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Title: Gala Day Luncheons - A Little Book of Suggestions
Author: Burrell, Caroline Benedict
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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GALA-DAY LUNCHEONS



GALA-DAY
LUNCHEONS

_A Little Book of Suggestions_


BY
CAROLINE BENEDICT BURRELL


[Illustration]


NEW YORK
DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY
1901


_Copyright, 1901_
BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY


_Thanks are due to Messrs. Harper and Brothers for their kind permission
to use that part of this book which has already appeared in Harper's
Bazar._



Table of Contents


                                                                    PAGE
  LUNCHEON GIVING                                                      1
  A NEW YEAR'S LUNCHEON                                               19
  A MUSICAL LUNCHEON                                                  26
  A JAPANESE LUNCHEON FOR CHILDREN                                    30
  A VALENTINE'S DAY LUNCHEON                                          35
  A WASHINGTON LUNCHEON                                               44
  A SHROVE TUESDAY LUNCHEON                                           51
  A LENTEN LUNCHEON                                                   54
  A SAINT PATRICK'S DAY LUNCHEON                                      61
  A CHRISTENING LUNCHEON                                              65
  AN EASTER LUNCHEON                                                  70
  A SHAKESPEARIAN LUNCHEON                                            78
  A MAY-DAY LUNCHEON                                                  88
  AN APPLE-BLOSSOM LUNCHEON                                           93
  A SCHOOL-GIRL LUNCHEON                                              97
  A MILITARY LUNCHEON                                                 99
  A DELFT LUNCHEON                                                   103
  A BRIDAL LUNCHEON                                                  106
  A GRADUATES' LUNCHEON                                              113
  A ROSE LUNCHEON                                                    115
  A PEONY LUNCHEON                                                   118
  A FOURTH OF JULY LUNCHEON                                          123
  A NAUTICAL LUNCHEON                                                129
  A TRAVELLER'S LUNCHEON                                             134
  A YALE LUNCHEON                                                    141
  A HARVARD LUNCHEON                                                 144
  A PRINCETON LUNCHEON                                               145
  A POND-LILY LUNCHEON                                               146
  A FERN LUNCHEON                                                    149
  A POVERTY LUNCHEON                                                 154
  A GOLF LUNCHEON                                                    156
  A BICYCLE LUNCHEON                                                 164
  AN ALUMNI LUNCHEON                                                 167
  A LABOUR-DAY LUNCHEON                                              171
  A TIN-WEDDING LUNCHEON                                             173
  A HALLOWE'EN LUNCHEON                                              179
  AN AUTHOR'S LUNCHEON                                               183
  A THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON                                            188
  A CARMEN LUNCHEON                                                  193
  A HORSE-SHOW LUNCHEON                                              197
  AN INDIAN LUNCHEON                                                 199
  A CARD LUNCHEON                                                    201
  A CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON                                               206
  A SNOW LUNCHEON                                                    215
  AN ANNOUNCEMENT LUNCHEON                                           218



List of Illustrations


                                                                    PAGE
  FOR LUNCHEON USE                                                     4
  ANOTHER STYLE OF DOILY                                               5
  HONITON LACE DOILY                                                   9
  TABLE SET FOR A JANUARY LUNCHEON                                    21
  MUSICAL LUNCHEON FAVOURS                                            29
  FOR A ST. VALENTINE'S DAY LUNCHEON                                  37
  A WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY FAVOUR                                      45
  ALSO FOR A FEBRUARY 22 LUNCHEON                                     49
  FOR A ST. PATRICK'S DAY LUNCHEON                                    57
  POTATO BONBON                                                       62
  FOR AN EASTER LUNCHEON                                              71
  EASTER EGG                                                          74
  EASTER FAVOUR                                                       75
  ICES IN A NEST OF SPUN SUGAR                                        76
  EASTER LILY OF ICE CREAM                                            78
  YELLOW-SHADED CANDLE                                                85
  FOR A MAYFLOWER LUNCHEON                                            89
  BASKET OF CHERRIES                                                  92
  FILLED WITH CANDIED FRUITS                                          94
  CANDY BASKET                                                       101
  FOR A JUNE BRIDAL LUNCHEON                                         107
  FOR A FOURTH OF JULY LUNCHEON                                      121
  ICES SERVED IN DRUMS                                               127
  FOR A YALE LUNCHEON                                                139
  ROWING FAVOUR                                                      146
  FOR A GOLF LUNCHEON                                                157
  GOLF FAVOUR                                                        162
  FOR A TIN-WEDDING LUNCHEON                                         175
  FOR A THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON                                        189
  FOR A CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON                                           207



Luncheon Giving


To give a luncheon is to indulge one's self in the most charming and
satisfying form of entertaining. All the dignity of the stately
dinner-party is lacking, it is true, but all the delight of informality
is present; one has opportunity and leisure to chat, to laugh, and to
discuss the dainty and unsubstantial dishes beloved of women. That
hostess is to be congratulated who can and does give her friends
luncheons all the year around; whatever day she chooses becomes at once
a gala day.

But after one has entertained, and entertained no matter how
delightfully to her friends and how satisfactorily to herself, there
comes a time when for the moment she can think of nothing she has not
had. All flowers seem ordinary, all food wearisome. It is for such a
day as this that this little book has been prepared. Not that new dishes
are offered in a long, fascinating series, for all startling novelties
or elaborate concoctions have been purposely eschewed: this is not a
cook-book; it makes no such ambitious claim; the possession of a good
cook-book, a supply of cooking utensils, a few canned goods and
flavouring extracts, and access to a market of ordinary capacities, have
all been taken for granted. But the ideas are intended to be practical,
the food given in season and within reasonable price, and the recipes,
whether given, as is sometimes the case, or merely alluded to as easily
to be found, are all sufficiently simple to be undertaken by a very
ordinary and inexperienced cook.

It is assumed that all hostesses are in possession of that priceless
commodity which our grandmothers called "faculty," that common-sense
which more than anything else helps one over domestic boulders; this
will suggest that if whitebait is not to be had, canned salmon is quite
within reach, and from that useful fish a toothsome dish may easily be
prepared. If pim-olas are an unheard-of relish, home-made pickles are by
no means to be despised. If ice-cream in rose forms is entirely out of
the question, raspberry ice made from one's own preserves or from the
fresh fruit in the garden is fully as delicious. To assist one who is
willing to take the second choice if she cannot have the first, a
substitute has been offered for any course which it is suspected may
prove difficult to procure in different parts of the country; an
intelligent hostess will easily be able to think of one that is even
better than the one named.

Rather elaborate menus are given that they may be adapted to one's need.
It is easier to shorten a menu than to lengthen one, and two or three
courses dropped from a company luncheon will transform it into one
suitable for home use with very little trouble. If one menu is not quite
what one wants, she can take another; if something more elaborate still
is desired than what is given already, she can take a course from some
luncheon farther on in the book; as much variety as possible has been
sought on purpose, that there may be opportunity for just this choice of
dishes.

The idea of observing holidays with luncheons is only a suggestion; any
one of the luncheons may, with slightly altered decorations, be given at
any time during the month. Doubtless every hostess can take the fancies
given and work them out to her more complete satisfaction; it is
intended that she should do so, for this is not meant to be a complete
compendium on luncheon given; it is only a "Little Book of Suggestions,"
nothing more. And now to something practical.

The principal factor in a successful luncheon is a pretty table; that
remains in one's memory after all the details of the luncheon proper
have been forgotten.

[Illustration: FOR LUNCHEON USE.]

[Illustration: ANOTHER STYLE OF DOILY.]

[Illustration: HONITON LACE DOILY.]

No cloth is used nowadays, but pretty doilies are laid on the bare
surface; where one has been so unfortunate as to have the appearance of
her table ruined by the defacing marks of hot dishes, she often refuses
to dispense with the table-cloth, yet if she knew what a very simple and
inexpensive thing it is to have a fresh polish put on, she would
doubtless send for the furniture dealer at once; even without the aid of
that individual she can improve matters by applying a purchased polish,
rubbing it in well with a flannel cloth; indeed, rubbing is the secret
of a handsome table top. Then, too, she probably does not consider that
when her doilies are in place, very little of the wood is exposed to the
critical eye, while in that little is reflected the flowers and lights
which give a double brilliance to the decorations. But if one is
incorrigible and insists on a cloth in spite of all persuasions, then
the next-best thing is to have a pretty one, one with openwork or lace,
or at least with a handsome fringe, which will give some effect of
elaboration. But doilies are so pretty, so much prettier than any cloth,
no matter how beautiful; they come in all sizes and at all prices, from
the exquisite Honiton lace ones, which are almost too delicate to use,
on to the combined linen and lace which are not expensive; from the
cobwebs of drawn work from Mexico, which look as though they would fall
to pieces if handled and which really wear a lifetime, to the plain
squares of hemstitched linen, which are pretty enough for any table and
can be made at home by the skilful needlewoman. One who can make even
simple fancy work to-day can keep herself in lovely things for the
luncheon table with small cost except in time. The same thing is to be
said of the centrepiece: one can have anything almost, but it should be
all in white. There are times when one wishes an embroidered square or
circle, but ordinarily white lace is the best choice, for the effect of
the flowers is always better if no colour is mingled with their own. As
to the flowers themselves, they should not be over-elaborate. Of course
a woman of unlimited means may expend a vast sum on a basket of orchids
or some other fashionable flowers for her table, but while it is
desirable to have a pretty effect, all undue gorgeousness is out of
harmony with the presumably informal meal. A woman who plans her table
decorations herself will probably evolve something more original and
more pleasing than the hackneyed result a florist would attain, should
she summon him to her aid. A quantity of roses lightly grouped in a bowl
or arranged in a basket has a grace which is not found in a merely
conventional arrangement. There are artistic bunches of wild flowers
which give delight whenever the eye falls on them, and clusters of ferns
which on a hot summer's day make one feel cool and comfortable. A pot
of growing violets is a simple thing, but it is infinitely better than a
"design" from a greenhouse. No one should despair if she cannot have a
professional to help her arrange the flowers for her luncheon table; let
her give thanks.

[Illustration]

There are combinations of flowers which give prettier effect than does
one flower alone, such as jonquils and violets, or white hyacinths, or
mignonette and Roman hyacinths, or scarlet carnations and white roses. A
little study will enable the hostess to plan something unique and
attractive. Indeed, her personal touch is needed nowhere so much as
here, since she can stamp her decorations with her individuality.

Besides the flowers, a decorative effect is given to the table by the
small dishes of silver, or silver-gilt, and cut glass, which stand
around the centrepiece and hold salted nuts, bonbons, almonds, candied
ginger, crystallised fruits, and often peeled radishes, celery hearts,
and jelly as well. These are seen in silver with a stem three inches
high for the daintier things, but any pretty bonbon dishes are correct
form, whatever they are.

After these things are in place, the silver is next to be considered:
luckily the fashion of displaying all one happens to own is no longer
considered in good taste; it was always rather vulgar and savoured of
the shop, and no one can regret that the fancy has gone by. All that is
needed now is the oyster fork, or, if fruit is to be the first course, a
spoon or fork on the right, then the soup spoon, and either one or two
knives as will be needed; on the left either two or three forks; the
handsome dessert or ice cream spoon may lie across the top of the plate.
There are always changes going on in table silver, yet good things are
really never out of date. For instance, bouillon spoons have perfectly
circular bowls at present, yet if one does not happen to own a set of
these, teaspoons do quite as well to use with small cups or bowls. So
with salad forks; the tines grow longer or shorter from season to
season, yet any fork may be used for salad, whether intended for that
particular course or not. Ordinary ice-cream spoons or forks are
modified also; sometimes one sees a combination of the two, or a
spade-shaped spoon is pronounced the only proper thing. Since every
year brings out something new, the only safe rule for the housekeeper
to observe is to buy things which are not extreme, and then use them
with an easy mind, whatever be the fancies of the day.

The custom of having a decorated service plate at each place is such a
good one that it is likely to remain long in vogue. It is intended to
hold the oyster plate, the plate with the bouillon bowl if the latter
has no saucer, and the plate with the first hot course, after which it
is removed with the one that has been used. When the guests come to the
table this service plate holds a roll folded in a napkin.

[Illustration]

Small bowls with two handles are used for the bouillon or soup at
luncheon, but if one does not have them, an ordinary cup of rather good
size is substituted. The plates used are ordinarily of rather smaller
size than those seen at dinner, as the dishes are of a lighter
character, and the handsomest are reserved for the fingerbowls, which
are put on the table with the bonbons and coffee only, unless the meal
begins with fruit, when they appear twice.

The question of lighting the table is one that often puzzles young
housekeepers or novices at entertaining. "Shall we use candles at
_luncheon_?" they ask, bewildered at the seeming absurdity of the idea.
At first thought it may seem that is a foolish thing to do, yet there is
good reason for having them at certain times. In the city, especially in
winter, the dining-room is apt to be dark and therefore gloomy, and the
cheerful glow of candles is both attractive and hospitable. Besides,
they are extremely decorative: indeed, one sees them unlighted sometimes
at formal luncheons when the day is sunny, used entirely for the colour
they give the table. On the other hand, they should not be recklessly
and indiscriminately used, for there are days when they would be
ridiculously out of place, as in the summer, with open windows and a
flood of brilliant light in the room. They are also out of place at a
very simple meal to which only a few friends sit down, but they are in
keeping with a rather elaborate company luncheon, and on a table set for
such a meal they are both beautiful and appropriate.

There are other pretty ways of lighting the table besides using candles;
there are devices to be used where electricity is available, such as
lovely little electric candles with rose shades which give the effect of
real flowers; then there are varieties of lamps, especially the
so-called "fairy lamp," a pretty thing which is very practical as well
as attractive; there are also combinations of the lamp and candle,
which have in their favour the fact that they do not take fire and
destroy their shades. But nothing is ever prettier than the
old-fashioned wax candle in white or colour, in silver candlesticks,
with or without shades. Nothing gives such reflections on the dishes,
the silver and glass, and the mirror-like surface of polished wood as
their flickering lights. If one owns several of these, she has the
foundation for endless variety. She may group them in twos, or stand
them singly about the table, or she may buy a branched top and convert
one into a candelabrum, or she may arrange several candelabra in the
same way.

As to shades, a clever woman can always keep herself supplied with
prettier ones than the shops can afford, provided she is skilful with
the needle and paint brush. She can have them of plain pasteboard with a
border in colours and a pattern of painted flowers, or a conventional
design. Or, she can buy dozens of silk or cotton rose petals and make
really beautiful things with them. Or, if she has plenty of money and no
time to spare, she can buy almost anything, from simple shades of paper
roses or chrysanthemums to imported arrangements made by artistic
fingers in silk and flowers together. Unless, however, she is prepared
to buy a new set quite frequently, she will always invest in one or two
more than she needs, lest some day she finds one burned and none to
match it in the shops.

Guest cards are really necessary,--primarily, in order to avoid
confusion in seating a number of persons in a short time, but with a
secondary reason for their existence which is not to be overlooked: they
enable the hostess to seat together those who have most in common and
who will start the ball of conversation rolling, and keep it going.
Many a meal has proved stupid and tiresome to some one because she sat
by an uncongenial fellow-guest; a hostess shows her tact--or her lack of
it--by the way she plans the seats of those who are to surround the
table.

As to favours, they are in no way essential; they are suggested here
merely because they afford some opportunity for originality, and serve
to break the ice at the very beginning of a meal. They are not for the
older woman, who will doubtless despise them, but for the girl-hostess
who is gay enough still to care for whatever raises a laugh. They should
depend for their worth not on any intrinsic value, for they should have
none, but on their cleverness, their appropriateness; those mentioned
are only "suggestions;" every hostess should from these go on to others
which have more to them.

Just a word of warning as to the menu. Do not try and transform into a
"function" what should be only a light and pleasant luncheon. The
moment that is done, and a demand is made for extreme thought and
preparation on the part of the hostess, and formality on the part of the
guests, that moment the whole affair becomes a weariness to the flesh
and spirit, and the charm is gone. There is no limit to the number of
courses a hostess may offer if she really sets out to show what she can
do if she tries; every year gastronomic possibilities increase, and an
ambitious woman may pile patés on croquettes, and salads on sherbets,
and creams on top of everything else _ad libitum_, if she so wishes. But
a luncheon should be a luncheon, not a cooking-school display. It should
be delightful to the eye, delicious to the palate, sufficiently
elaborate to show respect to one's guests, and yet simple enough to be
in good taste; restraint rather than ostentatious display should give
the meal the refining touch which is needed to make it really complete.



January


By a happy omen our year begins with a gala day; time was when the very
mention of New Year's Day brought to our minds the thought of confusion
and fatigue, but all that is past; nowadays we observe the incoming of
the year with quiet entertaining of our friends with small receptions,
family dinner-parties, and luncheons, more or less elaborate. It is not
necessary, however, that all New Year luncheons should come on the very
day itself, for one can have all the essential features at a meal given
during the first half of the month. But whenever it comes, it should be
a scarlet luncheon as far as the decorations are concerned, for January
days are sure to be gloomy. For a large company a beautiful table can be
arranged with a central mass of poinsettias in a gilded basket, scarlet
candles, and something scarlet in the menu, just enough to emphasize the
idea of the luncheon. If the table is a small one and the poinsettias
are too large to be effective, have a bowl of scarlet carnations with
asparagus ferns, or put the flowers in a mound of moss. If you have
silver candlesticks,--and they are the prettiest of all,--you can group
them in twos, provided they are not too large, putting them at either
end of an oblong table, or having three pairs if the table is round. It
is always in keeping on a dark day to have the candles unshaded, the
glow reflected on the polished surfaces giving a peculiarly brilliant
and cosy effect; if shades are preferred, of course they should be
scarlet, like the candles. Put a quantity of small dishes about,
containing olives, salted almonds, candied ginger or fruits, and
bonbons; they are not only useful, but help to decorate the table. Use
doilies in preference to a cloth, and a centrepiece of lace, or
embroidered linen and lace.

