lighted, have candelabra, and soften the gas or electric light by balloon-shaped shades of colored silk or crimped tissue paper.

I enter my protest at this point against the barbaric practice of receiving guests—fresh from the sun filled air of heaven’s own making—in rooms dim with colored shadows and reeking with the breath of drooping flowers, not to mention artificial perfumes wrung from gums and oils and patented as “French.” I know it is the fashion to shut out the sunshine and to steep the “chiaroscuro” left in the airless interior in color and (alleged) fragrance. I am told that complexions show to advantage in the “doctored” twilight. To my apprehension, the complexion that cannot stand before the light of God’s day is not worth the trouble of keeping.

A shaded light need not be gloomy. If your dining-room or inner apartment be insufficiently lighted, as is the case with town houses that back upon courts or small yards—make it cheerful with gas, lamps or candelabra, but do not shade it to such a degree that you cannot recognize your best friend, or discover by the seeing of the eye whether you help yourself to a sandwich or an eclair.

The tea equipage should grace one end of the table, a chocolate service the other. Sugar, cream and sliced lemon surround the teapot or samovar. A pretty fork lies across the dish of sliced lemon; sugar tongs accompany the silver or china bowl of cut sugar. The cream jug has a ladle. It also stands in a tiny silver saucer of its own that stray drops may not trickle to the embroidered teacloth. The apparatus for chocolate is less varied. A china pot, a dish of granulated sugar (cut sugar does not dissolve readily in the thick liquid), and a wide-mouthed jug of whipped cream, a spoonful of which is laid upon the surface of each filled cup.

The interval dividing tea and chocolate equipages is filled with plates of sandwiches, cakes, bonbons, salted nuts, fancy rolls, etc. — whatever goes to make up a bountiful “afternoon tea.” If you have the knack of making veritable scones—pronounced “skuns” — the introduction of these will vary the collation agreeably. The sandwiches should be small and the contents must not overlap the edges. The eaters do not remove their gloves, and the ooze of cream cheese or mayonnaise will soil finger tips. Another acceptable addition to the conventional menu is toast. Toast thin strips of stale bread to a delicate brownish tint, butter while hot, and wrap in a heated doily. In serving, open the corner of the doily, to show the crisp bits within. It is very popular. Hot relays should come in from the kitchen during the afternoon. You may spread some of the toast with anchovy paste or with caviare.

If you desire to give the function more the air of a “reception” than a “tea,” enlarge the menu by serving hot bouillon in cups, and have a side table on which is arrayed the paraphernalia of claret punch or tea—or mint—or strawberry punch. Iced sherbet or cafe frappe may be substituted for the punch.

The hostess and her daughters are content to leave the business of dispensing the refreshments to the friendly “pourers” and to waiters. Their duty is to receive the guests and to mix the social brew into a cordial which shall not pall upon any.

Introductions at this function are convenient and pleasant, but the truly well-mannered guest does not wait for a formal presentation to a fellow-guest in a friend’s house. That he, or she, is there, and on equal terms with herself, is a guarantee of respectability, and that she will not lower her social status by falling into easy chat with her neighbor if occasion offer. Americans are beginning to comprehend this sensible social principle better than of old. There is no longer any excuse for having a “stupid time,” when the stupidity is not in one’s self.


Sift a quart of flour three times with two tablespoonfuls of baking powder and one of salt. Chop into it a tablespoonful of butter and the same of cottolene. Wet with enough milk to make a dough just stiff enough to be rolled out. The softer the better, so long as it may be handled. Work the dough with a wooden spoon, not touching it with the hands. When mixed, roll out half an inch thick; cut in to rounds with a cake cutter, and bake upon a soapstone griddle, turning when the lower side is brown. Tear open, butter and lay within a heated napkin upon a hot plate. Eat soon.

Oatmeal Scones.

Mix in a deep bowl three cupfuls of oatmeal and one of white flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and one of salt. Have at hand three liberal cupfuls of milk heated to scalding, into which you have put a tablespoonful of sugar and three of butter. Stir for a moment; make a hole in the centre of the flour and meal and pour in the milk. Stir it down into the milk with a wooden spoon, not once touching it with the fingers.

When you have a soft, rough-looking dough, roll it out about a quarter inch thick, cut into rounds and bake upon a hot soapstone griddle, turning to brown it on both sides.

