When we moved into those sexy, swinging Sixties, everyone wanted to party...and everyone wanted to be at the party. No one wanted to man the kitchen. With that in mind, a slew of cookbooks were published to make you a great hostess without spending time in the kitchen. Theresa Morse's Never In The Kitchen When Company Arrives is just one of those cookbooks.
Morse pulls no punches. This is not a cookbook that tells you to put on lipstick and order out. She has a strict game plan that is as viable today as it was in 1964.
It stands to reason that if your kitchen is a well-planned workshop rather than a booby-trap filled with pitfalls, your lot will be an easier one.
A reliable oven...sharp knives...are as vital to a hostess-cook as an oxygen mask to a diver.
"A place for everything and everything in its place."
Open shelves, in tiers along the wall, close to the work space, are better than tranquillizers.
A recipe box is to a cook what a Stillson wrench is to a plumber.
Don't be stingy with your recipes. Give them to anyone who asks for them.
The cocktail interval before dinner not only provides immediate, warming hospitality, but it enables the hostess-cook to serve the equivalent of a first course, which otherwise would be difficult to manage.
What to serve for that cocktail interval? How about...
1/2 pound top round or sirloin, minced twice
1/2 pound fresh sauerkraut
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
Chopped chives or parsley
Season the meat and form into 24 flat rounds. Drain the sauerkraut, chop very fine, and add caraway sees. Place 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture on each meat round and fold the meat over so that it entirely encloses the sauerkraut. Shape into small balls and roll in finely chopped chive or parsley. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Have a small glass filled with toothpicks on the platter.
What else is there to say? How about, "Make mine a double!" Happy cocktail interval.