... this post is not about entertaining like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. I'm sure most of you have read Joe Nye's terrific new book Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings. It's been by my bed for months now, and I realized that reading it before bedtime ensures sweet dreams of beautiful china, bamboo flatware (in black, no less), pink carnations- basically, my kind of dreams. The book's gorgeous table settings positively beg for good food as well. I think that Joe would agree that the right menu goes hand in hand with all of the hard work that you put into your tables.
So, that leads me to another book that I've been perusing lately- Jessica Daves' The Vogue Book of Menus and Recipes. (That's Daves, above, in that black and white photo.) The 1964 cookbook and menu planning guide is, well, a bit dated, but food dates about the same way that curtains and lamp shades do- not well. That said, I do think it's a shame that Chicken in Tarragon Aspic is no longer a favorite on today's party menus. It sounds delicious to me.
I decided to plan a few pretend parties using photos from Joe's book and matching them to a menu from the Vogue book. I could have gone really retro with the menus but rather chose the ones that seem appropriate for today's palates. I realize that many of you will never make aspic, but cucumber boats with crab and mayonnaise doesn't sound too terribly difficult to make. What do you think?
Eggs Stuffed with Red Caviar
(Images from Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings by Joe Nye, Edmund Barr photographer)