i always do this.
i have this backlog of bloggable items that rack up in my brain. i think i'm up to 4 or 5 or 82401 to my gills now. things that occur to me when i'm walking down newbury street (dodging the sunglasses glamazons and furry white dogs underfoot), or when the store i desperately seek is suddently and unexcusably gone (am i the last to know that harnetts, featuring natural / organic / holistic goods, went out of business?). i saw the devil wears prada yesterday and pretty much cried (of empathy and delight and drama) throughout the whole thing, and did a fair share of domus-cleansing, city-slicking, and horizon-peering this weekend.
i had this backlogish issue when i was (was! was! see that, past tense! hee!) writing my thesis... when i set myself to write, i have a ginormous amount of ideas i want to spew out as text. things that i hear in my head (yes, the voices), the phrasings, the turn of phrase or witty double entendre or the structure or the internal flow. it's all inside, ready to be poured out like a big bad batch of chocolate fudge. however, somehow i want to write everything all at once in a simultaneous haze, but i cant, because i have to go word by word, and then the bottleneck grows fuzz and i end up with a hoover dam of thought. irrigation is the trick, perhaps, but i suppose the best i can do is just drop the baggage and get typing already...
anyway, remember the stash of vintage finds i got from that neighborhood yard sale a month or so ago? tucked among them was the HOSTESS GUIDE from JELL-O gelatin circa 1967. it's a pack of cards in a paper sleeve, probably something you sent away for with a couple of UPCs and a stamp, with lots of handy 'tips' for winning hostesses on index cards. i thought it'd be fun to go through all 35 tips, one each day. i dont have a scanner handy, so apologies for the snapshotty quality. however, i may get creative as time goes on. so remember, if you want to know how to plan a discothèque for the younger set, you'll just have to come back to visit my blog through the next couple weeks. :) i personally am looking forward to the kaffee klatsch...
and so we commence... i will also type out the text for search engine's sake.
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JELL-O GELATIN'S HOSTESS GUIDE [General Foods Kitchens]
The thirty menus, the recipes, the tips on planning and serving, the suggestions for decorating and entertaining that you will find on these cards are intended to make entertaining your family and friends easier and more enjoyable for you.
No doubt you'll make changes in the menus, substitute your own recipes for some of ours, adapt these situations to suit your own occasions, but we hope it will all add up to happier hospitality... with lots of help from Jell-O Gelatin!
Table of Contents:
 Your Party Plan, Table Settings
 Table Decorations, Flower Arrangements
 New Year's Eve Open House
 Valentine Party for Teen-Agers
 Holiday Brunch
 Halloween Hi-Jinks
 Thanksgiving Dinner
 Christmas Tree-Trimming Party
 Birthday Party for Preschoolers
 Birthday Party for a Teen-Ager
 Company Dinner
 Father's Day
 Dinner on Trays
 Picnic "On the Road"
 Sunday Night Supper
 Welcome Aboard
 Father Rules the Roast
 Shower for the Bride
 Card Club Luncheon
 Come for Dessert and Coffee
 Dinner for the Gourmet
 The Beautiful Buffet
 Guest Luncheon
 Christening Tea
 Birthday Party for an Adult
 Wedding Anniversary Dinner
ENTERTAINING FOR A CROWD
 Discothèque for the Younger Set
 Prom Night Party
 Wedding Reception at Home
 Family Reunion
 Church Supper
 Kaffee Klatsch
 Cakes that Rise to the Occasion
 Party Frostings
 Coffee -- Plain and Fancy
The recipes for all menu items preceded by an asterisk are given on these cards.
7845 General Foods Corporation Printed in U.S.A. 1st Edition 1967
Your Party Plan
Basic recipe for a party: take good food, a cup of cheer, a warm welcome, and congenial guests; spice with interesting conversation, fun, and games; blend thoroughly and serve on an auspicious occasion.
We plead guilty to oversimplification, but you, too, can simplify your party-giving with a detailed plan. Put it all down on a big sheet of paper. Study these Hostess Guide menus and recipes; then adapt them to your particular situation. As each recipe is chosen, put down its name and the correct card number. Go over each recipe, listing just what you must buy and when you will need it. Don't forget garnishes, sugar and cream, condiments, flowers -- every smallest item. Check linen, china, and silver. Plan table decorations.
Now list what is to be done each day, from preparing each item of food to filling the salt and pepper shakers. Have an hourly schedule on the day itself, including tasks you have delegated to others, and keep everyone strictly to it. As each task is completed, check it off.
Knowing that you have everything under control is the most important factor in the success of your party -- even you can relax and enjoy it.
TWO WAYS TO SET A BUFFET TABLE
Card tables or tray tables can be set up with linen, silver, salt and pepper, butter, and rolls; or guests can eat from trays on their laps. Leave room near serving dishes for guests to put their dishes down on the table while serving themselves. Arrange dessert on side table, or when first course has been cleared away, arrange dessert, plates, and silver on buffet. Or pass trays of desserts to seated guests.
[fig. Away from the wall] [fig. Against the wall]
FORMAL TEA FOR A LARGE GROUP
Set the tea table for two-way traffic if possible, with similar plates of sandwiches and cake on both sides. Have tea set up at one end, coffee at the other, with a hostess presiding at each to serve the guests.
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hope that'll give you an introductory taste. i already can sense the pretension, the tone, the ever-so-slight push toward getting all the ingredients at the ready, including, oh, well, let's just say... JELL-O. so stay tuned for lots of gelatinous hostessing to come.
p.s. i find the archaic spelling of teen-ager to be strangely captivating...