[Illustration: TABLE SET FOR A JANUARY LUNCHEON.]

The obvious thing in the way of a guest card is a calendar, in some
form; if you sketch you can make one that is prettier and more
characteristic than one that is purchased. A tiny calendar may be
mounted on a square of cardboard with a small snow scene in the
background, or a picture of Father Time may be placed above a quotation;
or there may be an outline of an hour-glass above the calendar and the
guest's name and the date of the luncheon below.

MENU

  OYSTER COCKTAIL.
  GREEN PEA BISQUE. CROUTONS.
  CREAMED FISH IN CUCUMBERS.
  QUAIL ON FRIED MUSH. CURRANT JELLY.
  POTATO PUFF. FRENCH PEAS. HOT ROLLS.
  TOMATO JELLY IN FORMS. MAYONNAISE.
  PIM-OLAS. CHEESE STRAWS.
  SNOWBALL ICES. SNOWBALL CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

For the cocktail, select small oysters and pour over them a dressing
made by mixing two teaspoonfuls of horse-radish with the juice of two
lemons, two teaspoonfuls of tomato catsup and one of Tabasco sauce. This
rule makes enough for five persons. Put eight oysters in a tall, shallow
glass and cover with this dressing and put on the ice long enough to
thoroughly chill them. The cocktail is also prettily served in
ice-shells which are to be had of the caterer, or one can make them at
home by piling up small, scalloped tins half filled with water and
freezing; the tins will separate readily when they are slightly warmed.

If one lives where cucumbers are procurable in January, a delicious dish
is made by cutting off a slice from each cucumber, scooping out the
inside, heating them, filling with a thick creamed fish, replacing the
slice and serving hot. The combination of the fish and cucumber flavours
is delightful. If one is away from the city markets, however, have a
course of lobster cutlets with sauce tartare in the place of this. The
salad is one of the best and most attractive for a winter's day. It is
made by heating, seasoning, and straining the thick part of canned
tomatoes and setting them with gelatine in small individual
moulds,--little rings are pretty,--and when they are firm turning them
out on the inner leaves of lettuce; the inside of such a circle is to be
filled with mayonnaise, or, if the jelly is in mounds, the mayonnaise is
to be heaped around each and the whole sprinkled with chopped parsley.

The ice cream can be furnished by the caterer in the form of perfect
snowballs, which are attractive on a winter's day, especially with the
cakes, but if they are not to be had a white cream served with
maraschino cherries is delicious. The cakes are made by scooping out
rounded spoonfuls from a large angels' food and dipping them first in
warm, boiled frosting and then rolling them in grated cocoanut. No
sherbet is suggested for this luncheon, as one cold dish is enough for a
January meal; still, if you wish to make it rather more elaborate you
can introduce a course of orange ice or Roman punch after the quail; or
you may make a formal luncheon of it by changing it in several ways.

MENU

  OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  GREEN PEA BISQUE. CROUTONS.
  LOBSTER CUTLETS. SAUCE TARTARE.
  SLICES OF TURKEY-BREAST. CURRANT JELLY.
  FRENCH PEAS.
  PINEAPPLE SHERBET.
  QUAIL ON TOAST. FRENCH DRESSED LETTUCE.
  SNOWBALL ICES. SNOWBALL CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.


A MUSICAL LUNCHEON

The twenty-seventh of January is Mozart's birthday, and this anniversary
gives opportunity for entertaining a group of friends who have musical
tastes, or possibly a musical club. The guests might be asked to come at
eleven o'clock, and a musicale might precede the luncheon.

[Illustration]

Lay the table very much as for the New Year's day luncheon, with red
flowers, candles, and other decoration, and if you wish to emphasise the
national colours of Germany, Mozart's home, have red and chocolate
bonbons on the table and give each guest a little knot of red and white
carnations tied with black ribbons. For cards, go to the printer and
have him strike off small cuts of Mozart's head on squares of cardboard;
all printers have cuts of distinguished people, and they can be
reproduced for about a dollar a dozen. Just under the cut draw in pen
and ink a bar of music from one of the composer's works with his name
attached in tiny letters.

[Illustration: MUSICAL LUNCHEON FAVOURS.]

At each plate may be one of the ingenious favours to be had at the
confectioner's in the shape of a violin, a small piano, a banjo, a harp,
or a mandolin. The ices may also be in these same shapes.

MENU

  GRAPE FRUIT.
  CLAM BROTH WITH STRIPS OF TOAST.
  PIGS IN BLANKETS.
  VEAL CUTLETS, BREADED.
  SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES. ASPARAGUS TIPS.
  HOT ROLLS.
  CREAM CHEESE SALAD. NUT SANDWICHES.
  ICE CREAM IN FORMS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The pigs in blankets are made by seasoning large oysters and folding
each one in a very thin strip of bacon, pinning it with a small
toothpick and browning in the frying-pan. The cutlets are to be cut in
strips the size and shape of croquettes, breaded and fried. The
asparagus served with this is, of course, canned. The salad is made by
adding a little olive oil or cream to cream cheese, colouring it green
with fruit colouring and moulding into balls the size of a hickory nut.
These are to be laid on lettuce and a spoonful of mayonnaise added. A
pretty change from the ordinary mayonnaise may be used with these green
balls: a tablespoonful of unsweetened, condensed milk is used in place
of the yolk of an egg; it is beaten, the oil and vinegar or lemon juice
and seasoning added exactly in the same order and proportion as is
usual; the result will be a stiff, foamy white mayonnaise. The
sandwiches to serve with this salad are made of chopped English walnuts
spread on bread and butter with just enough mayonnaise to moisten them.


A JAPANESE LUNCHEON FOR CHILDREN

[Illustration]

Nothing could give children greater pleasure than a luncheon given for
them, especially a Japanese luncheon, which affords opportunity for odd
and pretty decorations. The dining-room should be darkened and wires
drawn across from side to side, fastened to the picture moulding; from
these may be hung a dozen or more very small paper lanterns, some over
the table and others about the room. In the centre of the table may
stand two good-sized Japanese dolls, back to back, with a Japanese
umbrella over them. Instead of the usual doilies or table-cloth, the
table may be spread with delicate white Japanese paper napkins with lace
borders, and about it may be scattered small metal trays, purchased at a
curio shop, filled with candied ginger, candied orange peel, Japanese
nuts, and various oriental sweets. At each plate may be a little lacquer
box filled with candy, and the ice cream may be either in the forms of
Japanese children or else a plain cream served in small scarlet tea
boxes to be had also at the Japanese stores. The china used for this
luncheon might be Japanese, to keep everything in harmony.

The menu for a children's luncheon should be a very simple one if the
children are young; in this one the salad may be omitted if it is
thought best.

MENU

  CREAM OF CELERY SOUP.
  SCALLOPED FISH IN SHELLS.
  STEWED CHICKEN. Potatoes. PEAS.
  BREAD AND BUTTER SANDWICHES.
  CELERY SALAD. CRACKERS.
  ICE CREAM. Cakes. COCOA.
  JAPANESE NUTS.

This Japanese luncheon is quite pretty enough for children of a larger
growth. With a more elaborate menu, decorations of artificial camellias
or peach blossoms, and if it is desired to have it really oriental,
Japanese costumes for both hostess and guests, it might be easily
carried out very attractively. A menu which would suggest Japanese
cooking without actually following it might be something like this:--

MENU

  BROWN SOUP WITH FORCEMEAT BALLS.
  FISH, BAKED IN SHELLS WITH CHOPPED PICKLE OVER IT.
  CHICKEN AND RICE STEWED WITH CURRY.
  DEVILLED EGGS ON LETTUCE. MAYONNAISE.
  ICE CREAM IN JAPANESE BOXES.
  TEA. CANDIED GINGER. JAPANESE NUTS.

Another luncheon which small children would enjoy hugely would be one in
which everything suggested their friend Alice of Wonderland. The table
should be laid as for an ordinary luncheon, and in the centre should be
a mass of green with the hero of the book, the White Rabbit himself,
standing erect in the middle, dressed as in the familiar frontispiece,
in a plaid coat and waistcoat, holding a watch. Each child should have a
card with its name and a sketch of one of the familiar characters in the
story, such as the Mock Turtle, the Dormouse, the March Hare, the White
Queen or Humpty Dumpty, with one of their famous sayings written
beneath. All the candies on the table should be in the shapes of
animals; animal crackers should be served with the cocoa, and if
possible the ice cream should be in the shape of white rabbits.

Children's luncheons depend for their success, not so much on an
elaborate menu or handsome decoration of flowers, as on small,
ingenious devices which appeal to them. Anything which seems to their
unsophisticated souls novel or beautiful will give infinite pleasure and
will never be forgotten. Such a decoration as was used for a
dinner-party at the White House not many years ago might well be
reproduced for a child's luncheon with the assurance that it would be a
great success.

A long, narrow pan of water stood on an oblong table, the outside
completely hidden by small, growing ferns, planted in moss. In the
centre of the pan was a miniature rockery, a pile of stones the size of
one's fist, with these same ferns planted in all the crevices. But the
charming thing was a little flock of china ducks, geese, swans, and tiny
yellow goslings which floated on the surface of this small lake, moving
somewhat as the table was stirred more or less by the restless guests.
This arrangement for a children's party would be irresistible.



February


This month brings the two most important gala days of the year, and
gives therefore the best possible opportunity for entertaining at
luncheon. Then, too, this is the time when every one is giving teas,
dinners, and social affairs of all sorts and the sense of gaiety is
inspiring to all hostesses. In cities the spring flowers, fruits, and
vegetables begin to come in with this month, and there ample scope is
given for a fresh and delicious menu. Of course, where one has no access
to large markets she must content herself with the usual winter foods,
yet with a little ingenuity she can give the impression of a spring-like
meal, using the resources at her command.

[Illustration: FOR A ST. VALENTINE S DAY LUNCHEON.]

A luncheon on Valentine's Day is one of the prettiest possible, for the
profusion of flowers which might be excessive at another time is quite
the proper thing now, and the accessories of the occasion, the ribbon
bows, the cupids, the heart-shaped cakes and ices all make the table
attractive. Lay it as daintily as possible with your most elaborate
doilies, your prettiest candle-shades, and all your odd little dishes of
silver. Of course, pink is the colour to choose, and the more pink roses
you can have, the better. A very beautiful table which will suggest the
day at first sight is set with five tall slender glass vases, one in the
centre and four grouped around it at intervals filled with roses. This
arrangement really takes no more flowers than is required for one large
bunch, but the effect is of far more. The florist will sell or rent to
you a large snow-white dove, the emblem of Venus, which can be suspended
from the ceiling with an invisible wire; you can tie a number of narrow
pink ribbons to his feet, or to his bill, and draw them down to the
table, fastening two or three by each plate with a pink rose. If you
have a large bisque Cupid it will do quite as well as the dove, and if
you prefer to use vines instead of ribbon, these will form a sort of
bower under which the meal is served. Put the central vase on a lace
centrepiece laid over pink silk, and if your doilies are of lace they,
too, may be lined with pink for this one occasion. There are
candle-shades made of small paper roses which are very inexpensive and
pretty, and these may be used with pink candles in silver sticks. If you
fancy the idea, large pink satin bows laid on the corners of the table,
if it is a square one, or at intervals if the table is round, add to the
colour. Fill your bonbon dishes with small heart-shaped candies,
pink-iced cakes of the same shape, and candied rose leaves, in addition
to those filled with the usual olives and salted almonds.

Your guest cards will of course be valentines, and you can buy them in
any variety and at any price, but the most appropriate are those painted
with old-fashioned figures, or with Watteau-like groups. Of course, if
these valentines are on heart-shaped cardboard they are still better; it
is easy for one who paints in water-colour to decorate such pieces of
board with figures and an appropriate rhyme or a quotation, adding the
name of the guest and the date of the luncheon. Besides these cards,
there are boxes in heart shapes of all prices, from the plain ones which
need the addition of sketches, to those of satin which come from Paris
and cost a small fortune. The plainer boxes may take the place of guest
cards, and so serve a double duty; in any case, the boxes may be filled
either with tiny candy hearts or with rose leaves such as are in the
small dishes.

The sandwiches served with the meal are of course to be cut out with a
heart-shaped cutter, as are the cakes, and the latter should have small
silver arrows stuck through each of them.

MENU

  CLAMS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF SPINACH SOUP WITH WHIPPED CREAM.
  WHITEBAIT. BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
  CHICKEN MOUSSE. STONED OLIVES.
  CHOPS WITH PEAS. BERMUDA POTATOES.
  GRAPE FRUIT SALAD. CHEESE SANDWICHES.
  ICE CREAM HEARTS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The cream of spinach soup is made by cooking the vegetable until very
tender, pressing it through a sieve and adding hot, thickened milk; a
little whipped cream is to be put in the bouillon cups before the soup
is poured in. The whitebait is one of the most delicious things in our
winter markets; it is a very tiny fish of delicate flavour, and while it
is rather expensive at first thought, it is not so in reality, for it is
so light that a pound goes a long way. It is cooked after being dredged
with flour, by frying for only a moment in a wire basket in hot fat, and
served with a bit of lemon on rounds of lace paper; brown bread and
butter in thin strips is passed with it. If it is not to be had, and of
course outside a city it is difficult to obtain, lobster Newburgh, made
from the canned fish, is an excellent substitute. About a pint of the
meat is needed for eight persons; a half-pint of cream is put on the
stove with the yolks of two well-beaten eggs; when it thickens the
lobster is added, then the seasoning and last a dash of sherry, and it
is served in ramekins or paper cases.

The chicken mousse is a cold dish, made by chopping and pounding the
cooked white meat of chicken until it is a paste, seasoning, and adding
enough chicken stock in which gelatine has been dissolved to thoroughly
moisten it; it is then whipped with an egg-beater until light, pressed
in a pan, and allowed to harden; sometimes in addition to the stock a
half cup of whipped cream is mixed in, and this is an improvement to the
ordinary rule for making it. When it is to be used it is sliced and cut
out in heart-shaped pieces; two stoned olives are put on the plate with
each piece, or, if you prefer it, a spoonful of sauce tartare.

The ices may be of strawberry cream or of raspberry ice or a mixture of
both, they are to be heart-shaped, as has been said, and each one should
have a sugar arrow stuck through it. If you prefer roses to hearts,
these should be laid on lace papers. If this course must be prepared at
home, the cream can easily be coloured a rose tint with fruit colour,
and a spoonful served in a dainty little box made of pasteboard covered
with rose crêpe paper, cut to resemble petals of the flower, tied with
ribbons to match.


WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY LUNCHEON

The twenty-second of February suggests that an almost unlimited amount
of ingenuity may be spent in preparing a meal in honour of the Father of
our Country. There is opportunity for decoration such as few gala days
offer, and this may easily be the prettiest luncheon of the year.

If the meal is an informal one a centrepiece may be arranged which will
amuse the guests. Get at the florist's a small dead plant, such as an
azalea, and pick off some of the twigs, making a symmetrical tree of
diminutive size. At a Japanese shop you can buy the pretty artificial
cherry blossoms used to set off the bric-à-brac in the windows, and
these can be fastened to the twigs with invisible wire, the little tree
may stand in a low pot filled with moss, and at its base may be a small
hatchet. With this, your candle-shades should be a sort of rosy white.
You might use in preference to this a bunch of the cherry branches in a
vase in the centre.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

Or, if you prefer to have the Colonial colours, choose a large dark-blue
bowl and fill it with yellow tulips, and have all the dishes, or at
least several sets of plates, of dark-blue ware; if one does not own
Staffordshire of her grandmother's or the beautiful Chinese Canton
china, still she need not despair, for the shops are full of a cheap and
pretty imitation of the latter which gives an admirable effect. The
candle-shades should be yellow, in tulip pattern preferably, and the
candlesticks of old-fashioned silver.

[Illustration: A WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY FAVOUR.]

At each plate lay a bonbon box in the form of a paper hatchet with the
handle filled with red and white candies, and tie a bunch of artificial
cherries to it with narrow ribbon. You can get at the printer's cards
with the head of Washington which a line of gold paint and a bowknot
will transform into a miniature. Fold your napkins into little cocked
hats, and stand small silk flags in your dishes of almonds and olives.
In addition to all this, you can send to Mount Vernon for small
souvenirs in the shape of hatchets, supposably made of the actual
historic cherry-tree, which may take the place of the paper hatchets at
the plates.

Should your luncheon be given for the members of some patriotic
association, you might add the name of some famous Revolutionary battle
to your guest cards, or possibly a quotation from some well-known novel
which has historic characters, such as "Richard Carvel" or "The
Virginians."

