Saturday, October 24, 2009

24 October 1955 “Tea Parties and Buffet Suppers”

I have not found my usual time to post my blog today. I would like to discuss the end of VICTORY WEEK and share some recipes, but for this Saturday night, I offer you up these helpful movies about “Arranging a Tea Party” and “The Buffet Supper”. I found them, though simple, rather helpful and fun; just a reinforcement of common sense.

Let me know what you think. Perhaps, in the future, we should propose a tea party day a month, or buffet supper for friends or  something along those lines. We could try and get back into such habits and share recipes, ideas, and outcomes.

Next, is a movie laying out a Buffet Supper. I love that they show a younger woman asking and learning from an older woman. She could be a wise neighbor or a parent or grandparent. Buffet suppers can be nice for holiday parties, such as tree trimming or cookie baking party, since a more formal sit down meal would most likely be left for actual Day of the Holiday. What do you think of the advice, silly or helpful?



  1. I enjoyed the videos. I loved seeing the decor of the era and the dress and hairstyles of the women. They were so flattering.

    I have read more than one article today that laments the demise of manners. In our quest for "progress," we have lost our civility.

    In 1949 and from what I remember, to the early sixties, women (and men) dressed in their "Sunday Best" for parties and dinners (as well as travel). No matter their station in life, they tried to be civil, despite their weaknesses. I do so miss it.

    I have not given any teas, save one bridal shower. It was necessary to serve food; relatives traveled a long distance. They would be hungry. "Tea foods" wouldn't have been successful.

    I have had a good number of buffets, as I am sure as others have. It is the only way to serve large numbers of people. Much of the video advice was applicable then and now. For a buffet of around twenty or so, I will use cloth napkins, real flatware, china, and such, but for much larger crowds as my daughter's wedding reception of 50 guests, I did use disposable products. They advised putting the cake out with the food and drink. I usually put the drink on a separate, smaller table during the dinner buffet. When everyone has had their fill, I clear the table of food, and then set it for desserts, tea, coffee, and cold drink while the guests are occupied, usually with a planned "diversion."

    Our consumer driven society even affects a dinner buffet. Mistakes that I have made over the years have included: not taking into consideration all dietary preferences (not requirements) for both the meal and dessert options, not serving alcoholic beverages--we do not on conviction--its the relatives, not serving fructose-laden soda, not serving diet soda, not serving seltzer water, or not serving caffeinated/not caffeinated tea or coffee. Serving homemade flavored water, iced tea or punch was not very acceptable. How could I be so inconsiderate?

    Most of my dinners and buffets have been for family functions. Non family guests are usually, but not always, a bit more civil.
    I think I am tired just thinking about it. :-)

    No Idle Hands

  2. Thanks for thinking of us and posting even when you lack time. The videos were great and the recurring theme was the consideration and convenience for your guests, incorporating practicalness. What I might do with this inspiration: As we've picnicking more frequently this inspires me even more, to set-up with all the extras. eg I like to take real crockery and cutlery, (for one thing it doesn't blow away in the wind). I bring a tablecloth. I usually take a small vase and find a flower or greenery at the site or make a simple centrepiece from the natural surrounds (shells, rocks, corals, dead wood/twigs, fallen leaves) and now I'm thinking of how else I can cater to the comfort of our extended family. Asthetics and practicality, beauty and usefulness, care and thoughtfulness mmmm now let me think... Fun.

    (Having delighted in all these pleasant etiquette techniques on the videos if I was invited to a home that did none of this but was welcomed with smiles and love, I'd be equally as blessed. The heart attitude...)

    Thanks for your posts! Linda

  3. P.S. I thought you and the other ladies might like this quote from the book I'm reading at the moment, "Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life" by Margaret Kim Peterson. "But there is something in the human soul that longs for beauty beyond necessity. ... To be beautiful, a home need not be luxurious in size or contents. The beauty of a well-kept home may arise simply from structure and ritual and attention to detail, things that can be present even in the mnost modest of homes." :) Linda

  4. Love the videos. Very cool and informative.

  5. I wish I had friends who would want to do this with me....
    Thanks for the videos :)

  6. Tea parties are a great idea! A family friend of mine always has a Christmas tea for her old school buddies - for many years I helped her out as the "maid," pouring tea and getting to twirl around in my Christmas apron. Fun times!