Cream Scones.

Sift a quart of flour with two tablespoonfuls of baking powder and half a teaspoonful of salt. Sift all together twice, and chop into the flour two even tablespoonfuls of butter, as you would in pastry. Mix with half cream, half milk, to a soft dough; roll out into a sheet less than half an inch thick; cut into rounds and bake in a quick oven. Spilt and butter while hot.

Lettuce Sandwiches.

Cut the crust from white bread; slice it thin, and butter. Lay between two slices a crisp lettuce leaf dipped in mayonnaise dressing.

Lettuce and Cream Cheese Sandwiches.

Slice the bread very thin when you have pared off the crust. Butter smoothly and lightly. Spread one slice with cream cheese and lay upon the other a crisp leaf of lettuce dipped in mayonnaise dressing.

Mint Punch.

Melt a cupful of granulated sugar in the strained juice of six lemons. Then add three peeled and sliced lemons. Slice very thin. Leave all in a big bowl, set in ice until just Before serving. It cannot be too cold. Transfer to your punchbowl; mix in a quart of finely pounded ice; stir for a moment and pour from a height of two feet, upon the mixture three bottles of imported ginger ale. Lastly, add a dozen sprays of green mint, washed and slightly bruised between the fingers.

Tea Punch.

Make a good infusion of tea with four teaspoonfuls of the best mixed tea and a quart of boiling water. After it has drawn four minutes, strain it from the leaves and cool. Fill the punchbowl half way to the top with cracked ice; stir in a cupful of granulated sugar and the strained juice of four lemons. The tea goes in next, and just before it is served, a pint of some good table water.

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The After Entertainment Supper

This is the first article in April of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on April 7, 1907, and is a discussion on entertaining guests after going out to see a show.

This is the first in six talks that covers entertaining after a show, an afternoon reception, breakfast, luncheon, supper, and finally the evening reception. Reading this article late night receptions are really rather laid back with suggestions to prepare a simple meal before heading out during the evening. The meal does not have to be elaborate but it is always appreciated that something is provided.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Boston Sunday Post.

The After Entertainment Supper

THAT a supper should follow theatre, opera, concert or lecture is a foregone conclusion. The evening meal, be it dinner or supper, is eaten at an earlier hour than usual, or hurried over, or abridged, that the pleasure-seekers may be at the rendezvous in season. The evening entertainment is a strain upon the strength, be it amusement or boredom. The party emerges into the outer air—which acts as an instant tonic to empty stomachs—full, it may be, of thoughts of what they have enjoyed or endured, but with one idea which overtops the rest in each mind.

That there are ways and ways of giving the indispensable supper I purpose to illustrate in this free-and-easy talk with my youthful, and, because of that youth, pleasure- loving constituents, by telling three perfectly true stories from my own experience.

The first is the tamely conventional tale of a rich man who got up a party of friends for an opera evening. He had a box for the season, and his wife assisted him in doing the honors of the occasion to six guests—three of whom were young. We were driven to the opera house in private carriages, and from it, when the opera was over, to a fashionable restaurant where a supper, ordered beforehand, was enjoyed by the juniors, and partaken of discreetly by their elders.


Chicken bouillon, mantled by whipped cream, prefaced an entrée of oyster-crabs.

Squabs and cepes a la Bordelaise were succeeded by a salad. Then came ices and cakes, black coffee and tiny glasses of Benedictine to reconcile the midnight feast to our gastronomic consciences—alias digestions. It was 1 o’clock when we entered the waiting carriages to be returned to our respective homes.

The second experience I shall record had in it an element that would have wrought chagrin but for the lively sense of humor with which kind nature had endowed the major portion of the participants.

Two young men—business partners, and credited with being “rising fellows,” asked me for permission to invite my daughters, my niece, my son, and my prospective son-in-law to see Booth in “Hamlet” on a given night. And would I chaperon the party when made up? All accepted, “with pleasure,” and on the evening appointed we were agreeably surprised by the arrival of the proposed hosts in two carriages, designed to convey the octette to the theatre. The weather was fine, and we could have taken the street cars conveniently; the hosts might be rising, but they were not rich, and our young people were not fastidious. Still, we were thankful for the goods the gods who preside over revelries by night had provided for us. We made no comment upon the unexpected luxury, and appreciated the evident intention of the pair to “do the thing in style.”