MENU

  GRAPE FRUIT WITH BRANDIED CHERRIES.
  CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP.
  SMELTS WITH SAUCE TARTARE.
  FRIED SWEETBREADS. MUSHROOM SAUCE.
  CARROTS IN CASES. BERMUDA POTATOES.
  CELERY AND CABBAGE SALAD IN PEPPERS.
  ICE CREAM HATCHETS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

Cut the grape fruit in half and remove the seeds and core, loosen the
pulp around the sides and put in the cavity in the middle a couple of
preserved or brandied cherries, with a little of their juice. The soup
is a strong chicken stock to which cream has been added; a spoonful of
whipped cream is put on top of each cup as it is served, and hot
crackers are passed with it.

Put a little water-cress on the plate with the smelts as well as the
sauce.

Sweetbreads are especially good with both mushrooms and carrots, though
one does not often see the latter vegetable with them, but creamed, in
small paper or paste cases, they are by no means to be despised, above
all, if they are the new ones which have just come to market.

The salad is made by cutting off the tops of green peppers, removing the
seeds and filling them with shredded celery and cabbage with stiff
mayonnaise, and serving on lettuce; if the peppers are not to be had,
the salad may be put directly on the lettuce. The cheese straws are made
by sprinkling thin strips of pie-crust with red pepper and grated
cheese, twisting a little and browning in the oven.

The ice cream hatchets must come from the caterer; they are extremely
realistic with the initials Gr. W. on their handles, and add greatly to
the gaiety of the occasion; but if they are not to be had, the hostess
can serve in their place a plain cream in little cocked hats, or have
it sliced with a few preserved or brandied cherries on each slice. The
bonbons passed with the coffee may be one or more kinds of candied
cherries to be found in great variety at the confectioner's.

A still more elaborate menu might be this one:--

MENU

  GRAPE FRUIT WITH CHERRIES.
  CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP.
  FRIED OYSTERS WITH SAUCE TARTARE.
  CHICKEN CROQUETTES WITH PEAS.
  SWEETBREADS, MUSHROOM SAUCE.
  CARROTS IN CASES. BERMUDA POTATOES.
  CHERRY SHERBET.
  CELERY AND CABBAGE SALAD IN GREEN PEPPERS.
  ICE CREAM HATCHETS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

[Illustration: ALSO FOR A FEBRUARY 22 LUNCHEON.]

The sherbet course is exceedingly pretty. The ice is made from home-made
candied cherries and put in glass sherbet cups with a little bunch of
artificial cherries tied to the handle with green ribbon the colour of
the leaves.


A SHROVE TUESDAY LUNCHEON

Shrove Tuesday comes the day before Lent begins, and there is always
much gaiety on hand by way of a temporary farewell to festivities. The
old custom of serving pancakes on this day should not be forgotten in
planning one's menu for the gala day meal; true, they are certainly an
unusual dish for luncheon, but they should by no means be omitted.

There is a very beautiful and odd decoration to be made with delicate
white flowers and tiny white candles, which can be arranged with little
trouble. Have a low mound of moss for a foundation with a border of
maiden-hair fern; stand Roman hyacinths or lilies of the valley in this,
not too near together, with the candles between, having first inserted
a toothpick in the bottom of each and had them on the ice over night to
prevent them from melting too soon. Keep all the colour on the table
green and white,--the candles, the china, if possible, and the ice
cream. The pancakes should be made very large, one covering the whole
griddle, spread with jelly, rolled, and sprinkled with sugar. One, or at
most two, should serve a tableful of guests.

MENU

  BOUILLON.
  OYSTERS ON SKEWERS.
  CHOPS AND PEAS. FRENCH FRIED POTATOES.
  ASPARAGUS TIPS WITH MAYONNAISE.
  FRENCH PANCAKES.
  PISTACHE ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The oysters are to be rather small, and put on skewers with bits of thin
bacon alternating, and fried quickly till crisp; serve on toast with
lemon. This is an easily prepared and delicious dish and one which
makes a good substitute for any other suggested in any winter luncheon
which is not within reach. Serve the ice cream in cases of white candy,
or white cream in green cases, or use whipped cream as a bed around
either ice cream if cases are not to be had.

Lincoln's birthday comes early in February, and a patriotic luncheon can
easily be arranged for that from the suggestions already given for
Washington's birthday. Patriotic affairs admit little variation; red,
white, and blue ribbons and flowers, ice cream in paper boxes with red
and white stripes, and cards with suitable inscriptions are about all
one can have by way of appropriate decoration.



March


With March comes a lull in the social world. Lent holds sway, whether
one professes to observe it or not. Dinners, receptions, dances, are all
postponed for a time, and quiet teas and luncheons are the accepted
forms of entertaining. A Lenten luncheon gives opportunity for a meal
without meat, one which may be a pleasant change from the usual menu,
and still will not suggest a fast.


A LENTEN LUNCHEON

For this no colour is so appropriate as violet, and luckily this is the
month when the flower itself appears most plentifully in market. In
arranging the table it may be well to depart for once from the rule of
having all the linen in white, and use any violet-embroidered pieces you
happen to have. Such a centrepiece is especially pretty, under the real
flowers, and violet and white china, if you have it, will make an
attractive table. In the centre have a basket of rough green straw tied
with ribbons of violet, and filled with a mass of the flowers arranged
to look like one large, loose bunch, but really in a quantity of small
bunches which are to be given to the guests as they leave the table at
the close of the meal, unless you prefer to have a knot of the flowers
at each place, tied with narrow ribbons. This giving of individual
bunches of flowers at the beginning of the meal, although always a
graceful and pretty custom, is not seen just now as much as formerly.

If you use candles, have them of violet, with plain violet shades edged
with the flowers sewed to the paper or silk foundation; or else have
plain shades of heavy paper painted with wreaths of the flowers. Your
cards may match these, being squares of cardboard almost covered with a
wreath of violets, with a bowknot painted on it, and the name of the
guest written across the flowers. Your bonbon dishes may be filled with
candied violets and other violet-tinted sweets.

MENU

  OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  BOUILLON.
  HALIBUT TIMBALES WITH LOBSTER SAUCE.
  SALMON CROQUETTES WITH PEAS.
  SHAD WITH ROE. NEW POTATOES. CUCUMBERS.
  VIOLET CABBAGE SALAD.
  BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER. OLIVES.
  VIOLET ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

If shad is not in market as yet, though it should be in March, use any
broiled fish; if white fish is obtainable, nothing is nicer,
especially if it is planked. The salad is an odd one; a head of purple
cabbage is taken, the leaves turned back and the centre cut out; a white
cabbage is shredded and mixed with as much shredded celery and stiff
mayonnaise, and this is put into the purple cabbage head, and it is
passed on a round platter to the guests.

The ice cream is a plain one coloured violet with fruit colour; it is
put in a circular border mould and turned when firm out on a bed of
whipped cream; the centre of the mould is heaped with this same whipped
cream, and over the whole a quantity of candied violets is sprinkled. On
the edge of the platter a wreath of natural violets is arranged with
their leaves, making a really beautiful dish. If this seems too
elaborate, or if the flowers are not abundant, fill meringue shells with
the violet cream and tie two together with narrow violet ribbon and lay
on rounds of lace paper on each plate; the cream should rather more
than fill the shells.

If you prefer a menu with less fish and some meat, this would do:--

MENU

  ORANGES.
  BISQUE OF OYSTER SOUP.
  HALIBUT TIMBALES WITH SHRIMP SAUCE.
  CHICKEN AND PIM-OLAS IN CASES.
  SLICED BREAST OF DUCK. CURRANT JELLY.
  POTATO ROSES.
  APRICOT SHERBET.
  SARDINE SALAD. MAYONNAISE.
  VIOLET ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The oranges are to be prepared as was the grape fruit; that is, the pulp
is loosened from the sides after a thick slice has been cut from the
top, the core is taken out, and powdered sugar and sherry, if you use
it, put in. The creamed chicken has chopped pim-olas added to it to give
a delicious flavour. The salad is an aspic with one sardine embedded in
each small mould. The potato roses are made by pressing mashed potato
through a tube in spirals, and browning in the oven.

Sometimes one is moved to give a luncheon "Just for fun," on some gala
day which suggests that informality will be in keeping with its
atmosphere. Of course one invites to such a meal only such of one's
friends as will appreciate the spirit in which the luncheon is given;
nothing is more discouraging than to have one's little jokes fall flat,
as they are sure to, unless all are in sympathy.


A ST. PATRICK'S DAY LUNCHEON

requires kindred spirits to really enjoy it.

[Illustration: FOR A ST. PATRICK'S DAY LUNCHEON.]

Of course the meal should be carried out in green, Ireland's colour, and
potato salad should be one of the distinctive Irish dishes. Have a white
and green centrepiece, and if you have any green and white china have
it conspicuously used, and for decoration get from the florist a wire
harp, typical of that which "Once thro' Tara's halls," and cover its
frame and strings with delicate green vines, letting their ends trail on
the table. Stand small green flags among your candies and olives, and
have pistache nuts among the salted almonds. If you use candles, have
them green with their shades decorated in shamrock, which is like a
small clover. For cards use the same thing, painted in little bunches
tied with ribbon, or have a sketch of a typical Irish peasant, or of a
tiny white-washed cottage with vines as one sees so many in Ireland.
Under the name of the guest put a quotation from Moore, the poet of the
country, the more familiar the better. Have your bonbons in the form of
small potatoes, or else give each person one of the bonbon boxes which
look exactly like large Irish potatoes, and fill it with green candies.

[Illustration: POTATO BONBON.]

MENU

  GRAPE FRUIT.
  CREAM OF GREEN PEA SOUP.
  SHAD ROE WITH SAUCE TARTARE.
  CHOPS, WITH PEAS AND BERMUDA POTATOES.
  LEMON SHERBET IN LEMON BASKETS.
  POTATO SALAD. LETTUCE SANDWICHES.
  PISTACHE ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE.

There is just enough green about this meal to suggest the day, without
trying to have the whole in the colour, a thing seldom seen now, though
not long ago it was thought a very pretty fancy.

This potato salad is a very delicious one, not to be despised because of
its plebeian name. It is made by mixing equal parts of cold boiled
potatoes cut into cubes with olives in rather large bits and blanched
English walnuts, the whole covered with a stiff mayonnaise. The
sandwiches passed with this are made by spreading thin slices of bread
and butter with leaves of lettuce and mayonnaise, rolling them and tying
with a narrow green ribbon.

The ice cream may be either a melon mould of French cream covered with a
thick layer of pistache, or else a brick of the pistache with a centre
of lemon ice. The little cakes should be iced with green.


QUOTATIONS FROM MOORE

     "When friends are nearest, when joys are dearest, oh, then
     remember me."

  "Here still is the smile that no cloud can o'ercast,
  And a heart and a hand all thine own to the last."

  "You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
  But the scent of the roses will hang round it still."

  "Oh, there are looks and tones that dart
  An instant sunshine through the heart."

     "There's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young
     dream."


A CHRISTENING LUNCHEON

The day that the baby is christened is surely a gala day, and one that
admits a very dainty and beautiful luncheon after the service. Of course
the colour of the decorations, whether in the parlours or the
dining-room, should be white, and the flowers should be the delicate
ones suggestive of childhood, such as white violets, Roman hyacinths,
lilies of the valley, and daisies; these should be mingled with
asparagus fern and other airy green, and used as lavishly as one's purse
will permit. On the table spread for the luncheon there should be only
white decorations. For this occasion it is more appropriate to use a
cloth of plain damask or heavy linen and lace rather than the usual
doilies, the centrepiece being of lace. If candles are used, they should
be white with shades of silver; the appointments of the table should be,
as far as possible, of glass, and all the bonbons and other decoration
of white, such as candy baskets filled with crystallised fruits.

[Illustration]

The centrepiece may be a wicker cradle painted white and tied with white
ribbons, filled with delicate flowers and asparagus ferns, and the ices
may be in cradle shape also.

MENU

  CREAM OF CORN SOUP.
  TIMBALE OF HALIBUT IN MELON SHAPE.
  LOBSTER SAUCE.
  CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CELERY SAUCE.
  POTATO BALLS.
  ORANGE SHERBET.
  SWEETBREADS IN ASPIC WITH WHITE MAYONNAISE.
  ICES IN FORMS. ANGELS' FOOD.
  COFFEE WITH WHIPPED CREAM.

The fish is prepared by putting a pound and a half of boiled halibut
through a sieve, adding a teacup of whipped cream, seasoning, and the
whites of five eggs well beaten; the whole is put in a buttered mould
and steamed for half an hour, turned out on a round platter with the
lobster sauce around it, and passed. The sauce for the chicken is made
by pressing stewed celery through a sieve, adding seasoning and
thickening. Stewed celery may be served with the chicken in place of
this sauce.

The sweetbreads are cleaned, blanched by throwing in cold water when
taken from that in which they have been boiled, and cut in bits; they
are then seasoned and put in small moulds and aspic, or melted beef
extract, and dissolved gelatine is poured over them. When they are
served they are put on lettuce leaves and a white mayonnaise is put by
the side of each.

The cream may be in the form of cradles, as has been suggested, or a
white cream may be served in spun sugar cases, or, if neither of these
is to be had, a plain cream may be served in slices with whipped cream
around each. The cake should be passed in a large iced loaf, and the
coffee should have a spoonful of whipped cream on top.

With the last course a large silver tray may be carried around the table
with a mass of white roses and asparagus fern on it, which proves to
separate readily into individual roses, each one holding a tiny card
bearing the name of the newly named baby, which the guests will
doubtless like to preserve as souvenirs of the day.

To alter this menu a trifle for those who do not fancy a sherbet and a
cream in the same luncheon, have for dessert small moulds of whipped
cream set with gelatine, filled with chopped almonds and flavoured with
sherry; serve a spoonful of whipped cream with each. This is a good dish
and one that is easily prepared, and may be substituted in any luncheon
for the suggested cream when that is not just what is wanted.



April


April brings many other good things beside the showers typical of the
month; summer now begins to declare itself, and flowers, fruits, and
fresh vegetables are in season. Easter usually comes in April, and
brings not only a religious festival but a gala day as well, for Easter
Monday is holiday time the world over. To keep it hospitably, let us
have an


EASTER LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR AN EASTER LUNCHEON.]

For this, no flowers are so appropriate as jonquils, for they are the
colour of spring sunshine, and have a suggestion of gaiety all their
own. They do not lend themselves to any arrangement other than the
massing of them in a bowl, but they do blend well with violets; and
if your luncheon is very elaborate, the two may be used, the jonquils
in the centre and the violets in a wreath around the bowl, or in smaller
bowls about the table. A mahogany table is at its best with yellow
flowers, each setting off the other; but whatever the table, lay it with
doilies; if you have a yellow and white centrepiece, use it, but if not,
choose a white one. Candles are not to be used in summer weather,
unless, as one sometimes sees them by way of decoration, they are
unlighted.

[Illustration: EASTER EGG.]

[Illustration: EASTER FAVOUR.]

In addition to your little dishes of radishes, almonds, candied ginger,
and other relishes on the table, have some filled with Easter eggs in
candy. Each guest may have a tiny, downy chicken at her plate, such as
fill the shops at this season, or if you prefer, a box in the shape of
an egg, filled with bonbons, or rather candy eggs. These boxes come in
all prices, ranging from a few cents for those of plain cardboard to the
expensive ones in satin which are imported and cost an alarming sum;
one will have no trouble in finding something pretty within her means.

The ice cream for an Easter luncheon may be very attractive; it comes in
various egg forms from the caterer, but the prettiest is that which is
in small eggs of ice and cream, in different sizes, served in a nest of
spun sugar of a straw colour. There is also a large form in which a hen
sits on a larger nest of the same sort with little chickens peeping from
under her wings, but this is rather too elaborate for a luncheon. If all
caterers' forms are out of reach, the best substitute is made by serving
rounded spoonfuls of a very yellow cream as nearly like eggs as
possible. The menu for the luncheon should consist principally of
chicken and eggs in different styles.

MENU

  CLAMS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP.
  GREEN PEPPERS FILLED WITH CREAMED SALMON.
  PATTIES OF SWEETBREADS AND MUSHROOMS.
  CHICKEN IN RICE BORDER. NEW POTATOES.
  LEMON AND PEPPERMINT ICE.
  EGG SALAD. CHEESE STRAWS.
  ICE CREAM IN EGG FORMS. CAKE.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The peppers are prepared by cutting off the small end and filling them
with creamed salmon, heating them in the oven before serving. The
patties are to be purchased at the bakery and filled with a mixture of
sweetbreads and canned mushrooms. The chicken in rice is a delicious
dish, and one easily prepared, but seldom seen. The white meat of two or
if necessary three chickens is stewed until tender, then cut into
pieces about four inches by two, and put in the centre of a border of
boiled rice which has been turned out on a round platter; a sauce made
of the strained chicken stock, thickened and with cream added until it
is white in colour, is then poured over the whole. If sherry is used it
should be added the last thing.

[Illustration: ICES IN A NEST OF SPUN SUGAR.]

The sherbet is odd; make a lemon ice and divide it; colour one half
light green and flavour with essence of peppermint; serve the two ices
together in glass cups, one layer of each.

The salad is made by cutting a head of lettuce into strips with the
scissors, until it looks like grass, and putting this in a sort of nest
shape on the plate with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs in a group in the
centre and mayonnaise in a stiff spoonful on top. The cake served with
the cream should be what is called sunshine cake, an angels' food to
which the yolks of the eggs has been added.

[Illustration: EASTER LILY OF ICE CREAM.]

