November 28, 2007

Gracious Entertaining the 60's Way

Last week, there was a great article in the Home & Garden section of the New York Times, which I almost missed. The article came out on Thanksgiving, and I was too busy watching my nephew's football game with a friend who edits Men's Vogue, and whose nephew was also playing. Unfortunately, we both missed the boys' three minutes of playing time, but I got lots of fun gossip.

As you know, I love old books, and I always find gems at the Book Thing. The article in the New York Times referenced some of my faves, including the other Dorothy Rodgers tome, "My Favorite Things". Even in "The House in My Head", Mrs. Rodgers includes recipes, which in today's weight-watching world are likely to make you run screaming to the carrot sticks.

The one thing in the article that resonated with me was that entertaining these days is "outsourced", done by caterers, event planners, and florists, rather than by the host and hostess. I will grant you that a lot of us don't have the same time to spend entertaining as our parents did, but with good planning, it can be done. If you take a little from here and a little from there, it is more reflective of you and your tastes than some big money style maven.

The women who wrote these books, Joan Crawford, Mary Rodgers, and even Liberace, were not selling a lifestyle like Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray, but giving the masses their ideas of gracious entertaining.

As we move at the speed of light towards the holiday entertaining season, are you going to be a mini-Martha, or are you going to let your inner gracious self shine through?
Image: New York Times


  1. I agree completely. I don't get people who cater at home, one might as well have the dinner in a restaurant. I would love my inner gracious self to shine through - if only I had one. I find my hard-headed, brusque, and sometimes just plain mean, outer self still can manage, though. Ha!

  2. I caught that article and just loved it. So funny, esp. the bit about Crawford's book. Next time I throw a party I will practice ahead of time going around the room and planning what I will say to people! And, I will have the matching turban on too!

  3. Nicely put. I wish that more people would trust themselves to entertain. I like to remind the nervous host(ess) that guests come to see you and socialize. A few drinks and a crockpot will take you far.

    Great site and post. Thanks,

  4. Thanks so much for your kind Thanksgiving wishes It sounds like you had a great day too :)


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