The play was long, and we were hungry when it was done. In comparing notes afterward all six of us confessed how we had settled in our minds that supper would be served for the party in a certain cafe that has an international renown, and which was delightfully convenient to the theatre—so convenient I caught myself sitting up in an expectant attitude as we approached the illuminated front of the stately building, and was conscious of a palpable chill at heart as we rolled rapidly by. With like rapidity we rolled past four other desirable—obviously desirable—stopping-places, and so on up to our own door. And never a syllable of supper had been lisped by the “rising” twain!

They ascended the front steps with us, but would not come in.

“It is late, and the ladies may be tired, etc., etc.” The usual polite nothings of thanks and deprecation were uttered; the hosts re-entered the carriages, and we went slowly indoors.

Once in the hall, we looked forlornly into one another’s faces—hungry-eyed and disappointed. Then our slang-loving collegian said:

“I suppose they didn’t have the price of carriages and supper, too!” and we laughed until the tears started. The servants were in bed, but we raided the larder in a body; bringing out treasures new and old, and sat over the improvised repast until the small hours were waxing larger.

The third party I shall report upon was of like size with the second. Eight is a jolly number for a theatre or dinner company. There were four “boys” and three girls, the chaperon making the eighth. Before we took the cars at the corner I had made arrangements for our home-coming. The night was blustering, and we felt as if we had been blown from the front porch into the hall with the unlocking of the door when we returned. The odor of coffee and oysters was in the warmed air that floated wooingly to us. Wraps and hats were tossed aside, and we trooped into the lighted dining-room, eager and happy. We were but human creatures, and to healthy mortals hunger is natural and commendable. There were stewed oysters, sandwiches, a delicious fruit salad, crackers and Swiss cheese, homemade cake, crullers, tea and coffee; and for those who dared not drink either so late in the evening, hot chocolate.

One word to the many who must partake of the after-theatre supper in restaurant and hotel:

If the host, pro tempore, be a young man, do not let him order in your hearing a sumptuous entertainment under the impression that he is doing you honor. Without the most remote intimation of a wish to save him expense, suggest the unwholesomeness of elaborate meals at that hour, and playfully check the disposition to “overdo things.”

I wish I could instil into the mind of Our Girl just appreciation of the position and capabilities of the average American man who is near the beginning of his business or professional career. At least two-fifths of our men “have their way to make in the world.” It does not argue stinginess in your escort if he does not invite you to supper on the way home from theatre or concert. In his code of morality debt is dishonesty. If your mother can contrive to have a little supper ready for the two when you get back, it would be a still better way out of the tangle, and earn his gratitude by sparing his self-respect.

In preparing an after-theatre supper there are many interesting yet inexpensive little touches you can give to a table to make it attractive. As time will necessarily be somewhat limited so late in the evening, it is well to have all preparations made beforehand.

In the first place, it is a mistake for the average hostess to attempt an elaborate supper; a simple welsh rarebit, creamed chicken or fish served in a chafing dish, with dainty sandwiches, a salad, cheese, nuts, candy, cake and coffee is quite enough. With welsh rarebit many people think they cannot get along without beer, but ginger ale makes a good substitute.

All of these can easily be prepared beforehand and the table set in readiness. Make lettuce or olive sandwiches, and also some of minced ham or chicken, mixed with a little cream. Cut some in crescent or diamond shapes and roll others. Tie them together with ribbons. Mass them neatly on plates, and set several platefuls on the table. Be sure to allow a plentiful supply, as hearty appetites are usually brought to these midnight feasts.

Instead of a cloth, use a centerpiece and plate doilies on a polished mahogany table and have it set early in the evening with all the plates, small silver and serving silver that will be necessary.

The chafing dish should also be in readiness on the main table. Some hostesses, however, prefer to have it on a separate side table. Especially is this the case if one is lucky enough to own the many new chafing-dish accompaniments, such as a glass shield to protect one’s gown from the flame, long handled spoons and forks, silver or cut glass cruets for vinegar and ale, and special little bottles for salt, pepper, mustard and the other seasonings used by the skilful chafing-dish cook.

