A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

illustration_01This article was printed in “The Hostess” published by the Bromangelon Publishing Department in 1910, and it is making it quite clear that when inviting a few lady friends over for luncheon back then putting a box of Twinings Earl Grey tea bags and a tray of hastily made sandwiches on the table simply wouldn’t do

Ted
Winking smile


Every hostess, however modest her home surroundings, cherishes the ambition to shine in her own little sphere. The ideas suggested in this little book are intended as a guide to simple methods of entertaining in a hospitable, easy, refined and dignified manner, without any undue extravagance. They are intended to serve, not as set patterns to be copied or followed in every detail, but rather to suggest to the ingenious hostess, ways of adapting her own original ideas to the art of graceful home entertainment.

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Most hostesses do not realize the full value and usefulness of the serving table. To serve a meal without a maid  is easy of accomplishment, if one will follow the hints conveyed in this description.

Instead of the more conventional large tablecloth, for this cosy occasion we will use the more decorative embroidered centerpiece and doilies.

A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

Place on the embroidered centerpiece an earthen jar or vase filled with honeysuckle or some graceful flowering vine. At each cover place a low, small glass with a long branch of the same vine; a water glass partly filled with cracked ice, a small butter plate, containing a butter ball, the little knife by its side; a doily, on which is the service-plate; to the right, two silver knives (sharp edge toward the plate)—to the left, three forks (the prongs turned up), and the napkin, folded square (monogram side up). On the table are three trays, one containing narrow strips of twice-baked bread; and the two smaller ones holding chocolate or other bonbons, and olives or salted almonds.

Most of this luncheon is prepared in advance, and ten minutes before serving, the hostess excuses herself to her guests to heat the first course and prepare the coffee. Everything else is in readiness.

The Menu

Lobster Newburg on Toast
Finger Slices of Dry Toast
Cold Turkey or Chicken
Hearts of Celery
Twice Baked Bread
Jellied Pecan Salad
Brown Bread Sandwiches
Chocolate Cakes filled with Whipped Cream
Black Coffee
Cheese Straws
Salted Nuts, (or Olives)
Sweets

As the guests enter the dining-room, the first course, Lobster Newburg (or Crab Creole) has already been placed. This has been prepared in advance, and only required quick heating on gas burner or chafing-dish before serving. The serving table with a five o’clock tea cloth of handsome linen stands against the wall to the left of the hostess. This table is of the same height as the luncheon table, and is equipped with a lower shelf of the same size as the table top. On top are placed the water pitcher, ice bowl, after-dinner coffee cups and saucers, the plates, a handsome coffee pot and two covered  trays, one holding cheese straws, the other the  cakes.

A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

On the lower shelf, out of sight, are the second and third courses (which are both cold) arranged on plates—the salad plates toward the back, the plates of cold chicken or turkey (dressed with celery hearts and twice-baked bread) towards the front. The four finger bowls, the napkins and extra silver are in a corner at the back.

Each guest, as she receives the plate for the second course, passes her used plate and silver from the first course to the hostess. These used plates are slipped by the hostess into the places just vacated on the lower shelf of the serving table. When the salad comes forward, places are made for the plates from the second course. Thus, as soon as a plate has been used, it vanishes as completely as with the best trained service. After all the plates and silver have been used, they can be placed in piles on the lower shelf, and removed after the departure of the guests.

When dessert and coffee have been served, the guests will retire with the hostess to the drawing room.

If these instructions are observed everything will pass off very smoothly.

Party Dressed Fish / Selskapsfin Fisk

A classic fish dinner recipe found in “Fisk og Skalldyr” (Fish and Shellfish) published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1980Party Dressed Fish / Selskapsfin Fisk

White fish, rice, asparagus and shrimps is a classic Scandinavian dinner dish combination and can be found in a multitude of recipes from our little part of the world. It is as the title of the post suggests classic party food. It was when this book was published in 1980 and it so absolutely still is – Ted

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Youth Parties Anno 1969 / Ungdomsselskaper Anno 1969

A youth party suggestion with menu and recipes found in
“Vi Skal Ha Gjester” (We’re Having Guests)
published by Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag in 1969

Youth Parties Anno 1969 / Ungdomsselskaper Anno 1969

I found working with the last post so entertaining that I just had to do another post from the same book although both are more more work than most posts. Because if you think arranging a party for your young ones would provide less problems than serving crabs to a couple of friends you are absolutely mistaken.

The set of worries maybe different, but the chance of ending with egg on your face was indeed present. And all the worries about what would happen to your furniture and floors came on top of that.


I was sixteen in 1969 and I must admit that the parties I went to back then were home-alone-parties that didn’t have the slightest likeness to the parties described in this book. If not totally Sex Drugs & Rock’n’Roll we were close enough.

Ted
Winking smile

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A Crab Evening for 4 Sixties Style / Krabbeaften for 4 Som På Sekstitallet

A party suggestion with menu and recipes found in
“Vi Skal Ha Gjester” (We’re Having Guests)
published by Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag in 1969

A Crab Evening for 4 Sixties Style / Krabbeaften for 4 Som På Sekstitallet

“Vi skal ha gjester” is not a cook book in the normal sense of the word, it is a book on hosting parties at home with menu suggestions and recipes.

