Mousses, Biscuits and other Ices Fancy Cakes Fruit
Coffee Iced Tea Punch
The table is set in the dining-room, which is not opened until late in the evening. Everything that the house possesses in the way of handsome china, cut glass and silver may be called into requisition to beautify the occasion. There is usually a corps of waiters in attendance, although the gentlemen are also expected to do their duty in fetching and carrying, and in serving the ladies under their escort. There are times when they do nearly all the helping to the various dishes as well, but this custom grows less and less common.
Usually the table has a center-piece of flowers and fruit, which is meant for beauty rather than for use. If fruit is to be passed it is either served in smaller dishes, or is taken with care from the foot of the central pyramid, where its loss will not interfere with the beauty of the table. Piles of plates, napkins, knives, forks and spoons are arranged on the main table, or on a sideboard, and the dishes of salad, sandwiches, oysters, etc., are also on the principal table.
Such a supper as this is appropriate for a dancing party, a wedding reception or any other form of evening gaiety. As a rule, there is also a bowl of punch in evidence in the hall near the drawing-room to allay the thirst of those who can not wait until the full supper is served.
For smaller parties, like card parties, club reunions and the like, so elaborate a bill of fare is not necessary or desirable. For such functions as these the chafing-dish has supplied a felt want. With little trouble and comparatively small expense it is possible for the owner of a chafing-dish to set out a feast that will hardly fail to satisfy even a hungry college boy.
A couple of bills of fare are herewith suggested for the use of the hostess whose experience with the chafing-dish has been too limited to take her beyond the realm of lobster a la Newburg and Welsh rarebit. The amateur generally fancies that these are the only combinations which lie within the range of the chafing-dish, and it comes to him as a surprise to be told that there are scores of toothsome dainties he can manage if he have the knack of the chafing-dish.