Another Easter luncheon may be arranged in green and white, which is
even more beautiful and stately than this in yellow. For this, have a
centrepiece of Easter lilies in a tall slender glass vase, or have three
such vases down the table, if it is an oblong one, or several grouped
around one larger one in the middle if it is round. Have guest cards
painted with Easter lilies, and use only white and green decorations of
bonbons on the table,--ribbon candies are pretty, or candy baskets in
green filled with white candies. If you use candles on the table, have
the shades represent lilies, inverted. The little cakes may be iced in
green, and the colours carried out in the ice cream, which may be
purchased in beautiful forms of lilies, the flower being of lemon ice
and the leaves of pistache cream. Or, if the cream must be home-made,
you may have it of the pistache and serve it in a bed of whipped cream
in rounded spoonfuls. Or, by way of still another method, have a plain
white cream and serve it with a spray of maiden-hair fern on each
plate.


A SHAKESPEARIAN LUNCHEON

By a curious coincidence, Shakespeare's birthday and the day on which he
died are the same,--the twenty-third of April; so this date is
peculiarly appropriate for a luncheon to a literary club, or a group of
literary friends. There is ample scope here for all sorts of
Shakespearian suggestions, from views of his home, or sketches of Anne
Hathaway's cottage on the cards, to quotations taken from one play, or
from many; for reminders of some one heroine, or suggestions of some
historic event. One might have a Rosalind or Juliet luncheon, or carry
out in one of half a dozen ways some play which a class has been
studying.

[Illustration]

The flowers should certainly be English, either roses or primroses, and
the decorations should be rather simple, as in keeping with the classic
nature of the presiding genius of the day. The cards might bear a cut of
his head, or each guest might have a small plaster bust, preferably one
of the odd coloured ones which are sold in Stratford; the plain plaster
ones are easily coloured; or, if these little busts are not easily
procured, get the small Japanese masks which are so artistic; they cost
but a few cents each, and the expressions will convey the idea of comedy
and tragedy.

Strawberries will be in market in cities by the latter part of April,
and these will make a first course.

MENU

  STRAWBERRIES.
  BOUILLON.
  SOFT-SHELL CRABS.
  BROILED MUSHROOMS ON TOAST.
  CHOPS. PEAS. FRENCH FRIED POTATOES.
  CHOCOLATE. LEMON AND PEPPERMINT ICE.
  TOMATO AND LETTUCE SALAD. FRENCH DRESSING.
  CHEESE STRAWS.
  COFFEE MOUSSE. CAKES. BONBONS.

The strawberries should be served with their hulls on, with a spoonful
of powdered sugar on each plate; this may be moulded in a pyramid by
pressing it into a little paper horn Of course finger bowls should be
placed on the table at each plate.

The mousse may be either in a melon form or in slices, as is more
convenient, but a little whipped cream served with it is an improvement
in either case. Having this dessert, coffee is not offered at the close
of the meal, as is usually done, but a cup of chocolate is passed with
the chop course. The mousse is made by whipping sweetened cream,
strongly flavoured with black coffee, until it is perfectly stiff, and
packing it in a mould and burying it in ice and salt for at least four
hours before it is needed.

If a breakfast is desired for this Shakespeare celebration, as possibly
may be if given for a club or class, this luncheon may be easily
transformed into one. Breakfasts and luncheons differ principally in
the hour at which the meal is served, a breakfast being at twelve and a
luncheon at one or half after one. It is also customary to begin a
breakfast with fruit, and often, though not always, the meal concludes
with cheese and coffee rather than with a sweet. This menu might be
altered to cover these requirements, for as it begins with strawberries
there need be no change until the final course, except that the
chocolate should be omitted. Instead of the mousse serve crême Gervaise;
that is, a slice of cream cheese about one inch by three, with a
spoonful of whipped cream on it and a spoonful of gooseberry jam by its
side. There is a variety of French preserved gooseberries called
Bar-le-Duc which is particularly delicious. Sometimes before serving
this dish the cheese is beaten with a little olive oil or cream to make
it soft and light, and then it is pressed into shape again before it is
cut into pieces for serving. If this is the final course at breakfast,
serve coffee with it.

There are an unlimited number of Shakespearian quotations for the cards,
but for a woman's meal they might be taken either from the words of
Juliet, Katharine, Portia, Rosalind, Hermione, Ophelia, Hero, Celia,
Imogen, and Helena, or else the familiar ones which are given below; in
case this luncheon or breakfast is given for those interested in study,
a guessing contest might be introduced, with or without prizes, as to
the context of these quotations:--

  "Daffodils, that come before the swallow does."

  "Thou shalt not lack the flower that's like the face,
  Pale primrose."

  "I could wish my best friend at such a feast."

  "Things won, are done. Joy's soul lies in the doing."

  "I have been so well brought up that I can write my name."

  "You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful;
  I never was nor never will be false."

  "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind,
  And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."

  "My heart unto yours is knit
  So that but one heart we can make of it."

                          "Loving goes by haps;
  Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps."

  "Of good discourse, an excellent musician."

  "My affection hath an unknown bottom."

Still another menu may be given for those who cannot obtain some of the
articles suggested, such as strawberries, crabs, or fresh mushrooms.

MENU

  GRAPE FRUIT.
  BOUILLON.
  SARDINES ON TOAST.
  MUSHROOM PATTIES.
  CHOPS. PEAS. FRENCH FRIED POTATOES.
  CHOCOLATE.
  LETTUCE SALAD WITH SHREDDED BANANAS.
  FRENCH DRESSING.
  COFFEE MOUSSE. CAKES. BONBONS.

In this menu the patties are to be filled with canned mushrooms, cut in
bits and creamed. The salad is made by cutting bananas in halves, and
then cutting each half into strips no larger than a knitting needle;
these are to be arranged on lettuce with French dressing poured over the
last thing before serving.

[Illustration: YELLOW-SHADED CANDLE.]

A beautiful decoration for an April luncheon may be arranged with
crocuses, flowers seldom or never seen on our tables, and therefore
especially desirable by way of novelty. Have a large flat basket in the
centre of the table filled with moss, and in this stick crocuses of all
colours with their leaves, crowding as closely as possible. Repeat the
colours in your candle-shades, if you use candles, having them delicate
lilac with yellow touches on the edges, and use ribbon candy in lilac,
yellow, and white. Serve yellow ices, or white ones in lilac baskets,
and lay some of the crocuses on the plates with the finger bowls which
appear with the coffee.

[Illustration]



May


The first of May is not always a gala day; to many it means the coming
and going of moving vans, and meals eaten in cold comfort from the
traditional window-sill. But where one has a permanent home, especially
in the country, no day is pleasanter on which to give a luncheon than on
May Day, with its charming associations of Spring. There are several
fancies which may serve for suggestions; one of these is the use of the
"Mayflower" of our early history, and the flowers which bear the same
name as the ship, the trailing arbutus of our Northern States. The two
have no connection, really, but one suggests the other.


A MAY-DAY LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A MAYFLOWER LUNCHEON.]

The table may be laid with a cloth, by way of a change, one with an open
border preferably. The centrepiece may be of lace over pale pink silk,
and rows of baby ribbon may be drawn across the table, three or four
strands each way, with a bunch of the ribbon where they cross. In the
centre may be a large toy ship, all in white, with the word "Mayflower"
in gilt on the prow. The deck should be heaped with mayflowers, if this
loveliest of our spring blossoms is to be had, and around the table at
irregular intervals may be shallow bowls of the same flower. The cards
may have the monogram of the hostess at the top, and a cluster of the
arbutus painted below, if that is fancied. Care should be taken to keep
all the decorations of the table in a very pale shade of pink, or the
effect of the flowers will be spoiled.

MENU

  CALIFORNIA CHERRIES.
  CLAM BOUILLON. HOT CRACKERS.
  SALMON CROQUETTES. SAUCE TARTARE.
  CROWN ROAST OF LAMB. MASHED POTATOES.
  PEAS. HOT ROLLS.
  MINT SHERBET.
  ASPARAGUS SALAD. CHEESE CRACKERS. PIM-OLAS.
  STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

[Illustration: BASKET OF CHERRIES.]

The first course of cherries may be made very pretty by arranging the
fruit in clusters of red and white with a few leaves and fastening them
with invisible wire to bits of stem, and arranging them in baskets of
rough green straw tied with green ribbons.

Crown roast of lamb is a rather unusual dish at a luncheon, but it is an
attractive one and not too heavy for the meal. It is the whole saddle of
lamb, cut down the back, with the two sides carefully trimmed of the
meat until the chop bones stand up alone as in French chops. The sides
are then put together, bent in a circle, and fastened with skewers to
form a crown with the bones standing up. The centre is filled either
with mashed potato or with peas before it is served; it should be carved
on the table, on a round platter, or, if it is carefully cut between the
chops before it is brought in, it may be passed to the guests for each
to cut for herself.

The sherbet to follow this course is made by adding a handful of crushed
mint to boiling hot lemonade, letting it stand till cool, straining,
adding a little sherry or rum if you use them, and freezing. A few drops
of green colouring improve its appearance. Sometimes a sprig of mint is
put in the sherbet glass with the ice, a very pretty idea.

The salad is made by cooking asparagus until it is tender, and when cold
sprinkling with French dressing and allowing it to stand an hour before
serving on lettuce with mayonnaise.

With this luncheon the ices may be served in beautiful little ships of
silver paper with delicate paper sails, or the ingenious caterer has a
form for reproducing Plymouth Rock in caramel cream, so lifelike that
even the fissure in the side appears. Either of these shapes are
certainly delightfully appropriate for a May-Day luncheon if they are
attainable. If not, the cream may be served in little fluted paper cases
decorated with the arbutus, tied on in small bunches with narrow ribbon.


AN APPLE-BLOSSOM LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FILLED WITH CANDIED FRUITS.]

A hostess living in the country may offer a group of city guests a real
delight in May-time by inviting them to luncheon when the orchards are
all in bloom. The invitations should bear the word "Apple-Blossoms" in
one corner, and the implied promise should be fulfilled by having the
flowers in evidence everywhere in the house and out of it. The rooms
should be decorated with bowls of the flowers on the mantels and on the
top of the book-cases and on the tables in the halls. The luncheon table
should have a bowl of the blossoms in the centre, and the cloth, or
rather the table itself, should be strewn with the flowers picked from
the stems and showered over it. The same small ribbons suggested for the
May-Day luncheon may also be used for this one, as the colour should
again be pale. The bonbons used might be tiny candy apples.

MENU

  STRAWBERRIES.
  CREAM OF BEET SOUP.
  FROGS' LEGS. POTATO BALLS.
  CHICKEN CROQUETTES WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS.
  PEAS. HOT ROLLS.
  GINGER SHERBET.
  CHEESE SOUFFLÉ.
  CHERRY SALAD. SANDWICHES. OLIVES.
  ICE CREAM IN ANGELS' FOOD.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The soup is made by stewing chopped beets until they are tender and
adding them to hot cream, seasoning, thickening, and straining, and
pouring into the bouillon cups onto a spoonful of whipped cream. The
beets should be the dark red ones, and only enough should be used to
give a pretty pink colour to the soup. Frogs' legs, fried and served
with a bit of lemon make a very good course for luncheon, and one liked
by almost every one. The salad is made by stoning California cherries
and covering them with French dressing to which a little chopped parsley
has been added, and laying them on a leaf of lettuce.

The sherbet is a lemon ice flavoured with the syrup of preserved ginger,
with a few bits of the root added. The cheese soufflé, which may be
placed before the sherbet, if desired, is made by grating a quarter of a
pound of cheese and mixing it with two tablespoonfuls of flour, butter
the size of a walnut, salt, and a little red pepper, and the beaten
yolks of three eggs. Just before putting in the oven add the stiff
whites of two eggs, and bake in buttered paper cases, or in small tin
moulds. They must be eaten as soon as they are taken from the fire or
they will fall.

The ice cream is a plain white one, served in a large cake of angels'
food which has had the top carefully cut off, the inside scooped out,
and the cream packed firmly in. The cover is then put back and the whole
iced, or covered with powdered sugar, and decorated on top with candied
cherries. It is to be cut exactly as though it were simply an ordinary
cake, and served in slices.


A SCHOOL-GIRL LUNCHEON

A luncheon for a young girl should be of the simplest character, both in
decorations and menu, but there is no reason why it should not be
pretty. The most appropriate flower to use is the primrose; pots of
these may stand on the table, one in front of each guest, tied up with
crêpe paper and ribbons. If these are of two or more shades of pink, the
effect will be more elaborate than if they are all of the same shade. In
the centre may be a large pot with a number of the plants closely
planted in it. If candles are used, the shades may be of plain cardboard
with a wreath of the same flowers on the edge, either artificial ones
sewed on, or painted in a simple pattern. Or, hyacinths may be used for
the flowers, either pink ones or pink and white alternating. If the
school-girls are beyond the time when the gift of a pot of flowers gives
pleasure,--and there is a period when they would scorn such an offering
as undignified,--let the decoration be a long, narrow box of the growing
hyacinths in the centre of the table, which will make a beautiful
window-box after the luncheon is past. The menu given above might be
modified for this meal, as it is unnecessarily elaborate.

MENU

  STRAWBERRIES.
  CREAM OF BEET SOUP.
  FROGS' LEGS. POTATO BALLS.
  CHICKEN CROQUETTES WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS.
  CHERRY SALAD. SANDWICHES.
  ICE CREAM IN ANGELS' FOOD.
  CHOCOLATE. BONBONS.

Memorial Day is anything but an occasion for festivities, but the fact
that it is one of our holidays suggests that somewhere about that time
one might have


A MILITARY LUNCHEON

[Illustration: CANDY BASKET.]

Or one with both military and naval accompaniments. There are so many
pretty little decorations nowadays for such a meal that the table may be
very pretty. One of the guests may happen to have some special interest
in the protectors of our country, and she will especially appreciate a
table set with a small encampment of tents made of small napkins folded
into the desired shape, or little battalions of toy soldiers presenting
arms in companies around the central point of interest, which in this
case might be a larger tent, draped with vines. The sherbet or ices
might be served in military hats of felt or paper, and the favours might
be knapsacks filled with candies. One course should be coffee and
hard-tack, suggestive of the frugal fare of the soldier on duty.
Otherwise the menu would better take its regular course, since bacon and
beans and other army rations are not especially appetising.

MENU

  MOCK BISQUE SOUP.
  SHAD WITH ROE. Potato Balls. CUCUMBERS.
  CHICKEN TIMBALES. PEAS.
  KIDNEYS AND MUSHROOMS IN CASES.
  POTATO PUFF.
  STRING BEAN SALAD WITH MAYONNAISE.
  NEAPOLITAN ICE CREAM. CAKES.
  COFFEE WITH HARD-TACK.

As the course of shad with roe is rather a solid one, the meat course is
lighter than usual. The kidneys are cleaned, cut in pieces and stewed
until tender, when they are browned in butter to which seasoning and a
dash of sherry have been added and mixed with the mushrooms; after a
thorough heating they are served in cases either of paste or of paper. A
few olives cut into small pieces may be mixed with the whole, if one
likes the several flavours.

The string bean salad is simply made of cold boiled string beans, young
and tender, which have lain in French dressing for a half hour before
they are put on lettuce and mayonnaise added; one who has not tried this
has no idea how good a salad it is. The Neapolitan ice cream is made of
alternate layers of cream and ice in contrasting colours; it is too much
trouble to make this at home, but another cream can be substituted if
desired, such as a rich vanilla with a hot chocolate sauce, or a white
cream in which chopped candied fruit has been mixed.

The hard-tack is of course a very large thin cracker, perhaps six inches
in diameter; it is much better heated in the oven before serving, and if
it is wished a cheese, either a cream, or one of the imported ones, such
as Camembert, may be passed with it.


A DELFT LUNCHEON

This is a pretty luncheon to give in a country dining-room furnished in
dull blue and white. Plaques of real or imitation Delft may hang on the
walls of the room, and bowls of blue cornflowers and white carnations
may stand in window-seats and on shelves as well as on the dining-table.
The china should be blue and white or plain white, and the cards squares
of pasteboard with sketches of Dutch scenes, or blue prints of some
native spot of interest. The souvenirs may be small Delft plaques, or
toy windmills; or they may be little Dutch maidens in quaint dresses,
which will serve as penwipers after the day of the luncheon. The bonbons
may be white ones in little wooden shoes placed in pairs around the
table. The small cakes served with the ice cream may each have a tiny
windmill cut from white paper standing in the white icing on top, and
the cream itself may be a white one in meringue shells tied with blue
ribbon. Any one of the menus suggested will do to serve, as Dutch food
alone would hardly seem attractive; however, a course of doughnuts and
coffee may take the place of ice cream and cake, if you fancy the idea.



June


With this month of roses come many gala days; it is the favourite month
for weddings, and weddings always bring other festivities in their
train. Perhaps the bride gives a luncheon for her bridesmaids, or one of
the bridal party gives a luncheon for the rest. Besides these days of
rejoicing, there are those other days when the graduates give parting
entertainments of various sorts to each other; and since this is the
month of Commencements, it is also the time for fraternity meetings and
all those delightful reminders of school-days. June luncheons with such
backgrounds of interest as these may well be memorable.