And have times changed in the nearly fifty years since this book was written. How anyone dared to invite even their closest friend for dinner after having read in this book what it would take to make it a successfull evening I can’t imagine. What table cloth, what sort of flower arrangement and what sort of candles to use for what sort of  evening was the least of the problems you had to tackle.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, those were hard times visitors. A time full of etiquette pitfalls and embarrasing situations. With a variety of blunders that could as we would say here in Norway, leave you standing with your ass bared.

Ted
Winking smile

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Beef à la Rydberg / Biff á la Rydberg

A classic Swedish dish found  in “Cattelins Kokebok”
(Cattelin’s Cook Book) published in 1978

Beef à la Rydberg / Biff á la Rydberg

This classic dish is from old Hotel Rydberg in Stockholm. A nice party dish when one is willing to go for beef fillet, because beef fillet is needed in this case. But one does not have to use the very finest fillets, since the meat should be cut into pieces.

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Roasted Salmon With Maitre d’Hotel Butter / Ristet Laks med Maitre d’Hôtel-Smør

A classic Norwegian restaurant dish found in “Festmat”
(Partyfood) published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1992
Roasted Salmon With Maitre d’Hotel Butter / Ristet Laks med Maitre d’Hôtel-Smør

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Mississippi Barbecued Pork / Mississippigrillet Svinekjøtt

One of the King’s favourites found in”Are You Hungry Tonight”
published in 1992

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Plan a party the way Elvis and his boys would have done it in the good ol” days. Fry up some breaded onions, rewind the tape to See See Rider and rock ”n” roll!

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Champagnemousse / Champagne Mousse

A rather poch dessert recipe from “Festmat” (Party Food)
published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1980
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Dravle from Kvinnherad / Dravle fra Kvinnherad

A traditional recipe found on bygdekvinnelaget.no438_Dravle fra Kvinnherad_post

Dravle is traditional party food from Kvinnherad in the western part of Norway. Recipes vary a lot from place to place, but it was and is common to serve dravle with milk cakes and potato cakes.

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Party Shrimp Soup / Rekesuppe til Fest

A nice soup recipe found on tine.no
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I love shelfish in any form so this recipe is right down my alley – Ted

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Bidos – Sami Party Food / Bidos – Samisk Festmat

A traditional Sami reindeer stew found on matprat.no274_bidos_post

Bidos is the Sami People’s traditional party food. There are many different recipes for bidos and it can be made both with and without thickening. This is an authentic recipe – devoid of affectation, but full of flavour. Leage Buorre!

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Recipe posted at:
Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday[4]TuesdaysTable copyTreasure Box Tuesday[4]

Party Cake With Biscuits / Festkake Med Kjeks

A no baking cake found on “Kaker Til kaffen”
(Cakes For The Coffee)
Published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1979
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A great no baking party cake that you prepare a day in advance and just garnish before the guests arrive.

000_recipe_eng_flagg Recipe in English  000_recipe_nor_flagg Oppskrift på norsk

Recipe posted at:
Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdayTuesdaysTable copyTreasure Box Tuesday

Skillet Wolffish / Steinbit I Panne

A delicious party fish skillet found on dinmat.no157_steinbitt i panne_post

Wolffish is used in the original Norwegian recipe, but if it is hard to get hold of in your neck of the woods, catfish will do nicely too, even pike – Ted

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Recipe posted at:
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In context:
157_steinbitt i panne2The wolffish, also known as seawolves, are a family, Anarhic-hadidae, of perciform fish. They are native to cold waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where they live on the continental shelf and slope, to depths of about 600 m (2,000 ft). They are bottom-feeders, eating hard-shelled invertebrates such as clams, echinoderms, and crustaceans, which they crush with their strong canine and molar teeth. The longest species, Anarrhichthys ocellatus, grows to more than 2 m (6.6 ft) in length. – From Wikipedia

Fine Fish Gratin / Fin Fiskegrateng

A recipe from “Kokekunst I Bilder” (The Art Of Cooking In Pictures) published by A/S Allers Familie-Journal in 1975

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This festive dish can be made ​​in well in advance, and just be done au gratin just before serving.

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See this book and lots of delicious recipes on:
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Sour Cream Porridge With Cured Meat or Sausage / Rømmegrøt Med Grøtpinne

A recipe from “Mat For Alle Årstider” (Food For All Seasons) published by Det Beste in 1977

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traditional badge2Sour cream porridge is considered one of the most traditional Norwegian dishes, and it is for many families the obvious choice for Whitsun Eve, Midsummer’s Eve and “Olsok”*. The porridge is usually served with traditional cured meat or sausage called “grøtpinne” (literally; porridge stick).

A lot of people find sour cream porridge a little to heavy in our day and age, one has to admit that it is far from health food :-). On the other hand it is exceptionally delicious and eating it a couple of times a year will probably not kill you, I for one am at least willing to take that chance – Ted

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See this and other delicious recipes on:
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* Olsok (literally "Olaf’s Wake" or "Olaf’s Vigil" – that is the eve of St. Olaf’s Day) is now the Norwegian name for 29 July, traditionally the date of the death of King Olaf II Haraldsson of Norway in the Battle of Stiklestad, east of Nidaros (Trondheim), Norway, in 1030. Olaf was canonised by Bishop Grimkell in Nidaros on 3 August 1031, and is remembered as Rex perpetuus Norvegiae, the Eternal King of Norway. More so than his attempts to finally (and forcefully) convert the country to Christianity, Olaf’s martyrdom at Stiklestad appears to have contributed decisively to establishing the Church in all parts of the country. Until the Lutheran reformation in the Nordic countries in the 16th century, Olsok was a major church feast .