Montreal Daily Star, 17 November 1900, page 3


Things to know


There are two secrets in the gentle art of dinner giving, the first is, keep within your means.  To be definite, do not invite more guests than you can seat in comfort, or serve with ease, and do not attempt too ambitious dishes.  No woman is better loved by her friends  because she is a better cook then they, though they may love her in spite of the fact.  Keep well within your limits as to your waitress’ abilities, and the number of your spoons and forks, and have an easily prepared menu.  A hostess naturally wishes to give her guests her very best, but to give all her best at one dinner is to draw too heavily on her future: she should leave something for the next time.  It is the absurd idea that it takes a great outlay of time, strength and money to give dinners that makes many women feel  they cannot entertain at all in this way.  Of course, in giving a dinner there must be some unusual effort, some preparation out of the ordinary, but it should be minimized as far as possible.  The necessary sweeping and dusting should be done the day before, the silver cleaned and counted out, the china laid in piles, the orders given to the markets and the florist, the menu and dinner cards written, the places assigned, the almonds salted, the soup stock and salad dressing made.  If all these little, but necessary things be done ahead of time, a dinner ought not to derange a household or cause much excitement or hurry.