A BRIDAL LUNCHEON

On the wedding-day itself, white should be the colour of the
decorations, especially if the day is a warm one, for nothing gives such
a sense of coolness as a roomful of white flowers and ferns. Even if
pink roses are used in the drawing-room and the halls, the dining-room
is most attractive all in white. A beautiful background for the table is
made by removing all the pictures and hangings, and covering the walls
with asparagus fern hung lightly from the ceiling to the floor; where
the lines are broken at door and window the vines are to be drawn back
and tied at the side with white satin ribbon.

[Illustration: FOR A JUNE BRIDAL LUNCHEON.]

The table should be covered with a white cloth, as elaborate as one
possesses, and the centrepiece should be of lace. On this should be a
large mound of white roses and asparagus fern; and if you choose, a
canopy of vines from the centre of the ceiling to the edges of the
table, fastened wherever they touch the cloth with a white rose. If
candles are used they should be white with shades of white rose petals,
or else silver openwork. The table should be set with silver and glass
as far as possible, and the small dishes which ornament it should be
filled with small cakes with white icing, white candies, strawberries
covered with white icing, white candied rose petals, and all the other
pretty things to be found, such as large white candy baskets filled with
crystallised fruits,--those made to represent broad-brimmed hats, bent
into odd shapes, are very graceful,--or the simpler mounds of charlotte
russe, tied with wide white ribbon.

At a wedding luncheon or breakfast the guests of course sit around the
room, not at the table, which is used simply to serve from, and the menu
is simpler than for a regular meal.

MENU

  CREAM OF CLAM SOUP.
  CRABS NEWBURGH IN CASES.
  SWEETBREAD CROQUETTES WITH PEAS. ROLLS.
  CHICKEN SALAD.
  ICE CREAM IN WHITE ROSE FORMS. ANGELS' FOOD.
  CAFÉ FRAPPÉ.

This is a suitable menu for a large and formal wedding; for a smaller
and simpler one the crabs may be omitted, and the frappé be replaced by
hot coffee; indeed, in any case, hot coffee may be served as well as
that which is iced.

The crabs are prepared by boiling, removing from their shells, and
heating in cream mixed with the yolks of three eggs, seasoning, and a
dash of sherry; they are more delicate than the lobster prepared in the
same way, but unless one has ample time and a number of workers, it is
better to have the lobster, as picking the meat from crab shells is no
light undertaking: still, the dish is so delicious it well repays some
effort in preparing.

If the ice cream cannot be obtained in rose forms, any rich white cream
will do, or a mousse, made by whipping stiff cream until solid,
sweetening, flavouring, and packing in ice and salt for four or five
hours.

[Illustration]

If instead of a wedding breakfast or luncheon one desires a more
informal meal to be given a day or two before the wedding itself, the
menu may be altered to suit the occasion. The prettiest possible cards
may be prepared for this by painting the head of the bride in her veil
with the date beneath the guest's name.

MENU

  CLAMS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF CORN SOUP.
  HALIBUT TIMBALES. LOBSTER SAUCE.
  BROILED SQUABS ON TOAST. CURRANT JELLY.
  CREAMED POTATOES.
  STRAWBERRY SHERBET.
  TOMATO AND NUT SALAD.
  BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
  ICE CREAM IN WHITE ROSE FORMS. CAKES.
  CAFÉ FRAPPÉ, OR BLACK COFFEE.

The sherbet is made by pressing the juice from two quarts of berries,
adding a cup of water and the juice of half a lemon with sugar; this is
boiled for a few moments, strained, and frozen. The salad is made by
blanching English walnuts and adding them to mayonnaise, serving with
sliced tomatoes. The ice cream if in rose forms should be passed on a
large silver tray with asparagus fern among the ices. The frappé should
be in small glass cups, if it is served at all, but unless the weather
is very warm, have the coffee hot as usual.


A GRADUATES' LUNCHEON

[Illustration]

The prettiest possible decoration for this occasion is made by the
lavish use of sweet peas, the flowers which seem to suggest young
girlhood. The brilliant pink ones should be chosen, and bowls of them
should stand about the table, one large one in the centre and smaller
ones around irregularly; or else one large bowl may be in the centre and
a quantity of the blossoms with the stems broken off scattered all over
the table. This is one of the times when satin bows are not out of
place, for girls generally think a table all the more attractive for
them, though for most luncheons they are tabooed, as suggestive of the
professional decorator who revels in bows. The bonbons should be pink,
and the cards should be small sheets of paper rolled up to resemble
diplomas, each tied with a rose-coloured ribbon, with the name of the
guest written on the outside.

MENU

  BOUILLON.
  CREAMED FISH IN SHELLS.
  ASPARAGUS WITH CREAM DRESSING.
  BROILED SPRING CHICKEN. PEAS. POTATOES.
  CURRANT JELLY.
  CHERRY ICE.
  LETTUCE AND TOMATO SALAD WITH FRENCH DRESSING. CHEESE STRAWS.
  INDIVIDUAL STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES.
  CHOCOLATE. BONBONS.

The shortcakes may be either made by baking cakes in small tins,
splitting, adding the crushed fruit, and putting whipped cream on top,
or else in a fashion which all girls will welcome, by using a very
small charlotte russe with a quantity of strawberries heaped about the
base and powdered sugar over all.


A ROSE LUNCHEON

In this month of roses it is a pretty fancy to have a meal when they
shall be especially in evidence. The table may be laid much as for the
sweet pea luncheon,--that is, with bowls of the flower scattered over
the table or one large bowl, and the flowers themselves, despoiled of
their stems, scattered over the cloth. The cards may be of stiff paper,
cut out to resemble flat, open roses, coloured pink, with the name of
the guest written directly across. A large rose may lie at each plate,
or in a pretty fashion they may be laid in a loose wreath around the
centrepiece, and at the close of the meal each guest may be asked to
take some of those before her plate. The bonbons used should be candied
rose leaves.

MENU

  PINEAPPLE FILLED WITH FRUITS.
  CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP.
  SOFT-SHELL CRABS ON TOAST.
  FRIED SWEETBREADS. PEAS. POTATO CROQUETTES.
  CURRANT SHERBET.
  TOMATO BASKETS WITH CUCUMBER JELLY.
  MAYONNAISE.
  FROZEN STRAWBERRIES. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The pineapple is to have its bushy top cut off, and the inside scooped
out; the core is put aside, the soft part picked up and mixed with a
little banana, orange, and small strawberries, sugar, and sherry, if you
use it, and the whole put back in the shell and passed, the top lying on
one side of the dish; small glass saucers, or nappies, as they are
called, are on each plate, and the guest is to put a spoonful in hers.
The colder the pineapple is, the better. If soft-shell crabs are not to
be had, serve a creamed fish in whole cucumbers, as was suggested for a
January luncheon. The tomato baskets are very pretty; they are made by
cutting smooth tomatoes in basket shapes, removing the inside with a
small spoon, and filling with cucumber jelly mixed with mayonnaise. This
latter is made by crushing peeled and sliced cucumbers, adding seasoning
and a little onion, and stewing till soft; they are then set with
gelatine in a dish and when firm they are broken into pieces small
enough to go in the baskets. If you are to have crabs, this course is
all right, but if you have substituted the cucumbers with fish, you must
again substitute and serve another salad for this. The frozen
strawberries are made by crushing the fruit to a paste, adding one-third
as much boiled lemonade, sweetening well, straining, and freezing. The
cakes served with this should be iced in a rather deep pink.

There are so many pretty and appropriate quotations about roses that one
may well add one to each guest card.

  "Roses for the blush of youth."

  "The sweetest rose, where all are roses."

  "She looks as clear as morning roses newly washed
  with dew."

  "Mantling on the maiden's cheek,
  Young roses kindled into thoughts."

  "It was roses, roses, all the way."

  "The rose is sweetest washed with morning dew."

  "The red rose cries, 'She is near, she is near!'
  And the white rose weeps, 'She is late!'"

  "O beautiful, royal rose,
  O rose so fair and sweet!"

  "Gather ye roses while ye may,
  Old Time is still a-flying."

  "Queen rose in the rose-bud garden of girls."


A PEONY LUNCHEON

[Illustration]

is certainly novel, and if carried out carefully it is extremely pretty,
although at first thought one would think the peony too large and coarse
a flower to use on the table. In order to get the best effect, the table
must be a round one and quite large. Then the peonies, pink and white
ones mixed, and with plenty of their own foliage, should be piled in a
mass in the centre, with the bowl which holds them in place completely
concealed. The flowers should lie on the cloth as well as rise in a
mound from the table. Any one of the menus previously given will do to
serve until the final course is reached, when the ice cream is to appear
in the peonies themselves. A white cream is chosen, the hearts of the
largest pink peonies are cut out, a round of waxed paper laid in the
place, and a heaping, rounded spoonful of the cream is placed in the
flowers. It is to have a spray of leaves under it as it lies on the
plate.



July


The summer days in the country are apt to seem rather long, if the
weather is too hot for vigorous exercise, but entertaining one's friends
breaks the time delightfully. If the July noontime is warm, still the
heat adds to the pleasure a luncheon of cold and delicious dainties
gives, especially if such a meal is served on a cool and shady porch,
when it becomes fit for the gods. If one's summer home is unfortunately
without this sort of outdoor room, a little ingenuity will serve to
provide a substitute. In the early spring, some tall, strong posts may
be set in the ground on the north or west side of the house about
fourteen feet or more away, and the tops of these joined to the wall
by some lighter strips of wood; then a floor may be laid, unless the
grassy turf is preferred, and quickly growing vines, such as the morning
glory or the moon-vine, planted, and soon one will have a really
beautiful arbour room.

The first gala day of the month, indeed the only one the calendar
recognises, is the Fourth of July; this certainly deserves to be
celebrated by a luncheon.


FOURTH OF JULY LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A FOURTH OF JULY LUNCHEON]

[Illustration: IN PLACE OF A GUEST CARD.]

Stand a toy cannon on your table for a centrepiece, draping it with
delicate vines; or, if this proves too expensive to buy, and too
difficult to borrow, suspend a large bell from two wooden supports in
the middle, with the same vines. At each plate lay a bonbon box which
exactly resembles a cannon fire-cracker, filled with small red candies;
the name of the guest may be printed on the side and it will serve for a
guest card. Or you may give the guests small liberty bells instead of
the large crackers, and use small crackers for cards. Or, instead of
either of these things, you may give each one a bunch of real
fire-crackers with her name printed on the outside.

[Illustration]

Have several vases of flowers on the table, with red and white carnation
and blue bachelors' buttons in each; or if you do not like them mixed,
alternate vases with red ones alone, white alone, and blue alone. In
your little dishes of radishes, almonds, and bonbons, stand tiny
American flags; tie the sandwiches with narrow red, white, and blue
striped ribbon, and the handles of the currant cups as well; the table
may also have little tents and soldiers as in the military luncheon
already suggested.

MENU

  ICED CURRANTS.
  ICED BOUILLON. WATER-CRESS SANDWICHES.
  COLD SALMON. SAUCE TARTARE.
  TONGUE IN ASPIC.
  TOMATOES WITH FRENCH DRESSING.
  RASPBERRY SHRUB.
  PINEAPPLE SALAD. CHEESE CRACKERS.
  ICE CREAM IN DRUMS. CAKES. BONBONS.

The currants are to be crushed with a silver fork, sweetened, and put on
the ice; just before serving they are put in glass cups and a spoonful
of crushed ice put on top. The bouillon is prepared the day before it is
needed, and packed in ice and salt for an hour before the luncheon. The
sandwiches passed with this are made by spreading very thin bread and
butter with chopped water-cress, rolling and tying them, and then
inserting a sprig of the cress at either end; it is not absolutely
necessary to tie them, but they keep their shape far better if it is
done.

Choose a large smoked tongue, and two days before the luncheon boil it
until tender, skin it, and lay it in a long narrow pan. Make a bouillon
of beef extract, season it highly with red pepper, salt, and lemon
juice, and herbs; simmer these together for a few minutes, then add
sufficient dissolved gelatine to set the quantity you will need, and
strain the whole over the tongue, a little more than covering it. Put
this on the ice, and the next day you will have what our grandmothers
used to call "a sightly dish." It is to be put whole on the table, and
sliced with a very sharp knife. The tomatoes served with this are to be
on the same plate, not treated as a salad.

[Illustration: ICES SERVED IN DRUMS.]

The pineapple is to be picked up in rather large bits and placed on
lettuce with mayonnaise. The ice cream is to be put into little paper
drums, which may be had at the confectioner's or possibly the toy
store; if, however, they are not to be had in the country, the cream may
be put in meringue shells and tied with ribbons.

The raspberry shrub may be served all through the meal, or made a
separate course instead of a sherbet. It is to be made some days before
it is needed; this is a simple and excellent rule: Put two and a half
ounces of tartaric acid into a quart of water, and pour over six quarts
of red raspberries. After two days stir and strain; add to each pint of
juice a pound and a half of powdered sugar, stir till dissolved, let it
stand four days, and then bottle. If this is too much trouble to
prepare, serve lemonade coloured with raspberry juice, and if you wish
to have it very nice, use vichy instead of water in making the lemonade.
A fruit sherbet may be introduced if the drink is served all through the
meal. For a hot day in summer it is a mistake to have the noon meal too
long or too heavy, so in this menu the usual paté or croquette is
omitted.

[Illustration]


A NAUTICAL LUNCHEON

This meal may be served at a seaside cottage, or near a lake or even a
river, or it may be used on board a yacht. If it happens to be in a
house or on a piazza by the sea, the walls near by may be decorated with
fish nets and oars.

[Illustration]

Use a table-cloth for the time, and omit any central decoration
whatever, even the customary piece of lace. Arrange a small fleet of
sail-boats all over the table, fastening them to each other by a couple
of strands of narrow ribbon, drawn loosely and tied to each central
mast. Heap the decks with some small flower which will look well with
the colour of the ribbon. If buttercups are to be had, they are pretty,
with yellow ribbons; or small pansies are lovely, with purple and
yellow; or the deck can be heaped with bonbons, and the ribbons used as
with the flowers, if this is preferred. It is necessary to cut off the
keels of the little boats in order to have them stand securely, and the
small unpainted boats which children use will do, and they can easily be
painted white if they are unfinished.

Your cards may be adorned with bits of pressed seaweed, if you are at
the seashore, or with little sketches of sail-boats, row-boats, oars, or
marine views. A meal of sea food might be fancied for variety.

MENU

  CREAM OF CLAM SOUP WITH WHIPPED CREAM.
  SCALLOPED LOBSTER.
  BROILED BLUEFISH. POTATO BALLS. ROLLS.
  SHRIMP SALAD. SANDWICHES.
  ICES IN FISH FORMS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

[Illustration]

The boiled lobster is removed from the shell, seasoned, and mixed with
bread crumbs, returned to the shell of the backs and tails, and browned
in the oven. The shells may be saved when lobster is used for some time
previous to the luncheon, if it is difficult to obtain a number at once.

The salad is made by cutting canned shrimps into halves, and after
putting them into small individual moulds, pouring over them a lemon
jelly made without sweetening, and well seasoned. These moulds are to be
turned out on lettuce leaves, and one or two small shrimps placed by
each, and stiff mayonnaise passed with them. The ices may be had from
the caterer in the form of shells, or fishes, or boats. If these are not
to be had, a home-made cream may be served in the large scallop shells
which are to be purchased very cheaply. If you are too far inland to
obtain sea food, or if you do not fancy it for a whole luncheon, your
decoration will sufficiently suggest the idea of the meal, and another
menu can be substituted.

MENU

  RED RASPBERRIES.
  CREAM OF GREEN PEA SOUP.
  FISH CUTLETS. SAUCE TARTARE.
  FRIED CHICKEN. POTATO CROQUETTES. PEAS.
  ICED TEA (OR TEA SHERBET).
  WHOLE CUCUMBER SALAD. ALMONDS. PIM-OLAS.
  CARAMEL ICE CREAM. BONBONS.

The cutlets, which are simply croquettes moulded into cutlet form, may
be made either from any fresh fish, or from canned salmon, or from
well-freshened salt codfish; and these last are really delicious. The
tea is best made with boiling lemonade instead of boiling water; it is
to be served in tall glasses, either as a separate course, or all
through the meal as one prefers; in case a sherbet is wished, this iced
tea may be frozen with a flavour of rum in addition to the lemon, if one
uses it, and served in sherbet cups; and café frappé may be used as a
final course if the day is warm, or the coffee may be simply hot and
black as usual.

The whole cucumber salad is very pretty. Rather large and very smooth
ones are chosen, a slice is cut from the side lengthwise, the pulp is
scooped out, mixed with bits of tomato and French dressing, and the
whole put back with the slice put on again so that the cut is concealed.
These are served on lettuce leaves with two small cheese balls by the
side of each, made by grating American cheese, mixing with a little
chopped parsley, salt, red pepper, and enough melted butter to make it
moist, and rolling between the hands until you have balls the size of
marbles; they are to be dusted with chopped parsley before serving.


A TRAVELLER'S LUNCHEON

As so many go abroad as the hot weather begins, a luncheon may be
arranged in honour of some friend who is about to sail. The centrepiece
may be a large toy steamer with the decks filled with flowers, or a
floral piece may be obtained from the florists, who now construct
extremely realistic steamers with flowers, green, and moss; but flowers
are never at their best under such circumstances, and the toy steamer is
to be preferred. Very pretty and inexpensive bonbon boxes are to be had
in the shapes of steamer trunks, dress-suit cases, travelling bags,
trunks ready labelled with the names of foreign cities, and dainty
little lunch baskets tied up with ribbon, as well as the more expensive
but useful favours made to resemble rugs in shawl straps which are to be
used as penwipers after the day is over. The cards may bear the picture
of a steamer disappearing in the distance with its trail of smoke
curving back to form the name of the guest, or the words "Bon Voyage."

