This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
It has been remarked already, the whole world of party givers are constantly straining after something new, or, if not a fresh Invention, something new to their own circle, and by way of showing what devices are hit upon, we will give specimens gathered from various sources. And, first, the series of dinners of one prevailing color.
" In the dining 100m the idea of a pink dinner had been carried out In every detail, even to the pink globes on the large chandelier. The centrepiece of the table was composed of an elongated square of ferns, the four corners formed of great clusters of odorous carnations, while from the middle rose long-stemmed and La France and American beauty roses. At each of the four corners were fairy lamps under pink shades. The silver candelabra were filled with candles under shades of the same color. The menu was printed on a broad piece of pink satin ribbon, fringed at either end, and bearing on the left-hand corner at the top the name of the guest for whom it was intended. The rolls at each plate, cheese sticks and wafers, were tied up in small bundles with a tiny pink ribbon, while the icing of the small cakes, confections, and ice cream were all of the same color. The individual salt cellars and punch glasses were also pink. A boutonniere of carnation, or pink rose bud, lay at each plate. On the mantels were large vases of white chrysanthemums".
" In dinnerparty arrangements a pretty custom is rapidly gaining ground; this is to make one color in varied shades rule the roast, and to have one flower the presiding genius of the feast. Take the yellow, for instance. Golden-hued chrysanthemums would be the most appropriate bloom to harmonize with this color In the shades of the large lamps on the side tables and sideboard, and the delicate fairy lamps marshalled on the dinner table. Careless posies of the same flower are suspended over the heads of the diners, and separate sprays lie carelessly at their sides, and grouped together, decorate the center of the table. All the service used at the meal must be in harmony, and in some instances the very cloth covering the table is of pale canary satin. At one dinner of eight a well-known entertainer carried out the golden lead in the viands themselves - the soup was golden, so also were the fish and its sauce, entrees, sweets, and dessert all following suit".
" During lent dinners an blanc, or white dinners, are fashionable. In many houses the fair, white damask tablecloths replace the covers of colored velvet, satin, plusht or sateens with their exquisite surdoths of laces, or, if colors are used, it is the soft violet shade, so beloved by the adherents to the third empire in France and the high church party in England. This is the menu of a white dinner recently given.
Hultres en Coquille.
Agneau. Carre de Pore Roti.
Frangepane de Moelle.
Canapees de Fromage a la Diable daces.
Citron. Cerises Blanc.