The old-fashioned evening party - which was by no means a dancing party, nor even a card party - has almost gone out of date. In this rushing day it seems next to impossible to pass an evening with one's friends with only conversation to make the time glide pleasantly. If there is no special amusement for the sake of which the company is assembled, there must be music or recitations, or something else to prevent the guests from boring one another.
Still, once in a while even now there is an old-fashioned party. More often it takes the form of a reception to meet this or that distinguished person, or to celebrate some occasion. At such affairs, as at a wedding reception, it appears to be necessary to make up to the guests for the boredom they are presumably suffering by carrying out the principle - "feed the brute." Accordingly, an elaborate collation is spread, and the men and women who have no other especially cheerful recollection of the evening, can at least testify that they have eaten and drunk well.
For such events the supper is a pretty serious affair, and unless the hostess has well-trained servants she would better commit the matter into the hands of professionals. Still, if she be one who herself looks well to the ways of her household, and has her own ample corps of competent domestics, she may, perhaps, achieve the supper without turning to outside help. In this case the refreshments will amount to much less in cost than if she relied upon professional caterers and waiters.
For the supper, which is to supply a large evening party, the bill of fare may, in a measure, resemble that already suggested for an extensive afternoon tea or reception. I give two menus, either of which is entirely suitable for an evening collation.