There is also a new mahogany chafing-dish tray to hold these ingredients, which is really very convenient, as it means a great deal to the amateur cook not only to have everything in readiness, but to have it in one spot.

A delicious and appropriate salad for an after-the-theatre supper is made of pineapple cut in small squares and covered either with mayonnaise or French dressing. This is very attractive served in the scooped-out shell. The dressing can be made and the pineapple cut in advance, so all that remains to be done after the theatre is a hasty mixing together.

As a rule, a sweet is not necessary for a late supper. Cake, coffee and cheese make a very good dessert. If more is desired, however, use a gelatin or charlotte russe, which are easier to serve than ice cream.

A very attractive setting for a cake, and one which would really be decorative for the late supper, is to use a candle board. Such is made of ordinary pine, 18 inches in diameter, stained mahogany and furnished with a double border of tin candle pins, which should be set alternately to give a pretty effect.

An old silver snuffer or a plain wooden one should be on hand. When the hostess is ready to cut the cake she snuffs out the candles directly in front of her. At the close of the supper the hostess or maid, if she is present, passes the board, whose candles have been left lighted as a pretty decoration, and asks each of her guests to snuff out one or more. Such a board may do duty for all sorts of festive occasions.

The cake itself should be wreathed in smilax, clover blossoms, ivy, or any pretty vine or flower.

Marion Harland

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The Convalescent’s Tray

This is the fifth article in March of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on March 31, 1907, and is a discussion on how to tend to sick children and family, aka, the invalid.

One piece of advice I strongly agree with in this article is never ask the sick person what they would like to eat. It’s always better to just bring them something they can stomach in small doses. I had to Google what ‘Arrowroot’ was and apparently this root was very popular in Victorian times, especially in the colonies, and was seen as an easily digestible food for people with dietary restrictions.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Washington Times.

The Convalescent’s Tray

ONE of the best amateur sailors I know, who has always “absolutely usable to comprehend why one should be seasick,” made a voyage on the same steamer with me some years ago. His theory, expounded ad nauseam to the pale-faced occupants of deck chairs which had not been unfolded for the first days of the tour, was simple and admitted of no peradventure. Seasickness, according to him, was a malady of the imagination.

“Look at me!” he declaimed, standing with his back to the guards on the promenade deck, on a cloudy day in mid-ocean, when at least half of us were too faint with dread of yet rougher seas to open our eyes upon anything. “I have crossed ten times, and in all sorts of weather. I have been over that most villainous of waters— the British channel—every time I have come abroad. I spent five days on the Mediterranean once, when each day brought storm of a different complexion, and I have never missed a meal on shipboard. Yet my internal make-up can’t be unlike that of everybody else. I tell you, it is the mind—the spirit, the will—that renders me immune!”

Matter Conquers Mind.

A fortnight later compensating fate sent me across the channel, from Dover to Calais, and the immune lecturer by the same boat. All the night we had lain in our beds at the Lord Warden Hotel, hearkening, in the intervals of uneasy slumber, to the booming of thunderous waves against the chalky cliffs of Albion.

“And we sadly thought of the morrow.”

The sun arose out of a sea that was wondrous smooth after the passion of the midnight. The short chopping waves we had come to dread through horrible experiences had rounded into low, long rolls, that looked benignant. Before we were out of sight of land half of the passengers had found out what was meant by “a ground swell.” Midway in the passage I heard a jolly chuckle from the companion nearest my deck chair.

We had read “Tartarin of Tarascon” on the Atlantic voyage and laughed, as every one who has a spark of humor must laugh, at the braggart’s rush to the guard—“And France was disgraced!” This was what my companion said between the chuckles that made me lift weary lids from sick eyes.

“And France was disgraced!”

For the ground swell had got the better of Mind; had floored the Spirit; had beaten down the barriers of Will. The immune man had succumbed to circumstance, and as I opened my eyes it was to behold him hanging like a limp rag over the rail.

The scene has come back to me a hundred times since, when I have watched the passage of the invalid through the ground swell of Convalescence to the terra firma Assured Health.

