In planning the menu, a wise selection should be made. Simple foods should be selected and but few courses should be served. A young hostess should remember that a simple meal easily served is more enjoyable and more fitting than an elaborate dinner where the hostess must frequently leave the table. Foods should be selected that can be prepared before the meal is served, and that will not be harmed by standing. A souffle which must be served immediately when taken from the oven is not a wise choice for such a meal.
For almost all meals some of the dishes and foods must be left in the warming oven or in the refrigerator, but as many dishes and foods as possible should be taken to the dining room before the meal is announced. The suggestion has been made that dishes be kept warm by placing them in a pan of hot water on the serving table. This would mean, however, that a tea towel be at hand to dry the dishes before using. Special hot-water dishes for the purpose can now be obtained in city shops.
A serving table or a wheel tray is of great service to a woman acting as hostess and waitress. It should be placed near the hostess so that she can reach it without rising from her chair. In the absence of a wheel tray, a large serving tray is a great convenience in setting and clearing the table; it saves many steps.