1940s Dinner Party & Buffet Supper Table Setting Etiquette

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Arranging a Buffet Supper is a straightforward, step by step 1940's film on how a traditional American housewife can prepare a sumptuous meal for a large number of guests. As the film will tell the viewer, hosting a buffet supper for friends is not an easy feat, and a task that requires a great deal of organization. A dinner party begins with the invitation of guests, which can be made by telephone. Then the décor must be considered. A clean linen tablecloth is needed for the table and a small dish of fruit will make a good centerpiece. Some less common sense rules are also revealed. For instance, if candles are not to be the main lighting in the room, they should not be used as a centerpiece. Oozing domesticity and traditional social conformity, every last detail is accounted for with the utmost consideration. The main entrée should be put in a pan and set on the table. The entrée should not require the use of a knife since the guest will not be seated at a table. All foods should be informal. Rolls should be buttered in the kitchen before being served, and kept warm under a napkin until guests can eat them. The entire meal should be on the table with the exception of the drinks, which should go on a separate table. The dinner etiquette is strictly defined. Not just a useful manual for hosting a traditional dinner party, Arranging a Buffet Supper is also an absorbing glimpse of 1940's social norms and family social values.

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