Thirty years ago, when the care of a household, including young children, and the diseases to which human flesh is heir, bore heavily upon my mind, I penned this admonition:

“When, the rack of pain having been removed, the dulled perceptions of the mind reawaken to sensitiveness, and there comes to the sufferer’s mind the bugle call of Duty—sharp, imperative; when every idle moment speaks to him of a slain opportunity and the no longer strong man shakes his fetters with piteous cries against Fate—do not despise or be impatient with him. You see but the poor wreck left by the demon as he tore his way out of him at the Divine command. Gather it up lovingly in your arms and nurse it back to strength and comeliness.”

Tact Is Requited.

Because I meant it so much then; because I mean it so much more now that added years have borne in upon me with far greater force the truth of what I thought the youthful matron comprehended to the full—I claim the right to copy yet other extracts from my talk upon “Convalescence.”

Do not ask your charge what he would like to eat. He will, of a surety, sicken at the thought of selection, and say, ‘Nothing!’

Watch for the slightest intimation of a desire for any particular delicacy, and if you are assured that it cannot hurt him, procure it, if you can without letting him suspect your intention.

Feed him lightly and often, never bringing into his sight more than he may safely eat. A big bowl of broth or jelly will either tempt him to imprudence or discourage him.

Daintiness a Prerequisite.

While he is very weak, feed him with your own hand, playfully, as you would a child talking cheerfully of something else than his food, beguiling him into taking the needed nutriment.

As soon as his meals are over re move every vestige of them from the room. Even the glimpse of a soiled spoon lying on table or bureau may offend his fastidious appetite. Cover the stand or tray from which he takes his food with a spotless napkin, and serve his food in your daintiest ware.

“A hired nurse is a useful, often necessary, attendant, but, while you are upon your feet and mistress of your own house, delegate to no one the dear task of catering for the beloved convalescent.”

This catering is an art in itself. Success in it depends upon natural aptitude to some extent, but skill and tack may be acquired. Cook nothing in the room where the convalescent sits or lies. If you have friends who understand and practice what I call “kitchenly kindness,” make much of the unexpected delicacy you display proudly at the time of “feeding.” It is mysterious, yet invariable, the charm that attaches, in the invalid’s fancy to anything cooked out of the house in which he abides. One could imagine that a flavor of the love that prompted the gift goes with and informs it. Fruit, jellies, broths, game, accompanied by flowers—God’s own message to his weak and restless child—are the choicest decorations love and friendship can devise for the world bounded by the four walls of the convalescent’s chamber.

Very often the capricious appetite of a child can be coaxed a combination of an attractive tray service and a story. An ordinary white china egg receptacle, with a carved hen on the cover, may be used to advantage if the mother will take time to humor the little convalescent. For instance, the story of the little white hen that laid a fresh egg every day for the little sick boy may be made very realistic at just the right moment by lifting “Biddy” from her nest and disclosing the egg. Of course, the child will want to sample the fresh egg that was laid on purpose for him, and as the wonderful story progresses he will forget that he is eating, and the dreaded task will soon be accomplished.

Another treat which will please a convalescent child at any time, but which will greatly add to his enjoyment on Easter, is a “surprise pie.” Take a large baking pan and set into it a dainty tray with the little invalid’s breakfast. Cover the pan with ordinary manila paper, putting a dab of watercolor paint around the edges and in the center to simulate a bona fide pie. Or cover the pan with a huge daffodil made of crepe paper. This can be done easily if precautions are made beforehand, and the surprise will certainly be effectual.

Surprises Tempt Palates.

Let the youngster survey the treat, then tell him to play he is a little Jack Homer, to put in his thumb and pullout a plum. Of course, he will enjoy the joke, and when the pie “crust” is mutilated a dainty tray, decorated with pussy willows, those harbingers of spring which all children love, will be disclosed, and the food thereof he will surely partake.

An invalid, too, may be made the guest of honor on Easter Sunday, and some little surprise should be planned in her behalf. A dainty tray with a few slices of thin, crisp toast, or a “Panada” will entice her into the humor of eating and brighten her whole day.



Arrowroot Water Jelly.

IMPRIMIS—Do not let yourself be deluded into buying any but the best Bermuda arrowroot. I get mine from a responsible druggist, and in small packages. Keep it in dry place.