The menu could, of course, consist of foreign dishes such as the
traveller is presumably to eat during her absence; but as few of them
are as good as our own luncheon dishes this is not altogether to be
commended. An attractive menu would be:--

MENU

  CLAMS COCKTAIL IN TOMATO BASKETS.
  CONSOMMÉ WITH HOT CRACKERS.
  DEVILLED CRABS.
  CHICKEN LIVERS ON SKEWERS.
  ROAST DUCKLINGS. JELLY. MASHED POTATO.
  CAULIFLOWER SALAD.
  NESSELRODE PUDDING. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The tomatoes are to be cut into baskets with handles and filled with the
clam cocktail just before serving. The crabs are to be boiled, removed
from their shells, well seasoned, and wet with a little cream, put back
into the shells with bread crumbs and bits of butter over them and
browned in the oven. The chicken livers are to be stewed, cut in halves,
and put on the small skewers with bits of bacon between the pieces and
turned in the frying-pan until they brown in the bacon fat; they are to
be sent to the table on strips of toast. The ducklings should be young,
and a thick slice of breast or the second joint served to each person
before the plates are sent to the table; the potato should be browned in
the oven and passed.

The salad is made by cooking cauliflower, breaking it into bits, and
serving on lettuce with mayonnaise. The Nesselrode pudding is made in
various ways, most of them very elaborate; probably the simplest is a
caramel cream with preserved figs and marrons cut up fine in it, with a
flavouring of wine. It is also made by putting marrons into a plain rich
white cream, flavouring it with the wine and serving it on whipped
cream; in any form it is always a delicious dessert.

This menu omits the sherbet and gives a rather solid meat course; it may
be varied by substituting chops for the duckling and adding a course of
frozen oranges and bananas in lemon ice.



August


Luncheons in this hot month should be served as in July, on the porch or
out of doors if possible; if that is out of the question, at least the
dining-room should be rather dark, and there should be some suggestion
of coolness in the luncheon, either in the decoration or in the menu.
During this month, when students are at home for their vacations, one
may wish to give a college luncheon. Of course, if the guests are all of
one mind and can unite in lauding the same Alma Mater, it is an easy
thing to so decorate the table as to give unalloyed pleasure, but where
two or more colleges are represented it is not so simple. To take some
of the most prominent ones, let us have first


A YALE LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A YALE LUNCHEON.]

Have a large bowl of cornflowers in the centre of the table, and smaller
bowls at either end, if the table is oblong; if round or square, have
four of the smaller bowls around the central one. If the college men who
are present are especially interested in athletics, or if there has been
any important victory over some rival, it will be a delicate attention
which will be appreciated by the guests if such a fact is remembered.
If, for instance, Yale has just been victorious in baseball, decorate
with bats, stacking them at intervals on the table; they may be
purchased at toy shops in any desired size; those about four or five
inches high are most easily grouped. The sandwiches may be tied with
blue ribbons and the cards can have sketches of caps and gowns, or
pipes, or trophies of some sort. The ices may be served in round boxes
with covers on which is the college seal, and the outside may be
covered with wide blue satin ribbon which will completely hide the
cardboard. These can be either purchased or made at home, and they will
serve as souvenirs. As the appetites of college men are proverbially
vigorous, it will be wise to provide a substantial meal.

MENU

  ICED MUSKMELON.
  CREAM OF CARROT SOUP. WHIPPED CREAM.
  COLD LOBSTER HALVED. MAYONNAISE.
  SPANISH OMELETTE.
  FRIED CHICKEN. CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN. POTATO CROQUETTES.
  GRAPE SHERBET.
  BANANA SALAD. NASTURTIUM SANDWICHES.
  MOUSSE. CAKES.
  COFFEE.

The Spanish omelette is made by stewing tomatoes, green peppers, and
onion, all cut in bits, until they are quite thick; then an omelette is
made and this mixture is folded in; it is very appetising, and men are
sure to like it. The cauliflower is cooked, broken into small pieces,
put in paper cases or in one large dish, seasoned well, and grated
cheese and cream sauce are put in layers through it, the cheese on top,
and the whole is browned in the oven. The sherbet may be made of the
juice of any grape that is obtainable, but it is very pretty to use
Catawbas, and colour the ice slightly green; if it is desired that the
sherbet should be darker, use bottled grape juice, adding a little lemon
to bring out the flavour. It should be served in sherbet cups with a
spray of grape leaves under each on the plate.

The salad is made by removing a strip of skin from each banana, scooping
out the fruit, cutting it in pieces, adding as much celery or apple and
half as much of cut up English walnut meats which have been blanched,
and covering the whole with French dressing, and returning to the skins,
heaping it a little in them. Put one of these on a leaf of lettuce for
each person; nasturtium sandwiches are pretty on a plate decorated with
their own blossoms.

If the boxes are used for the cream it must not be coloured, and a plain
mousse may be better than anything else; if the boxes are not used, the
mousse may be flavoured with pistache, coloured green and served on a
bed of whipped cream, with chopped angelia or pistache nuts scattered
over it. For a


HARVARD LUNCHEON

[Illustration]

lay broad crimson satin ribbons across the table at right angles, and
then lay the table with doilies over the ribbon as if there were none
there. Have a bowl of American Beauty roses in the centre, or put the
flowers in a fancy basket. Or, if it should happen that the men present
are especially happy over some rowing victory, put the roses in a long
narrow boat in the centre, and have oars stacked at intervals on the
table. Use the same menu as for the Yale luncheon. For a


PRINCETON LUNCHEON

use quantities of the yellow, black-eyed daisies which are common in our
fields. A large football might stand in the centre of the table, open at
the top, with the daisies filling it, and shallow bowls of them may
stand on the table. The bonbon dishes may be filled with yellow and
chocolate bonbons, and the same sort of cards used as were suggested for
the Yale luncheon, unless sketches of Princeton buildings are preferred.

[Illustration: ROWING FAVOUR.]

If the guests are from several colleges, the best plan is to have no
distinctively college colours on the table, but to confine one's self to
the use of athletic symbols for decoration which are common to all.
Golden-rod might be in a row-boat, for instance, and oars, base balls,
bats, and footballs used as favours. For a hot-weather luncheon, nothing
makes a prettier table than a quantity of pond lilies, used in some
simple way. As they are common in August, you might give


A POND-LILY LUNCHEON

Fill a shallow dish with water, and put several lilies with their leaves
on top, but not so closely but that the water will show between them.
Hide the outside of the dish with an arrangement of the lilies and
their leaves, being careful not to have it look stiff. Cut your
guest-cards in the shape of open lilies, and paint them, writing the
name of the guest across their face. Have your bonbons all green and
white, and use plain white, or green and white china for serving the
meal as far as you can, for the sake of preserving the cool look of the
table. The ice cream may be in the pond-lily flowers, prepared as were
the peonies in the June luncheon. If the lilies are plenty, use them in
bowls about the parlours and halls, to carry out the idea of the day.

MENU

  CLAMS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF SPINACH SOUP. CROUTONS.
  DEVILLED CRABS.
  MUSHROOM PATTIES.
  BRAISED TONGUE. POTATOES AU GRATIN.
  FROZEN TOMATO SALAD. MAYONNAISE.
  ICE CREAM IN WATER LILIES. CAKES.
  CAFÉ FRAPPÉ OR ICED TEA.

The braised tongue is prepared as before, stewed with herbs and
seasoning in a baking-pan in the oven, but in this case it is served
hot, with a spoonful of its gravy, strained, on each slice.

There is no sherbet in this menu, as the frozen salad takes its place.
This is made by cutting fresh tomatoes into bits, mashing them,
seasoning and freezing them, stirring occasionally to make them smooth;
after they are stiff they must be scraped from the dasher, pressed down,
and allowed to stand for an hour. They are to be cut in round spoonfuls,
laid on a few lettuce leaves, and mayonnaise passed with them.

The ice cream may be either a white or a pistache cream, and the water
lilies should be treated as were the peonies, the heart of the flower
removed and a piece of waxed paper laid in the centre with the cream on
it.

This same idea of coolness may be also well carried out in a luncheon
in which ferns are made to play their part.


A FERN LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A FERN LUNCHEON.]

The house should be filled with ferns, in the fireplaces, in the window
seats, in the parlours, and in the halls. In the dining-room the table
may be laid either or without a cloth, and a large shallow pan or tray
put in the centre; if a tray is used, it should have a layer of
absorbent cotton on it. The edge of this dish must be concealed by tiny
growing ferns; in the dish should be large pieces of ice, piled in an
irregular mound, and very small ferns put in the crevices. The ice will
give out enough coolness to perceptibly affect the atmosphere of the
room, and the combination of the ice and ferns is a pretty one. A few
days before the luncheon some ferns may be pressed, and these may be
laid on the table if it is so large as to admit of more decoration; the
cards may also have a little fern pasted on each.

An appetising menu might be:--

MENU

  ICED PEACHES.
  CREAM OF CORN SOUP.
  FILETS OF FLOUNDER. SAUCE TARTARE.
  CLAMS À LA NEWBURGH.
  CHOPS. STUFFED TOMATOES. ICED TEA.
  RED RASPBERRY SHERBET.
  ALMOND ASPIC SALAD. BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
  ICE CREAM IN MELONS.

The peaches are not to be frozen, but kept on the ice after they are
halved, peeled, and sprinkled with sugar, until they are thoroughly
chilled. They may have a small spoonful of whipped cream served with
them, if that combination is liked. The clams are prepared exactly as is
lobster, except that they must be kept for a little longer in the sauce
in order to just cook them through. They are to be served in ramekins.
The tomatoes are to have the inside removed without breaking the
skin, and this is mixed with bread crumbs and seasoning, returned to the
tomatoes, and baked.

The salad is made by filling small individual moulds with almonds and
bouillon jelly made of melted extract of beef, seasoning, and dissolved
gelatine; the nuts should be cut into strips and arranged in a pattern
with a little of the aspic before the moulds are filled. A stiff
mayonnaise is to be served with this.

The ice cream is particularly delicious, though it seems very odd to one
who is not familiar with it. A very rich cream is made with the yolks of
five eggs added to a quart of cream, and when done it is put in large
spoonfuls in halved, small, and spicy muskmelons. The two eaten together
are a decided improvement on either alone.

There is really no reason for having sherbet with such a menu as this,
for two cold dishes are already on the bill of fare, but if the day is
extremely warm, it may be thought best to have it, even if it is
acknowledged to be quite unnecessary.


A POVERTY LUNCHEON

Poverty luncheons are usually arranged in a series, every one of eight
or ten hostesses giving in turn a meal to the rest which must cost
exactly a specified price, the smaller the better. Usually two dollars
and a half is selected as the proper amount for ten persons, and the
rivalry between the luncheon-givers as to which one shall have the most
elaborate meal for the price makes these luncheons very entertaining. Of
course, by keeping everything down to the lowest possible sum, one can
have any number of courses, but it is better to have less and have it
fairly substantial. The prices of all the food, even to the butter, must
be written on a card at each plate, and the flowers or other decorations
are extras.

MENU

  BOUILLON                               $0.10
  BROILED SARDINES                         .20
  CHICKEN PATTIES                          .70
  CHOPS                                    .40
  POTATOES, PEAS                           .15
  ROLLS AND BUTTER                         .20
  TOMATO AND LETTUCE SALAD                 .15
  VANILLA MOUSSE WITH CANDIED FRUIT        .35
  COFFEE, ALMONDS, PEPPERMINT WAFERS       .25
                                         -----
                                         $2.50



September


As the days begin to grow cooler, and a suspicion of frost in the air in
the early morning brings back one's vigour, golf seems the finest game
in the world, and long days are spent on the links. A luncheon for
golfers will transform any day in the week into a gala day, if only it
is not taken too seriously. The guests are to come in their golf suits
to be in keeping; the luncheon should be bright and informal rather than
stately.

[Illustration: FOR A GOLF LUNCHEON.]

[Illustration]

[Illustration: GOLF FAVOUR.]

If the company is a large one, seat them in fours at small tables, each
of which should have a centrepiece of salvia, or Scotch heather,
or--just for fun--thistles. The little souvenirs for this luncheon are
of great variety, and most ingenious. There are plaid golf bags with
sticks, to be filled with bonbons, or small plaid woollen caps to be
presented to men afterwards for tobacco pouches, unless the men are
present to receive them at the luncheon. There are plaid-covered golf
score-books, which are really useful as well as pretty, and a host of
other things, such as individual sticks, which are less elaborate.

Your cards may have sketches of girls in golf costume, or little cuts of
such figures may be found in colours in golf catalogues, and cut out and
pasted on the cards. The tables may have plaid ribbon drawn down each
side, or have bows at the corners. You might have a Scotch menu for the
sake of variety, although Scotch dishes do not compare with American.

SCOTCH MENU

  SCOTCH BROTH.
  BOILED SALMON. BOILED POTATOES.
  HAGGIS.
  PHEASANT. CURRANT JELLY.
  SCOTCH RAREBIT ON TOAST.
  PLUM TART WITH CREAM. COFFEE.

The broth is made by stewing mutton with vegetables until it is
sufficiently strong; when the whole is strained and cooked, barley is
added till the broth is quite thick; just before serving, a little
chopped parsley is put in. Haggis is usually rather a formidable dish to
undertake, as most recipes are very elaborate; this one, however, is
simple and the results are good. Boil the head, heart, and liver of a
sheep with one pound of bacon for an hour; then chop them, season
highly, and add sufficient oatmeal to make a thick mush. Boil this in a
bag for two hours, and serve it in the same bag, rolling it back to look
as well as possible; this receptacle is less objectionable than that in
which haggis is served in Scotland,--the stomach of the sheep.

Should you fear to venture on this dish, you might substitute for it
Scotch snipe. For this make a paste of a box of sardines mixed with
lemon and a little onion juice; spread on slices of bread and cut in
strips half an inch thick. Put these in the oven and heat thoroughly,
and then pour over them a sauce made of the beaten yolks of two eggs and
six tablespoonfuls of cream, to which has been gradually added a
tablespoonful of melted butter, and after taking from the fire, a
half-teaspoonful of salt, a dash of red pepper, and a little chopped
parsley. The strips of toast must be served very hot, and will be found
delicious. Even if the haggis is used, this dish might be added to the
bill of fare. If pheasant is not obtainable, prairie chicken is a
perfect substitute for it, or woodcock will do in the place of either.

The Scotch rarebit is quite different from the Welsh, being made by
adding to half a pint of white sauce a tablespoonful of anchovy paste
and a pinch of red pepper; cook this for a moment and add six
hard-boiled eggs cut in rather large bits. Simmer the whole for three
minutes, and serve on buttered toast.

The plum tart is made by cooking large purple or green-gage plums in a
deep baking dish with a sprinkling of flour and plenty of sugar, and a
cover of pie-crust over the top. Tart is always served in what
foreigners call dessert plates, but they are exactly like our soup
plates, with a dessert spoon and a fork, and thick cream is passed with
the dish. Coffee is never served on a Scotch table as a final course,
but is offered with tea in the drawing-room after the meal. However, in
this case it may be passed after the tart, or poured on the porch
afterwards.

Should you wish a more conventional luncheon, this menu is a delicious
one.

MENU

  GRAPES.
  CHICKEN BOUILLON.
  CODFISH STEAKS. LOBSTER SAUCE.
  BAKED SPAGHETTI WITH OYSTERS.
  PRAIRIE CHICKEN WITH CURRANT JELLY.
  BROWNED POTATOES.
  TOMATO AND WALNUT SALAD. Cheese Crackers.
  FROZEN WATERMELON.
  COFFEE.

Although this is rather an elaborate menu, there is no sherbet in it on
account of the watermelon, which is better if no other frozen dish is
used with it.

The spaghetti is prepared exactly as when cooked with cheese; that is,
it is stewed till tender, washed in cold water to remove the starch, and
laid in a dish in layers with seasoning, oysters, and white sauce, and
baked till brown. This is more easily managed if bread crumbs are put on
top with butter, and small dishes or ramekins are used.

The watermelon is to be scooped in large spoonfuls from the rind, the
seeds removed, and the melon laid in a freezer with powdered sugar and a
little sherry, and the freezer put in a cool place packed with ice and
salt for at least five hours.

When country houses are rather far apart, it is often convenient to go
from one to another on one's wheel, in spite of the fact that bicycling
is no longer in high favour. Still, so long as wheels are so useful they
will continue to be used, and just so long


A BICYCLE LUNCHEON

[Illustration]

will be found appropriate for some occasion.

Decorate your table with golden-rod or autumn leaves or a mixture of
golden-rod and purple asters, the two flowers which are so beautiful
together; do not on any account use garden or hot-house flowers for a
luncheon, which on its face suggests out-of-door sport. Search the
magazines for bicycle advertisements, and cut out bicyclers in all sorts
of attitudes and dress, and paste these on cards with a brief line
commending some one make of wheel for each guest; the more extravagant
the praise of each, the better. There are all sorts of pretty little
favours to be had of bicycles, tricycles, and tandems, which will serve
as souvenirs. This may be transformed into an automobile luncheon by
the change of the two conveyances. Oysters are again in season, and will
be welcomed by the hostess as a first course.

