In arranging this matter, I have made an earnest effort to be of service to the housewife without or with one maid, as well as to those who are fortunate enough to have trained help.
It is, perhaps, unnecessary to say that elaborate refreshments are entirely out of place at small afternoon or evening cards. An ice, with a wafer, or cake and coffee, served on card tables, are sufficient. A salad, with bread and butter sandwiches and coffee, or a salad sandwich with coffee, make a nice combination. Hot dishes, even light entrées, seem to call for a dessert, or another course and coffee. For wedding and other large receptions serve a greater variety of dishes — jellied meats, boned chicken, salads, sandwiches, ices, cakes and coffee. In winter creamed dishes may be served in paper cases on the same plate with salads and other cold dishes. Serve coffee in small cups after refreshments.
Many so called elaborate dishes are quite easily made, and entrées are frequently quite as good when rewarmed.
Chicken croquettes may be made and fried early in the day, ready to rewarm on brown paper in a baking pan in a hot oven ten minutes before serving time. Sandwiches will keep perfectly well for several hours if wrapped in a damp towel and closed in a tin bread box. Salad sandwiches are better, however, if made as near serving time as possible.
If a large reception is to be given, even with good help, prepare as many dishes as possible the day before, to avoid confusion on the fixed day.
Refreshments for small affairs need not necessarily cost much time or money. A half cupful of chopped left-over steak, a couple of chops or a bit of chicken or a box of sardines, make a good foundation for molds of tomato jelly. Served with bread and butter sandwiches and coffee they are quite sufficient for afternoon or evening cards.
Many of the ices in this book are new and attractive. The new sorbets are liked by those who are always striving for a change. Many are old and reliable.
At large affairs, serve from the dining table.
At card parties, large and small, serve on the card tables, using a small tea cloth on each table.
At afternoon teas, serve from the tea table in the drawing room.
At lawn parties, serve from a large table on the lawn. Small tables may be placed here and there for the convenience of guests.
Every day afternoon tea may be served, in the summer on the porch, in the winter, in the living room or library.
If two dishes only are served, be sure that they harmonize with each other and with the manner of service.
Suitable and hygienic combinations are always to be considered, but the aesthetic side seems to me of equal importance.