Stir two tablespoonfuls into as many tablespoonfuls of cold water until it is smooth. Have ready over the fire a cupful of boiling water in which you have dissolved two teaspoonfuls of white sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the dis solved arrowroot and continue to stir until it is clear, keeping the water at a boil all the time. Add a teaspoonful of strained lemon juice and take directly from the fire. Turn into small moulds wet with cold water, and when cold, set on ice. To prepare for eating, empty mould upon a saucer; strew with fine sugar, and drench with cream. Should the invalid like the flavor of rosewater, season delicately with it.

If wine be allowed by the physicians, you may substitute a small glass of it for the rosewater. In this case, heap the teaspoon with dry arrowroot, in measuring as the liquid will make the jelly less consistent. Both of these preparations are delicious and nourishing.

Arrowroot Blanc Mange.

Wet two tablespoonfuls of arrowroot with four of cold water and work into a smooth paste. Heat a large coffee cupful of milk to scalding, dropping in a tiny pinch of salt and the same of soda. Dissolve it in two teaspoonfuls of white sugar; stir in the arrowroot and cook for three minutes, stirring all the while. The three minutes should be counted from the instant the boil recommences. Flavor to taste. Form in small modis wet with cold water. Keep on ice until you are ready to serve. It should be eaten with sugar and cream.

Arrowroot Custard.

This a heavier preparation than jelly and blanc mange, but nourishing and palatable.

Wet three tablespoonfuls of arrowroot with four of cold milk, and stir smooth.

Heat a pint of milk to scalding, adding a pinch of soda; stir the arrowroot and cook three minutes after the boil begins anew. Turn into a bowl. Beat in an egg which has been whipped light with two tablespoonfuls of white sugar. Set the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water, put back on the fire and stir for two minutes after the water in the saucepan begins to boil again. Form in small moulds. Serve alone, or with cream, as desired.

Forbear to make any of these light foods too sweet or, or the patient will take a dislike to them.

Old Fashioned Panada.

Get six of the square old-fashioned Boston crackers our babies used to cut their teeth upon. Split them and lay in a deep bowl, sprinkling salt scantily and sugar rather bountifully among the layers. Cover with water that is freshly boiled. Our mothers and nurses laid stress upon this last condition. The water must cover the crackers two inches deep. Fit a close coyer on the bowl and set in a saucepan of boiling water on the range. At end of an hour you should have a bowlful of a jellied cereal. It should be eaten from the bowl with more sugar and a very little mace or nutmeg dusted over the panada.

Convalescent children are usually very fond of this dish, if it is properly made. It is very good for mothers of babies under a month old. They generally like it, too.

Always provided it is panada, and not mush. Not a cracker should be disintegrated.

Chicken Jelly.

Clean a tender chicken, wash well, and split down the back as for broiling. Set one-half away to be broiled another day. Pound other half with a wooden mallet, cracking every bone and reducing the flesh to a paste. Put into a saucepan with a close cover and cover a quart of cold water for two pounds of the chicken. Set where it will not come to the boil in less than an hour. Then let it simmer—never actually boiling—for three hours more. It must be so closely covered that the steam will not escape. Do not uncover until it has been off the fire so long as to be quite cold. Then strain, pressing hard, through a cheesecloth bag, getting out every drop of nourishment. Season the liquid to taste, return the fire, bring to a quick boil to throw up the scum and drop in the white of a raw egg. Boil one minute, strain again and set away to cool. Then leave in ice until you are ready to serve. Eaten with unleavened wafers or with thin bread and butter. It is very good and full of nourishment.

Unleavened Wafers.

Chicken Jelly.

Ch??? a teaspoonful of butter into a ??? of flour; salt slightly and make into a dough with a scant cupful of milk. The dough should be stiffer than that of a biscuit. Roll out thin, cut into round cakes and roll each of these as thin as paper. It should be as large as a teaplate. Prick with a fork in a dozen places and bake in a pan that has been floured—not buttered. Bake in a quick oven.

The wafers should be brittle and dry. They are appetizing and general favorites.

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Easter Fare and How to Serve It

This is the fourth article in March of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on March 24, 1907, and is a discussion on eggs and why they are so popular at Easter.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Boston Sunday Post.

