This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
" Recently Senora Romero, the wife of the Mexican Minister at Washington, gave a special afternoon reception, at which Mexican chocolate was made by a Mexican girl before the company. The girl, who was unable to speak a word of English, is a member of the company of Mexicans now here who have recently established the unique show, the Mexican village. On a square table in front of the girl was a native charcoal stove of red earthenware in the shape of a gentleman's hat, and called by the Mexicans 'brasero.' A half moon cut in what would be the top of the hat furnishes the necessary place for a draught to keep the coal above near the brim warm and glowing. The chocalate, which is in large cakes, is then finely broken into an earthen jar, on one side of which is a handle. Into this jar is then put cream, sugar, and the white of egg and cinnamon, which are mixed by a small instrument resembling a churn-stick, which the girl moves rapidly between her hands by rubbing them together. The compound, which in appearance resembles the chocolate ordinarily prepared, is thoroughly heated through by being placed on the glowing coals in the earthen jar in which it is made.
From this it was transferred to the silver urn on the dainty spread table, and served by the young ladies presiding".
" The Greek consul in Boston is an honored and esteemed member of the New England Club, who sit down to a pleasant little family gathering at Young's every Saturday afternoon. Yesterday happened to be his birthday, and the president has been engaged in devising a little surprise, not only for the genial consul, but for the whole club. It had been announced that 'Greece' was to be the subject of the weekly discussion, but when the memberi arrived at Young's yesterday afternoon, and, after exchanging greetings, sat down around a well laden board and took up the menu cards, their faces at once assumed a puzzled look, which gradually gave place to expressions of utter despair or broad gleams of fun. Then the waiters appeared, gazed at the bills helplessly and hopelessly, and retired for consultation. The entire bill of fare was prii.ted in Greek. There were long words and short words, and whole strings of hieroglyphics, which ambitious members vainly sought to translate into the nomenclature of the modern cuisine.
At last one member cut the Gordian knot by summoning a chuckling waiter and boldly ordering 'some of No. 1.' Others followed suit, and so the whole list of goodies was disposed of amid much hilarity and many earnest discussions as to whether 'No. 6' was ever better, or whether any member in his whole experience ever remembered a time when 'No. 3' or 'No. 7' tasted so good to him as on that particular occasion. Ex-president Folsom, not fully satisfied by the course arbitrarily prescribed by the bill of fare, varied the monotony by demanding 'socrates hash,' and was loudly seconded by another member who wanted 'Acropolis beans,' and yet a third who declared for 'ham and eggs & la Diogenes.' "
" One of the most curious menus ever issued to guests was that arranged by the members of the British Medical Association and served at the Ship Hotel, Greenwich".
The entire bill of fare was printed in the newspaper - it was a large one, containing many courses, and every word and heading was printed in Latin.
"Among accepted novelties in dinner giving in Paris must be mentioned the now general fashion of much silver bric-a-brac upon the tables. To each guest a tiny silver salt cellar, of a different shape to each cover. This in the shape of a marmite, this of a saucepan, that of a shell. Also at small familiar dinners to each guest a little butler dish, also of silver, in a fanciful shape and a tiny knife thereto - an excellent addition to a table when oysters are served, and pretty withal, also appetizing with the ice-spangled pat of yellow butter in the silver shell. Still at the 'diner intime,' in front of the host the mustard pot, the pepper mill. Yonder a silver pickle jar. The table should resemble a children's feast. Lilliputian trifles everywhere. Candles are much used now, with tinted shades, in silver candlesticks".
" The latest agony in silver table decoration is a very large platter with a swan at one end. On this coffee cups are placed, with a cream jug and sugar bowl. The latter should be of Saxon manufacture to be entirely correct. The huge swan, with its outstretched wings and curved neck, is in reality a coffee pot, which the hostess can swing on and off the platter to serve the fragrant beverage, lifting each time the delicate throat of the bird. It is an old Louis XV. model rejuvenated and a trifle modernized".