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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Sharon Lask Munson
Eugene, Oregon, USA


To a New Bride from Her Mother-in-Law

My dear, I must advise, we invite friends to dinner, not for dinner. At formal parties, use white linen. Colorful cotton is too casual. Placemats are best left for breakfast or lunch. When setting the table, choose a low centerpiece. One suggestion would be heads of white hydrangeas spilling from a shallow bowl. Of course, these considerations are seasonal.

When shopping for beef, ring for the butcher. He will cut your roast to order. As to side dishes, be aware of freshness and color. Never serve tinned; frozen, only in an emergency. Include a green vegetable with every evening meal. A second offering might be a corn soufflé, orange yams stuffed with mixed fruit, or a dish of garden beets. You’ll be surprised at how many people think they dislike beets, but in a fragrant and colorful sauce, the crimson colored root will have most guests coming back for more.

After dinner, lead your guests into the front room. End the meal with hot tea around the fireplace. Serve lemon slices with a light Darjeeling or smooth Earl Grey. You may also offer the choice of cream with a hearty Assam if serving fish or dairy. Buy a sturdy brass tea trolley with a glass top. Fine china sparkles on glass.

one perfect pear
on crystal
autumn’s reflection


Previously published in Frogpond, 2014

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