This week I am totally obsessed with books on cooking and entertaining. As many of you know, I have been working non-stop on a charity cookbook; I think my obsession stems from reviewing & editing all those wonderful recipes submitted. Right now My Ebay lists are loaded down with cookbooks and books on entertaining. I am a lady obsessed-so much obsessed am having new shelves built for my kitchen library! Vintage books from renown hostesses, community cookbooks, pamphlets from the CAI, to current day entertaining tomes; it doesn’t matter who, what, where, when, or why- I bid, I watch, I buy them like there is no tomorrow (luckily most of them are very reasonably priced to help feed my obsession).
The creativity & resourcefulness of these hostesses who forged the way for us modern day entertainers, is just mind-blowing. The recipes and parties in these books were created by ladies who were involved in their parties from the invitation until the last plate was washed. The recipes-WOW-no matter how delish they sound and how badly I would like to try them-they are from days gone by and not sure even the most talented of 21st century hostesses can resurrect them! But, let me tell you this SS is going to try-have the calendar out and have started planning for the luncheons, brunches, cocktail buffets, game-day cookouts, and midnight suppers I am going to host. Now who to invite!
Over the past few weeks the following books have become some of my faves for the kitchen library:
Entertaining is FUN: How to be a Popular Hostess By Dorothy Draper-This book as been reprinted and can be found new at bookstores. Also, get the companion book Decorating is FUN! How to be you own Decorator
The Complete Book of Parties By Margaret Lockwood Andrews- Published 1942 (Obviously loved this one so much, I bought it twice-who knew-Oh well, guess the SS sis now has her own copy!)
Good Housekeeping Party Book- by Dorothy Marsh & Carol Brock- Published 1958
Menu Maker & Party Planner by Elizabeth Hedgecock Sparks- Published 1957
All About Entertaining by Kay Corinth & Mary Sargent- Published 1966 Tagline says “Everything you need to know to have a Fabulous Social Life” –look ladies there it is all in this book!!
The Glamour Magazine Party Book by Eleanor Elliot- Published 1965
Come for Cocktails, Stay for Supper by Marian Burros & Lois Levine- Published 1970
The Perfect Hostess by Madeline Knopf- Published 1965
Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, & Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life by Julia Reed- Published 2008 All you need is the Menu from the introduction to have a talk of the town party! This is one my absolute favorites for the recipes and the fun, fabulous stories.
Socialites now that you have your summer reading assignments, fix yourself a cocktail, prop your feet up and take yourself back to a time where the napkins were starched, the cocktails stirred, the silver polished, the salads congealed, and the guests truly dazzled!
Happy Wednesday & Y’all have a Fab one!!
The Southern Socialite