MENU

  OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  TOMATO SOUP.
  CREAMED LOBSTER IN SHELLS.
  QUAIL ON TOAST. POTATO CROQUETTES. JELLY.
  HOT ROLLS.
  GRAPE SHERBET.
  APPLE SALAD. WATER-CRESS SANDWICHES.
  FROZEN PEACHES. CAKE.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The salad is made by scooping out the whole inside of a large red apple,
after a slice has been carefully cut from the stem end with a sharp
knife; this pulp is chopped, mixed with small bits of celery and English
walnuts, with stiff mayonnaise, and the whole returned to the apple, the
top being put on again so that the cut does not show; this is a very
pretty salad, especially if care is taken to choose perfect apples.

As college opens again there are always those whose school-days are
over, who are "left lamenting" somewhat because the happy days are no
more. For such, a luncheon may be arranged which will have special
reference to the common past of a group of classmates.


ALUMNI LUNCHEON

[Illustration]

Lay the table prettily with the usual doilies, bonbon dishes of almonds,
radishes, candies, and crystallised fruits. Garden asters are now in
full bloom and come in great variety of colour, and these will make a
beautiful centrepiece, massed in a large bowl. The combination of
crimson and pink, of pink and white, or of white and purple is better
than the use of one shade alone. The table should be lighted with Roman
lamps or else with Jerusalem candlesticks, as suggestive of classical
studies; to be sure, September is one of the sunny months, but this
luncheon may be used quite as well at some other time of the year as the
fall, if that is desired, so the suggestion of the lamps may stand.

The most attractive feature of the luncheon may be the cards, which may
well be preserved for years as souvenirs of college as well as of this
meal; they are to be photographs of the particular place in the college
grounds or dormitories or village with which each guest was most
associated. If one has a friend still in college with a kodak (and what
college girl does not own one?), she can take and send them to you. The
girl who was oftenest in the Dean's office for reprimand may have a
picture of that interior; the one who was champion at basket ball, a
view of the gymnasium with the team at play; the girl who was the best
at chemistry, a glimpse of the laboratory; the one who frequented the
soda fountain down town, a picture of that. Or, if these photographs are
too frivolous, pictures of beautiful views about the college grounds may
be substituted.

The luncheon may suggest in its menu the favourite dishes of some of the
class, or one course might be a reminder of something served constantly
on the college table; this meal really gives unlimited opportunity for
ingenuity.

If the weather does not admit of using artificial lights, and yet the
table is felt to be incomplete without the small Roman lamps, they might
be filled with flowers instead of oil and used as decorations, the
central group of asters being kept low in a very shallow bowl.

MENU

  PEACHES AND GRAPES.
  CREAM OF CORN SOUP.
  CREAMED OYSTERS.
  JELLIED CHICKEN. PIM-OLAS.
  CHOPS WITH PEAS. SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES.
  LEMON SHERBET.
  TOMATO AND LETTUCE SALAD. FRENCH DRESSING.
  SANDWICHES.
  MAPLE PARFAIT. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The maple parfait is one of the most delicious of desserts, and one
easily prepared as well. The yolks of eight eggs are beaten stiff, a
cupful of maple syrup is added, and the whole is heated until it makes a
thick coating on the spoon, when it is taken from the fire and beaten
until it is cold; a pint of thick cream is then beaten stiff and mixed
lightly with the eggs and syrup, and the whole is put in a melon mould
and packed in ice and salt for five hours. The bonbons served with the
coffee should be those especially fancied by the girls of the college;
if there is a fudge named for the institution, that is the sweet to
choose.


A LABOUR DAY LUNCHEON

As Labour Day is a national holiday, it must be regarded as a gala day.
A luncheon which is in keeping with the occasion must not be elaborate,
but, on the contrary, as simple as may be without actually serving the
labourer's bill of fare. A good deal may be done to divert the guests
without giving a suspicion of making fun of the occasion, which is not
in the least contemplated. The table should be laid with a cloth, plain
white china used, and the decorations should be wild flowers. The cards
should bear a sketch of a labourer, and the favours should be small
picks, shovels, spades, and hoes, such as children play with. Have a
course of cold meat, and one of baked beans, as well as one in which
crackers, cheese, and coffee are served at the same time.

MENU

  BOUILLON (IN TIN CUPS).
  BAKED BEANS IN BEAN-POTS.
  COLD LAMB. PICKLES. BREAD AND BUTTER.
  POTATO SALAD.
  VANILLA ICE CREAM (IN SMALL TIN DINNER-PAILS).
  CRACKERS, CHEESE, AND COFFEE.

This is a rather plain meal, but nothing else will be appropriate, and
the idea of the day will prove its best sauce.



October


One of the oddest of luncheons may be given in October on the
tin-wedding anniversary, for as this is a favourite month for weddings,
anniversaries are sure to be frequent among one's friends; the bride of
a decade ago may gather her former bridesmaids for a luncheon served
with reminiscences, or a bridesmaid may entertain the group, or possibly
a number of October brides of ten years' standing may gather to
celebrate on one day the anniversaries scattered through the month.


A TIN-WEDDING LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A TIN-WEDDING LUNCHEON.]

Lay the table in pink; have a lace centrepiece over silk, a tin quart
measure in the middle filled with pink bridesmaid's roses, and pink
candles with pink rose shades, if the day is dark. Use small tin plates
for the bread and butter, and put the bonbons, almonds, radishes, and
candied ginger in little scalloped tins. A souvenir spoon may be given
each guest,--of tin, of course,--tied with a white ribbon, with the name
of some city the bride did not visit on her wedding trip painted in
white letters in the bowl; one is supposed to believe that these spoons
were purchased at Copenhagen, Constantinople, and Moscow with a view to
this occasion. Or, if souvenir spoons seem altogether out of date,
though really they would have been quite the thing ten years ago, and
are therefore no anachronism, give the guests some small tin utensil
such as an apple-corer, or a nutmeg-grater. Serve everything in tin; the
bouillon in small cups with handles, the sherbet in scalloped tins, the
fish, salad, and ice cream on tin plates of medium size, and the chicken
on larger ones. The coffee may be in tin timbale moulds. If you use
candles, put them in ordinary tin candlesticks.

MENU

  PEACHES.
  BOUILLON.
  BROILED OYSTERS ON TOAST.
  CURRIED EGGS IN RICE BORDER.
  CHICKEN BREASTS WITH ITALIAN CHESTNUTS.
  POTATO CROQUETTES. ROLLS.
  ORANGE SHERBET.
  PLUM SALAD. LETTUCE SANDWICHES.
  SUNSHINE ICE CREAM AND CAKE.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

[Illustration]

To prepare curried eggs, boil as many as are needed until hard, peel,
and put them in a ring of boiled rice which has been turned out of a
border mould; this rice should be well seasoned with a little chopped
parsley mixed with it. Over all should be poured a white sauce
flavoured with curry powder, and on the top should be sprinkled grated
Parmesan cheese, and the whole lightly browned in the oven.

The Italian chestnuts served with the chicken are to be boiled until the
shells can be removed, and then stewed gently in cream until they are
tender; the inner skin is not to be removed, as this gives the chestnuts
a purple colour and serves to keep them in shape.

The salad is made of the largest plums to be found; they are to be
peeled, halved, and laid on lettuce with either French dressing or
mayonnaise.

The ice cream is a rich vanilla cream made with the yolks of the eggs;
it is served in a very large sunshine cake,--that is, an angels' food
with the yolks of the eggs added,--which has been turned upside down and
had the entire centre cut out, leaving only a ring of the cake. The
cream is put in this in large rounded spoonfuls, and a slice of the cake
is cut and served with each. If any of the wedding cake has been kept,
some other cream may be used for the luncheon, and the cake, cut in
small pieces, passed with it.


HALLOWE'EN LUNCHEON

This luncheon should be carried out in yellow and brown, and if one can
have autumn leaves for decoration she will feel that she has the really
appropriate thing; still, if these are not to be had, or if the colours
have vanished from them, there are other things which will do almost as
well. A pumpkin might serve as a centrepiece, with the top off and the
centre cut out, filled either with fruit or chestnuts or chrysanthemums,
or the latter may be used alone in a tall vase. The little dishes on the
table should hold chocolates and plenty of marrons, or candied
chestnuts. Few persons know, until they have tried the experiment, how
easily these latter dainties are prepared at home; after boiling,
peeling, and simmering them in a thick syrup, they are rolled in sugar
and laid on oiled paper; a simple way of making what is usually
considered an expensive luxury.

Your guest cards should be decorated with sketches of witches or
brownies, or lighted candles; or you may purchase some small souvenirs,
such as stick-pins with witches, or silver crescents with figures with
brooms seated at one end. Cards of burnt leather are also in keeping
with the colours of the table and with the idea of the day.

[Illustration]

Darken the room and light the gas, but turn it low; get some of the
little bonbon boxes in the shape of oranges, or empty orange skins;
through an opening at one end, cut eyes, nose, and mouth, as is done in
making Jack o' lanterns, drop a little hot wax in the bottom of each,
and put in a small lighted candle; the effect is decidedly quaint and
pretty when the table is all lighted. If a supper is desired rather
than a luncheon, these same suggestions will do for that, and if the
menu is too long, the croquettes and sherbet may be omitted.

MENU

  WHITE GRAPES.
  TOMATO BISQUE.
  FRIED OYSTERS. SAUCE TARTARE.
  CHICKEN CROQUETTES WITH PEAS.
  QUAIL. CURRANT JELLY.
  FRENCH FRIED POTATOES.
  GRAPE FRUIT SHERBET IN SKINS.
  SWEETBREADS IN ASPIC. MAYONNAISE.
  WINE JELLY WITH CREAM. CAKES.
  CHOCOLATE.

The sherbet is delicious, but rather troublesome to prepare. Small fruit
is selected, the pulp removed in spoonfuls without the breaking the
sections, and after sweetening well, it is packed in the freezer to
stand four hours; meanwhile the skins of the fruit are cut in basket
shapes, and when the luncheon is ready, the frozen fruit is heaped in
these.

The salad is made by putting cooked sweetbreads in melted beef extract
which has been seasoned and had sufficient gelatine added to set it; it
is to be put in small moulds and turned out on lettuce with a spoonful
of mayonnaise by each. If a simpler salad is wished, one that is
surprisingly good is made by putting cold cooked string beans on
lettuce, sprinkling with French dressing and serving with mayonnaise.

The wine jelly, while still warm, is to be poured over bits of candied
fruit laid in a ring mould. When served, the centre is filled with
whipped cream and candied fruit scattered over all.


AN AUTHORS' LUNCHEON

This luncheon is not intended to be eaten by authors, though they are
not necessarily barred from participating in it, but it is arranged for
some group of clever women who are sufficiently well read to enter into
a guessing contest with interest in the books and authors named; or a
girls' club may enjoy a trial of their literary knowledge. The luncheon
is capable of infinite variation, and any one with a catalogue of books
can alter it to suit the requirements of any especial occasion.

Cards should lie at each place with the menu written out as in the first
one printed below, with the names of the authors omitted, and before
each course, or while one is eaten the next dish is to be guessed, and
the author named. A prize might be offered for the most numerous guesses
which are correct. The hostess would do well to have the key to the menu
by her plate.

The table decorations may be of an ordinary character, such as a bunch
of roses in the middle, or a vase of asters or chrysanthemums, and the
usual pretty doilies and odd dishes about, or, if laurel is to be had,
either the flowers or the leaves may be used to suggest the crowning of
genius.

MENU

   1. Toilers of the Sea. (VICTOR HUGO.)
   2. A Study in Scarlet. (DOYLE.)
   3. The Water Babies. (Kingsley.)
   4. Between Whiles. (HELEN HUNT JACKSON.)
   5. The Lay of the Last Minstrel. (SCOTT.)
   6. A Dead Secret (WILKIE COLLINS); and Plain Tales from the Hills.
        (KIPLING.)
   7. The Desert of Ice. (JULES VERNE.)
   8. Leaves of Grass (WALT WHITMAN); and Unleavened Bread. (GRANT.)
   9. The Snow Image. (HAWTHORNE.)
  10. Over the Teacups. (HOLMES.)
  11. Opening of a Chestnut Burr. (ROE.)
  12. All's Well that Ends Well. (SHAKESPEARE.)

The culinary key to the luncheon is this:--

   1. OYSTERS.
   2. TOMATO SOUP.
   3. SMELTS WITH SAUCE TARTARE.
   4. ALMONDS. RADISHES. CELERY.
   5. EGGS IN RAMEKINS.
   6. CHICKEN CHARTREUSE AND POTATOES.
   7. PEACH SHERBET.
   8. SHREDDED LETTUCE AND CRACKERS.
   9. ICE CREAM IN FORMS.
  10. TEA.
  11. and 12. MARRONS AND BONBONS.

The eggs are prepared by cutting up those that have been hard boiled,
seasoning them well, covering with white sauce, putting in individual
baking dishes, covering with grated cheese, and browning. The chicken is
minced, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little sherry or stewed
tomato, and put in a melon mould which has been buttered and lined with
an inch thickness of boiled rice; then the mould is steamed for three
quarters of an hour, and when done the whole is turned out on a round
platter, and a tomato sauce is poured around it.

The salad is made by cutting a head of lettuce across with the scissors
until leaves of grass result; mayonnaise is to be passed with this.

The ice cream is to be in forms of any sort, but the figure of a man is
the most appropriate.

This luncheon may be changed from a gastronomic to a literary guessing
game, either by furnishing the guests with a copy of the titles of the
books without the authors, making them guess both the writer and the
dish which is represented, or by furnishing the actual menu and asking
the guests to give a title of a book which will suitably represent the
course. In order to give opportunity for some choice in this luncheon, a
slightly altered menu is also given:--

MENU

  Toilers of the Sea.
  A Study in Scarlet.
  The Water Babies.
  Between Whiles.
  A Dead Secret, and Plain Tales from the Hills.
  The Desert of Ice.
  Wing and Wing.
  Leaves of Grass, and Unleavened Bread.
  The Snow Image.
  Over the Teacups.
  All's well that Ends Well.

"Wing and Wing" is by Cooper, as doubtless your guests will know, and
may be represented by a course of game, either pigeons or duckling.



November


The principal gala day of this month is toward the last, the historic
gala day of our forefathers, Thanksgiving; still, it is quite proper to
have a luncheon at any time during the month which shall have the
characteristics of the time.


A THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON.]

should remind us of the dress and food of our ancestors, but all of
their austerity and asceticism may go without mention; we do not take
kindly to these things in our days of luxury and ease. Have your
guest-cards bear a sketch of a Puritan girl, or a man in a tall pointed
hat and long cloak with a gun over his shoulder, or some other
suggestion of Colonial times. Have your menu made up largely of dishes
said to have been used at the first Thanksgiving Day meal, judiciously
combined with every-day delicacies which are more warmly approved by
this generation. Let your bonbons be in the shape of candy vegetables;
they are odd, and wonderfully accurate, and are to be had in the form of
radishes, carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, and almost everything else;
and buy favours in the shape of miniature roasted turkeys.
Chrysanthemums are the flower of November, and they are beautiful in any
shade, but yellow is the most brilliant, and a mass of this splendid
color in the centre of the table will make it attractive. If you use
candles, have them of yellow, with paper shades of chrysanthemums.

[Illustration]

The Puritans are said to have dined on oysters, clams, turkey,
succotash, and game, and all these things must be in the menu:--

MENU

  OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF CELERY SOUP.
  CLAMS NEWBURGH.
  ROAST TURKEY BREAST IN SLICES.
  CURRANT JELLY. SUCCOTASH IN CASES. POTATO.
  CRANBERRY SHERBET.
  SCALLOP SALAD. OLIVES.
  BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
  INDIVIDUAL MINCE PIES. CHEESE.
  VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH HOT CHOCOLATE SAUCE.
  COFFEE.

The salad is made by scalding a pint of scallops, draining them and
serving on lettuce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a French
dressing. The mince-pies may be omitted if they seem too heavy for
luncheon, but if you fancy this reminder of a real Thanksgiving meal,
have them made in small round tins about four inches across, and have
the pie-crust as delicate as possible. The hot sauce to serve with the
ice cream is made by boiling a pint of water with half a pint of sugar
until it hardens in water, and then adding two tablespoonfuls of grated
chocolate dissolved in three tablespoonfuls of boiling water, and
boiling again until it crisps in water; add vanilla and serve at once.
In the place of both the pie and this cream, you may have a sort of
combination of both, which might be called mince-pie ice cream, made by
adding chopped raisins, spice, and a dash of wine to a rich chocolate
ice cream; the slices look and taste like fruit cake, and served with
whipped cream are delicious.


A CARMEN LUNCHEON

In cities the opera season begins earlier than it did formerly, and this
suggests an operatic luncheon, either one served just before a matinée,
or given by way of something new, without regard to times and seasons.
Almost any opera gives scope for decorations and cards in keeping with
the idea of its story, but perhaps Carmen is the most distinctive. For
this, your cards should bear a bar of music,--the famous and easily
recognized "Toreador" song is the best,--or else a sketch of some scene
from the stage. If you can find paper fans with the pictures of
bull-fights, such as are to be had at times in our shops, these are
certainly appropriate as souvenirs.