Easter Fare and How to Serve It

A CORRESPONDENT writes as follows:

“Why eggs at Easter? Inasmuch as we have been surfeited with eggs and fish for forty days, why not give us a rest from them and a change of diet now that Lent is over and done with (thank goodness!) for the year? I foresee that your Easter talk will be of eggs! eggs! eggs! when a fair majority of your readers would be glad not to see another for six months to come. Why not discourse instead of the juiciness and savory steam of roast beef and the tender sweetness of spring lamb?

Of course, I know this protest will be of no use. Whatever we, the mal contents, may feel, think and say—and write—the Christian world will go egg-mad on Easter Sunday, and every breakfast table display eggs in some disguise or unadorned on Easter Monday.

Yet, why egg sat Easter—I repeat with agonized emphasis—more than on July 4th, or on Whitsunday or on Shrove Tuesday?

MADELINE (Philadelphia).

A woman who is neither so bright, nor to well educated as “Madeline,” “supposed” seriously in my hearing, the other day, “that everybody eats eggs at Easter because the hens all over the country begin to lay just then, and eggs are cheap after being so high all winter.”

I was reminded—although I kept the reminiscence to myself—of a man who once remarked to me, “How lucky it is that Lent is appointed at a season when fish is plenty and cheap. But, of course, the fellows who set the time—whoever they may be—stand in with the fish merchants and make a good thing out of it!”

He was more or less of a fool, but Madeline has brains, and knows how to put her thoughts into words.

Before entering upon the business of setting our Easter feast in order, let us reason together for a few minutes as to the significance of the Easter egg.


A noted scholar observes, in connection with the custom among the members of the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches of exchanging gifts of eggs on Easter morning; “The practice of presenting eggs to our friends at Easter is Magian, or Persian.” It is, then, of more remote antiquity than is generally supposed. Whatever it may have meant in the far Orient, we find the Jews adopting the Paschal egg as the emblem of the renewed creation of the world in the spring. The Passover Feast fell at the same time as what the Christian Church calls the first Easter. The word “Easter,” which occurs in the Book of Acts in King James’ version (twelfth chapter, fourth verse), is “Passover” in the Revised Version. The Paschal (Passover) egg of the Hebrew became the symbol to the early Christian of the Resurrection of the crucified Christ. We, who adopt the custom of dyeing Easter eggs, seldom bethink ourselves of the fact that the primitive Christians used but one color in their Easter day offerings, and that red, in allusion to the lifeblood shed on the cross as “a ransom for many.”

It was an age of types and symbols. We, living in the clearer light of revealed and established religion, retain some of these, and employ them as illustrations of belief rather than guides to devotion.

Even the staid burghers of our Dutch ancestry, staunchly stubborn in Protestantism, clung to an observance repudiated by their New England brethren as “Popish.” Washington Irving tells us that in the reign of godly Peter Stuyvesant there was “a great cracking of eggs at Paas, or Easter.” “Paas” was an evident perversion of “Pasch” or “Paschal.”

I have answered “Madeline” at greater length than some readers may think expedient, and, it may be, more seriously than she expected. The subject is interesting to devout believers in what the crimsoned egg represents, and curious to those who like to trace the origin of faiths and usages we are prone to take for granted.


To the ancient Greeks the butterfly was an emblem of the immortal soul springing into new and more beautiful life from the dead chrysalis. The Christians deduced the glorious fact of the resurrection of all the blessed dead from the rising of their Lord. They saw in the broken shell of the egg the symbol of what they incorporated into their Creed; “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”

Of this we have a more eloquent and a fuller promise in the return of the flowers after the apparent death of winter. Every blade and bud and blossom has its message of cheer to the waiting heart. “There is no death.”

A “Schoolgirl” asks:

“Why do we make so much of rabbits at Easter? The shop windows are full of them, and they show up on Easter cards.”

Divers reasons are given for the conspicuous part taken by Bunny in our great festival. One is that he bounds gayly to the front, made over as good as new by much sleep underground. According to a German story, the mission of providing Easter eggs for poor children whose parents could not buy them was committed to compassionate rabbits, who, at that season alone, laid eggs of varied hues by the nestful in the fields. Hence the custom that still prevails in some districts of hunting eggs in the meadows and woods on Easter morning.

May I add a word of practical “application” to my Easter sermon? A sermon must have an application, you know.

