My mother was a housewife. The home was her domain for better or worse and by today’s standards, she probably fell short. But as a young married woman, she was quite interested in entertaining properly. I know this because squirrelled away in my childhood home I found a number of handy booklets concerned with how to give a party. They epitomized 1950s entertaining. I loved their retro vibe and snagged them, thinking I might look at them later. Later, it turns out, is now.
The look and feel of the booklets were irresistible, but, didn’t pay off in the way I thought. It turns out that entertaining hasn’t changed all that much in almost 70 years. Holy crap. That is a L-O-N-N-N-G time. As you can see, the correct table setting for the young hostess is pretty much the same as it would be for the old hostess. Of which I am one. Not that I have ever measured to be sure I allowed 24 inches for each place setting or thought about starting one inch from the table edge. If memory serves me, my mother didn’t, either.
But, like algebra, these things are good to know in case you ever need them. And as you remember, I’ve noted here recently that I have never used algebra. At least not yet. Or not that I know of. I mean, I might have. But I never thought of it as algebra.
I digress. Back on track now.
This booklet had a section devoted to the “community party,” you know, when you have to give a party for your women’s club or the PTA. I can not ever remember my mother and her friends sitting around in pedal pushers or clam diggers at one of these hen parties. In fact, I can’t remember a gathering like this at all. It is entirely possible that mom had them before I was old enough to remember. But knowing my mother, I don’t think she did. Still, I just loved this illustration, don’t you?
Here is another thing I don’t remember: my mother never made anything called “aspic” and thank God she never made barbecue tomato aspic. I mean, seriously? Just the recipe alone makes me a bit ill.
Then, I found something else that seemed to be of another era: butter paper. What is butter paper? The first person to tell me correctly will receive these very booklets as a prize. No joke! I promise!
Yes, it was Scott Paper who provided this particular resource, so it’s no surprise that a few pages had 1950s-style craft projects. Here’s one you could do with toilet paper rolls.
Thankfully, my mother never made firecracker place card holders out of bathroom tissue rolls. Today’s craft bloggers are far more creative. Usually.
Of course, the corporate lawyers had to have their say, so I found this in the back of the booklet:
And then, of course, I couldn’t help a little snicker about “gay, lovely colors:”
Question for you: have you ever found something in your parents’ or grandparents’ files that was so anachronistic you simply had to save it? Inquiring minds want to know!