The decorations must be in the Spanish colours, scarlet and yellow, and
carnations will give the best results; if you fancy having a corsage
bouquet for each guest these may be of alternate colours, yellow tied
with red and red tied with yellow, with the flowers in the centre of the
table of the two. The bonbons may be of scarlet and yellow also. Here is
a Spanish menu:--

MENU

  ORANGES.
  RED BEAN SOUP.
  BROILED FISH WITH TOMATO SAUCE.
  SPAGHETTI WITH CHEESE.
  SPANISH CHICKEN. LYONNAISE POTATOES.
  OLIVE SALAD.
  STUFFED CAKE.
  COFFEE.

The soup is made of strong stock with red beans, and seasoning in this
way: a little onion and garlic are browned in a deep kettle with a
spoonful of lard and a pinch of thyme; a stock is poured over this, and
two cupfuls of red beans which have been cooked until they are soft are
added; the whole is put through a sieve and poured over croutons just
before serving.

Any fish will do for the third course, but bluefish is the best; after
it is cooked it is cut in pieces ready to serve, and then a rich tomato
sauce is poured over each piece. The chicken is really delicious. A
tender fowl is chosen, jointed, and put on to stew. A dozen dry red
peppers are cut up and boiled, after the seeds have been removed; they
are then moistened with a little chicken broth and put through a sieve;
one green pepper and two sliced onions are fried in a little lard, the
peppers and chicken added, and the whole covered with the thickened
gravy and simmered for fifteen minutes before serving.

The salad is one of the commonest Spanish dishes. To make it, take a cup
of dice made of stale bread, sprinkle with bits of red peppers, add a
cup of stoned olives, cut up, and half a cup of chopped cucumber
pickles; mix the whole with mayonnaise and serve on lettuce cut in
strips; pass a strong cheese with it. The stuffed cake is also a dish
frequently seen in Spain. A large sponge cake is soaked in mild sherry,
stuck full of blanched almonds and stoned raisins, and eaten with a rich
boiled custard poured over it.


A HORSE-SHOW LUNCHEON

In New York the horse show is the great November event; perhaps in other
cities there is something corresponding to it, and certainly in small
places there is a great interest taken in the County Fair, which comes
somewhat earlier in the fall. For any day when a number of friends are
to visit a place where the horse is the hero, a luncheon may precede the
hour. A large floral horse-shoe may be the decoration of the table, or
one may be suspended over the table and the flowers may be of the same
variety in the centrepiece, but arranged with more grace. The guest
cards may bear a sketch of a horse, or of a horse-shoe, or a whip or
some similar device, and the favours may be of the same character, in
the shape of little silver pins; or, if the luncheon is sufficiently
informal to warrant it, these favours may be chocolate horses, standing
at each plate.

MENU

  CLAMS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  CREAM OF LIMA BEAN SOUP.
  CREAMED SCALLOPS IN RAMEKINS.
  CHICKEN IN GREEN PEPPERS.
  BREADED CHOPS WITH TOMATO SAUCE.
  POTATOES AU GRATIN. HOT ROLLS.
  LOBSTER SALAD. Cheese Straws.
  ICE CREAM WITH MAPLE SAUCE.
  COFFEE.

The chicken in the peppers is to be ordinary minced white meat, with
sufficient white sauce to make it palatable; if it is too wet it will
not be good. It is put in raw peppers from which the ends have been cut,
and the seeds removed, and the whole thoroughly heated in the oven. The
potatoes are baked and served in their own shells after they have been
scooped out and seasoned, and cut in half, with grated cheese over them.
The ice cream is a rich French cream made with eggs, and the sauce is
hot maple syrup with English walnuts broken in pieces in it; it is one
of the most delicious of desserts, well worth being used in place of any
of the suggested creams at any luncheon during the year.


AN INDIAN LUNCHEON

Boys are supposed to scorn luncheon as a purely feminine meal and one
which is necessarily frivolous; nevertheless there are occasions when a
boy is interested in entertaining his friends at luncheon, perhaps
before going to see a football game, or some such athletic contest, and
then a meal with Indian accessories will delight him.

The table should be laid with a cloth rather than with doilies, and the
centrepiece may be a birch-bark canoe, planted with ferns. The cards may
be of birch bark with quotations from Hiawatha, or of cardboard with an
Indian's head in colours, or a sketch of a wigwam, or a tomahawk, or a
pair of snowshoes.

[Illustration]

The bonbons may be in pretty little bead pouches laid at each plate, or
else in pairs of small moccasins around on the table, or in tiny
birch-bark canoes. The luncheon should be a hearty one without those
"frills" which the budding masculine intelligence refuses to admire.

The menu, like the one suggested for the Thanksgiving luncheon, may have
a suggestion of Indian dishes in it.

MENU

  OYSTER BISQUE.
  CREAMED FISH IN SHELLS.
  SLICES OF TURKEY BREAST. PEAS.
  CREAMED POTATOES. CRANBERRIES.
  LOBSTER SALAD. Sandwiches.
  INDIVIDUAL MINCE-PIES.
  VANILLA ICE CREAM. CAKES.


A CARD LUNCHEON

After a morning at whist, one should have an appetite for the noon meal;
let it be so delicious that the anxieties and disappointments of the
game may be speedily forgotten! The table may be prettily laid with the
usual doilies, and the flowers chosen chrysanthemums again, unless you
fancy carrying out the red and black colours of the cards, when the plan
suggested for the Musical Luncheon in January may be adopted, and red
carnations tied with narrow black ribbons may be laid by each plate, and
dark chocolate bonbons may be in the little dishes around a centrepiece
of red carnations. At each of the places may be a small box of cardboard
in the shape of a heart, a club, a diamond, or a spade alternately,
filled with bonbons. There are tin cutters which are in these same
shapes, and the cakes and sandwiches may still further carry out the
idea. The ices, too, are to be found at the caterer's in slices of white
with the figures on them in colours, but you may make a white cream at
home and serve it in paper boxes painted with the various figures around
the edge, if you choose.

Any one of the preceding menus may be used, or one may have something
different which yet reproduces the best dishes which have been
suggested, especially the delightful ice cream which was mentioned for
one luncheon, with the maple sauce, one of the delicious things among
new dishes.

MENU

  OYSTER BISQUE.
  LOBSTER CROQUETTES WITH TOMATO SAUCE.
  MUSHROOM OMELETTE. HOT ROLLS.
  FRIED CHICKEN IN CREAM SAUCE. POTATO SOUFFLÉ. ASPARAGUS TIPS.
  WALDORF SALAD. CHEESE SANDWICHES.
  FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH MAPLE SAUCE.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The mushroom omelette is easily prepared by putting a mixture of chopped
mushrooms and olives in a delicately browned omelette as it is folded
over just before it is served; there is nothing better in an egg dish
than this. The salad is made by cutting rather sweet apples in bits and
adding as much chopped celery and a stiff mayonnaise and laying on
lettuce leaves; if English walnuts are added, the salad is entirely
changed from the original, but it is thought quite as good by most
persons; the fact that these nuts are to be served in the dessert,
however, gives reason for omitting them from the mixture of apple and
celery. If it is desired to have a sherbet for this luncheon, add it
after the chicken, one of canned pineapple, or grape fruit, and have the
final course a cream cheese with Bar-le-Duc currants and crackers, with
the coffee; the mixture of sweet and cheese seems odd to one who has not
tried it, but it is warranted to give satisfaction.



December


One of the charming things about Christmas Day is the now customary late
luncheon for the members of the family and the intimate friends who are
afterwards expected to prolong their stay until the lighting of the tree
at early candle-light. Men as well as women are invited to this holiday
celebration, and the occasion is one of the happiest of the happy
season. Of course the guests are chosen with an especially careful
thought as to their congeniality, for Christmas is never the time for
the payment of social obligations, but rather for the fulfilment of the
idea of peace and good-will, and comradeship must mark the keeping of
the festival.

This Christmas luncheon in no way conflicts with the family dinner which
comes later in the day, but is a thing apart. The children join in this,
even if they are too young to remain out of bed for the later meal, and
will hugely enjoy the fun which marks it.


A CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON

[Illustration: FOR A CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON.]

The table should be arranged in scarlet, with holly to offset the more
brilliant colour; in the centre should stand one of the diminutive
Christmas trees, such as are to be had in the German toy shops; they are
artificial, and do not take fire from the candles, and have the
additional advantage of lasting for years, as they fold up like an
umbrella and may be tucked out of the way from one season to another.
The pot in which this little tree stands is to be surrounded with a
broad wreath of holly, lying on the table. The candles on the tree are
to be scarlet, and they will sufficiently light the room except for
the side lights on the wall. A narrow scarlet ribbon should extend from
each plate to a little parcel lying at the foot of the tree, tied up
with white tissue paper and scarlet ribbons, with a spray of holly
attached, and at the close of the meal these ribbons are to be pulled by
each guest and the gift opened; here the fun of the Christmas luncheon
begins, for these presents should in every case be some small joke on
the recipient, and ingenuity and cleverness should be the price paid for
them by the giver. If one has the knack of writing jingles,--and it is
easily acquired,--the card bearing the verse is to accompany the gift,
and the words must be read aloud for the entertainment of all.

A young man who is addicted to the bad habit of Sunday golf might have a
small plaid paper golf-bag, and a card with a picture of a golfer with
his sticks,--this can be cut from an advertisement or catalogue,--and a
rhyme something like this:--

  "Behold this young golfer so fit,
  Who his ball (or his caddie) doth hit,
  When six days in the week
  And the seventh day eke,
  To the links he doth eagerly flit."

An enthusiastic young housekeeper might be given a set of small tin
baking dishes with this jingle:--

  "This matron can cook wondrous well;
  Every recipe known she can tell;
  She can roast, stew, and bake,
  Make marvellous cake,
  And her jelly will frequently 'jell.'"

A pretty girl might have a pasteboard heart with the words written on
it, "A heart for the heartless," and this verse below:--

  "This maiden's an arrant young flirt;
  Her ways are both subtle and pert.
  Every man that she spies
  She looks on as a prize,
  And she cares not a fig for his hurt."

A little practice will make perfect in writing similar ridiculous
nonsense.

The menu for this Christmas luncheon should be a very simple one in
order not to impair the appetites for the Christmas goose, which will
appear before many hours.

MENU

  BOUILLON.
  SCALLOPED SALMON.
  DUCK CROQUETTES WITH PEAS. POTATO PUFF.
  CELERY SALAD. WAFERS.
  INDIVIDUAL PLUM PUDDINGS.
  COFFEE.

Of course if plum pudding is necessary to the Christmas dinner it must
be dispensed with here, but if this is the one meal of the holiday when
the children of the family are present, these small lighted puddings
will give the greatest delight; each one is to have a little spray of
holly in the top and be sent to the table on fire; as the alcohol is
destroyed in the blaze, there can be no objection to its use on this
occasion.

[Illustration]

After the final course a sleigh filled with candies may be brought in,
with Santa Claus driving his team of reindeer, and this may be placed in
state on one end of the table, or, if the little tree is not to be had
for the central decoration, this toy may take its place, and stand in
the centre all through the meal.

Sometimes one wishes to give a formal luncheon for guests who are
spending the Christmas holidays in the house; the ideas suggested for
the tree, the presents, the nonsense jingles, and the holly may all be
used with perfect appropriateness, even if this comes either before or
after the twenty-fifth. A Christmas luncheon speaks for itself, whenever
it is given. For this you will need a rather elaborate

MENU

  WHOLE PINEAPPLE FILLED WITH FRUITS.
  CLAM BISQUE. HOT CRACKERS.
  WHITEBAIT. BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
  BOILED CHICKEN. OYSTER SAUCE.
  POTATOES CREAMED.
  ORANGE SHERBET IN HOLLY BOXES.
  TONGUE SALAD. OLIVE SANDWICHES.
  INDIVIDUAL PLUM PUDDINGS.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

Pineapple is in market all the year around in our cities, and at a price
which varies little from the one in summer; if, however, the fruit is
not to be had, serve whole bananas chilled, each one lying on its side
on a plate with a strip of skin removed, and lemon juice and powdered
sugar over it; it is to be eaten as bananas usually are now, with a
spoon.

[Illustration]

The whitebait is a peculiarly delicious fish, and not an expensive one,
for as it is very light, a pound will go a long way; it is sprinkled
with flour and fried in a wire basket in deep fat and served with a bit
of lemon and thin strips of brown bread. Smelts or small pan fish may be
substituted for it, if it is not in one's market. Only the white meat of
the chicken is to be used on the table in the next course, with a white
sauce with oysters in it. The tongue salad is made by cutting canned
lunch tongue into small pieces, covering with French dressing for an
hour and laying on lettuce with mayonnaise over it; the sandwiches
passed with this are made of chopped olives and a little mayonnaise on
thin bread and butter. An ice cream may be used in the place of the
puddings if they are not fancied, and the caterer can furnish small
figures of Santa Claus in coloured creams which are very attractive.

In December there should be snow on the ground, whether there is or not;
certainly except on the sea-coast there is apt to be. A luncheon all in
white is appropriate in winter in any case, but if your guests can look
out on a white landscape, so much the better. This meal might precede a
sleighing or skating party; as one skates in the city on artificial ice
oftener than on that which forms naturally, this luncheon may be served,
whatever the weather, for a party of skaters.


A SNOW LUNCHEON

Lay the table all in white, with doilies and lace centrepiece, and
white, unshaded candles, whose glow will save the table from looking
cold. Have your flowers white carnations with just a touch of green
among them, and your bonbons and crystallised fruits white also. The
radishes are to be peeled, all but the least bit, and mixed with celery
hearts in a long glass dish, or served by themselves, as you fancy. The
mousse may be in white sugar cases, if you prefer these rather than the
melon mould.

MENU

  CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP.
  TIMBALES OF COD. OYSTER SAUCE.
  SWEETBREAD PATTIES.
  BEEFSTEAK À LA STANLEY. CREAMED POTATOES.
  CELERY SALAD. White Mayonnaise.
  CHEESE STRAWS.
  WHIPPED CREAM MOUSSE. SNOWBALL CAKES.
  COFFEE WITH WHIPPED CREAM.

The beefsteak à la Stanley, said to have been invented by the African
discoverer, is an odd dish for luncheon, but it is extremely good,
although one who has never eaten it would not be inclined to think so;
if served in small pieces is not too heavy for a winter's luncheon.

A thick, tender sirloin steak is broiled and laid on a hot platter on a
bed of horse-radish sauce made with the grated root, cream, and white
bread crumbs; a layer of fried bananas is put on the meat after it has
been seasoned, and over all, a thin layer of the sauce; the root is then
grated on top to look like long white ribbons, and the dish is served
hot. Of course for a luncheon the steak must be cut in strips before the
sauce is put on, or it will be a difficult matter to prevent its
becoming mussy in cutting, but if the plates are prepared in the
kitchen, the matter will be simple enough. To one who has never
attempted this dish a suggestion might be given,--do not condemn it
untried. The mousse is simply whipped cream which has been sweetened,
flavoured with sherry, filled with candied fruit and nuts cut in small
bits, and packed in a melon mould with ice and salt for four or five
hours; it should be served on a bed of whipped cream. The snow-ball
cakes have been suggested before; they are very pretty with this
luncheon.

As this menu is heartier than usual, no sherbet is given, for presumably
there is enough to eat without it; if, however, just because it is
hearty it is thought necessary to introduce a course of ice to refresh
after the meat, an apricot ice made from canned fruit may be added.


AN ANNOUNCEMENT LUNCHEON

In announcing the engagement of a friend it is customary to do so with
her permission at a luncheon given to her most intimate friends; she
should indeed make up the list with the hostess, limiting it to those
who are entitled to hear the news directly. Of course if there are only
a few, the luncheon should be an informal one, but if larger, the
decorations and menu must be more elaborate.

If none of those present have been entertained at a Valentine luncheon
on the order of the one already suggested, that may be followed almost
exactly, as everything except the dove over the table is quite as
appropriate for this meal as for that; if the guests are the same, then
the decorations are to be altered more or less.

[Illustration]

Lay the table with lace doilies over pink silk; have several vases of
pink roses on the table, and have all the sandwiches, cakes, and ices in
heart shapes. Use arrows of stiff silver paper in the ices. Give
heart-shaped boxes filled with heart-shaped candies to the guests,
unless you care to invest in pretty little stick-pins with gold or
silver, or coloured enamel hearts on the end.

An appetising menu would be:--

MENU

  OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.
  BOUILLON.
  FILLET OF FLOUNDER. SAUCE TARTARE.
  POTATO BALLS.
  CHICKEN LIVERS ON SKEWERS.
  FILLET OF BEEF, SLICED, WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE.
  POTATO CROQUETTES.
  FROZEN FRUIT IN CANDY FLOWERS.
  DEVILLED EGGS ON CHICCORY. MAYONNAISE.
  HEART SANDWICHES.
  ICE-CREAM HEARTS. CAKES.
  COFFEE. BONBONS.

The chicken livers are prepared by putting good-sized pieces of cooked
livers on rather small wooden or silver skewers, alternating them with
bits of thin bacon, putting them when ready in the frying-pan, and
turning them till brown, and serving on toast with lemon. They are what
is called _en brochette_ in cook-books, a formidable name for a simple
dish. Fillet of beef is really a dinner dish, yet it is seen not
unfrequently at luncheons, sliced in the kitchen and put on the plates
with a spoonful of mushroom sauce. The frozen fruit has been already
given,--a mixture of sliced oranges and bananas with a foamy sauce
poured over; it is served in sherbet cups, or in candy flowers.





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