Today, we travel back Even Further in time, to the magical year of 1961 - the year my current apartment was built, exactly 10 years before I was born. And as a further departure, there is no actual recipe for today. We are still dealing with food here, though, which we can learn to enjoy as ladies and gentlemen, by consulting this adorable guide.
This book was given to me by my aunt when I turned 13, and I remember loving it, and trying to remember all the details about the fish fork and meat knife – not entirely relevant, since my mom and I were vegetarians! But I knew that This Glorious Little Book would somehow, if I learned the rules, transform me into the fabulous teenager I longed to be. Little did I know that by the time I became a teenager, in the 80s, very few of the rules set forth by Walter Hoving, and delightfully illustrated by Joe Eula, were even still in use. I like to think that I was “retro” before there was such a thing. Before my time, you were either called “born-too-late” or a History Buff. Or just plain “weird” – I got that a lot.
So it is with glee that I am turning a new generation on to the delights of proper table etiquette – I have been reading this to my 5-year-old daughter as bedtime reading, and she LOVES it! Mostly she giggles at the “don’ts”, but perhaps some of the “dos” will sink in as well. At the very least, she will know not to “leap at her food like an Irish wolfhound.”