We hear much of “Easter offerings.” If ever our hearts should be moved to thankfulness to the dear Father of us all, and to love of our fellow-men who are—with us—His children, it is at this season of awakening to new life. Woe look upon a fresh and lovely world—the same we have known and loved so long, yet renewed into beauty that is never old nor tame. Spring is the time of promise and of hope. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. In token of this glad gratitude, let your Easter offering be for those to whom life is less bright than it is to you.

“God scatters love on every side,
Freely among His children all;
And always hearts are lying open wide,
Wherein some grains may fall.”

Recipes to Prepare Easter Dishes

A Hen’s Nest for Breakfast

SIX hard-boiled eggs that have been thrown into ice-cold water as soon as they were boiled, to make the shells slip off easily. Five minutes later, roll each gently on the table, cracking the shell without breaking the egg. Peel off the shells; cut the eggs in half with a sharp knife; take out the yolks, rub to a powder and mix with the same quantity of cold chicken or of ham, minced. Make a soft paste by working into the mixture some good gravy; season to taste, and form into balls of the same size and shape as the original yolks. Pack into the whites, to resemble whole eggs. Arrange these in the middle of a hot platter; surround with fried potatoes, cut Into strips to simulate straw; set the dish in the oven, covered, just long enough to heat the eggs to the heart, and serve; or, you may make the paste softer with gravy and heat it to a boil in a saucepan before filling the hollowed whites. It will then take less time to reheat in the oven. In either case, potatoes and gravy must be hot. Pass more gravy with the dish.

An Easter Luncheon Dish

Prepare the hard-boiled eggs as directed in the preceding recipe and make the paste as before, of pounded yolks and chicken, tongue or ham. Have ready and hot a good gravy—of chicken, if you have it—add a teaspoonful of curry powder, mix with the mince; heat over the fire and add enough browned flour to make it just thick enough to mould. Stuff the eggs, put the halves neatly together in the right shape and lay upon a bed of rice in a platter. Surround with more rice, to make the “nest”; set in the oven to heat, and serve. Pass with them a boat of gravy, seasoned with curry.

A delicious accompaniment to any preparation of curry is bananas that have been left in ice until very cold. Serve one to each eater, who strips off the skin and slices it, or bites a bit after each mouthful of hot curry. If you can get short bananas that look (almost) like eggs, the pleasing effect of this dish will be enhanced.

A Duck’s Nest

Boll, chill and halve as in preceding recipes. Set the yolks in a bowl, and the bowl, covered. In boiling water at the side of the range. With a thin, keen blade shred the whites into imitation straw, and arrange them in the shape of a nest on a hot platter. Season with salt and white pepper, butter abundantly, cover and set in the oven. Now and then butter again, lest they dry and shrivel.

Work the pounded yolks into a paste with an equal quantity of minced cold duck (or turkey). Moisten well with butter, and bind with a beaten raw egg. Make into oval balls to imitate eggs; arrange within the fence of shredded whites; pour over all a cupful of rich drawn butter, and set, covered, in the oven for ten minutes to heat.

An Easter Swan’s Nest
(“Among the Reeds”)

Make a quart of blanc mange, and while it is cooling to blood-warmth make holes in the small ends of twelve eggs and empty them. As each is emptied hold it under cold water until it is full and lies at the bottom of the bowl. Leave the eggs in the water until all are ready. Pour out the water and fill the shells with the liquid blanc mange. Set them upright in a pan of meal or flour, and let them stay there until Easter. An hour before you wish to serve them break away the shells carefully and deftly, not to injure the consistency of the blanc mange. Have ready a layer of shredded citron in the bottom of a glass dish. The citrons should not be too finely cut, as it stimulates coarse grass and flags. Heap the eggs upon this layer, make a wall of coarse-spun sugar about them and stick upright in this the largest strips of citron yon can get out of the candied melon. These are the “reeds.” Dispose them as naturally as possible, keeping the design in mind, and using taste and ingenuity to carry it out.

Any housewife who is blessed with a fair share of both may get up the dish to the satisfaction of the family.

An egg and a little of the spun sugar (it may be had from your confectioner), with a “reed” or two, go to each “help.” Pass ice cream or plain cream and powdered sugar with the eggs.

You may vary the dish by coloring the blanc mange, dividing it into several portions when first made. Color one with chocolate, another with spinach juice, a third with cochineal, and leave one-fourth white.

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