  7. I think it IS really important, especically for we homemakers, to have some glamor and fun in our lives. The idea of tea parties or bridge nights etc, they may seem silly but what a great way to start a tradition that could really make someone feel wonderful, and a way to not have to spend money to go out but take turns with friends at one another's home to save on cost and as excuses to wear your prettiest dress. I think we need to work on this more in the future, don't you gals. Maybe try to orchestrate a 'tea party week' or something along those lines.

  8. Texas Accent In SydneyOctober 26, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    Still reading to catch up, in mid-June now ... expect will have atomic bomb and fallout nightmares tonight after watching the films! ... continuing to go through the cleaning products area, surprised to find three bottles of Drano, two cans of silver polish and one jar of silver paste, two cans of oven cleaner, lots of dustcloths ... so cleaned oven today and did Drano treatment, just saved one bottle of Drano for emergencies ... over last two days have repeatedly sprayed the shower with stuff promising to remove soap scum without scrubbing - but no big result even after four gos, of course will require scrub brush, why do I always fall for those promises? ... as stated, goal is to get down to a few very basic products ... gosh, I'd packed a lot into a small space ... Regards.

  9. Texas Accent In SydneyOctober 26, 2009 at 2:49 AM

    I like blueberry muffins but confess I've only made them from a box or bought ... do make cookies from scratch, lemon squares, pancakes and waffles so I know where the flour is and how the oven works ... this week the fridge is overflowing with blueberries (it's springtime Down Under) ... found "Best-Ever Muffins" recipe in my red checked Better Homes And Gardens New Cookbook ... adjusted to 3 tablespoons of sugar instead of specified 4 as DH "doesn't like sweet" ... very happy with results, expect will make more this week ... no more mixes with little cans of blueberries ... no more paying too much and ending up with a plastic box to recycle ... ever ... I can do better ... don't expect I'll be recovering furniture or building a fence, though! ... Regards.

  10. I would love to set up my Grandma's good china set (a complete set from 1947), it's maroon with gold around the edges and a very pretty floral pattern in the middle, I've used it once or twice and now it's stored quite prettily in my corner hutch for all to see.

    I find with young children there is no way I could risk breaking this family china, as I wish to pass it down intact. Maybe once my boys are older I will use it.

    I love doing Buffet suppers for family get-togethers, I usually put the food in the kitchen table (which has my retro 1950's maroon chairs :)), people help themselves and eat in the dinette area near my living room.

    I have never really had a sit down meal where people pass items, even at home on a regular meal I keep the items on the counter and serve my husband and children. I find it nice to look across at my guests and family without having to deal with a congested and crowded table, plus the clean up is much easier.

    I haven't had time to review the films, but I will, keep up the blogging 50's gal :)

    Mom in Canada

  11. Thought I would let you know I tried the Salmon Lasagne recipe. My husband and I both enjoyed it. It reminds me of eating shrimp cocktail! We will definitely have it again. Love the videos!

  12. i love tea parties!! we did one not too long ago w/all the ladies on my husband's side of the family. it was great. also did a couple mother-daughter and birthday teas for my girls. great way to teach manners! we also did a craft at the bday one~dishtowel aprons!!:) thinking of having a christmas tea or maybe valentine's day....maybe w/an ornament or teacup exchange..has anyone done that? each person brings a teacup and saucer that they have found (usually thrift) and wraps it up. then you choose the anonymously given gift to take home. such fun!! xo

  13. Oh, so many wonderful comments. I am going to post a blog today, but, as you know, sometimes one gets carried away in a project. Until later and I will answer and respond to your comments as well, such fun! I feel so 'plugged in' with all of you as we each attempt to address our modern world and think how can we bring back the 'good ole' days' and mix it with the new?! Wonderful, now off to share a cup of coffee on the terrace with hubby (He has today off, unusal for him!) we are blessed with 60s and sunny here in NE (at least on the Cape) Oh, and I am thinking of doing a pre-Christmas tea with the ladies, a fun way to get together not just to bake for christmas, but a day to wear pretty hats, sip tea and talk about the upcoming holidays! I think I might design an invitation card for this and will share it with you.

  14. Filed this away in my mind for future entertaining. Thank you for sharing.

  15. The videos are fantastic. It also shows how much society today needs classes in civility and etiquette. Perhaps we should make it mandatory in school?

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