Meals served in the fresh air of a porch tape on a zest and a charm peculiarly their own
HELEN G. CAMPBELL Director of The Chatelaine InstituteJuly11930
Meals served in the fresh air of a porch tape on a zest and a charm peculiarly their own
HELEN G. CAMPBELL Director of The Chatelaine Institute
IF KIPLING had paid a visit to Canada in July ho might have written a poem entitled "Our Lady of Sunshine.” And it would have given a true picture of a country where millions of acres of wheat are ripened by the sun, where clover blossoms and flowers bloom, where fruit and vegetables in vast variety testify to the warm fertility of the land.
The construction of Canadian houses gives a hint as to our changing seasons—solidly built to meet the cold of winter but with wide hospitable porches for the summer months. And perhaps we enjoy our porches more, since for part of the year so much of our activities must be carried on within four walls. With the first warm days our interest in porch furniture is awakened and the housekeeper begins to plan for entertaining out of doors. Tea on the porch has the charm of informality. Breakfast served there in the cool of the morning is a good beginning for a summer day. Other meals, too, may be served on the porch if the menu is carefully chosen and the details of serving well thought out. Simplicity should rule, for an elaborate meal may be rather difficult to manage, particularly if the porch is some distance from the kitchen.
Of course, the use which can be made of the porch as an outdoor dining room will depend a good deal on its location and size.
If it faces the south and is unprotected by shade trees or awnings it will probably be too warm for the midday meal but may be delightful for suppers. If very small, it will
perhaps be suitable only for serving tea and light refreshments. But if you have a porch, consider its possibilities and plan to have your family enjoy as much as possible the delight of eating in the open air.
The Appeal of the Unusual
\zfUCH of the appeal lies in change from the usual.
The porch meal offers an opportunity to escape monotony and to give interest to a simple menu. Here is a chance for the housekeeper to make a plain dinner different—by form of service and by the use of less common dishes. The fruit for breakfast may be as varied as the housekeeper wishes, for she has unlimited choice at this season. Berries, currants, pears, peaches, freshly stewed, and chilled rhubarb make a pleasant variation
from the grapefruit and orange so popular in the winter. Cereals, too, permit of much variety; there are a lumber of ready-to-serve cereals especially suitable for summer and hot porridge can be served less frequently. Bacon or eggs in the shell can be brought from the kitchen and served before they have a chance to cool. Some of the newer homes which have been built with this idea of the out-of-door meal in mind, have electric outlets to allow the cooking of some food at the table. If you are fortunate enough to have this convenience, bread may be toasted, waffles made, or coffee percolated.
The luncheon or supper menu can be adapted easily to porch service. A crisp and substantial salad, rolls and fruit make a satisfying meal. Iced cocoa might accompany this, or a fruit punch is cooling and delicious.
Tea in the afternoon can be a very friendly affair for a small group or a larger number. It is perhaps the simplest way of entertaining out of doors, for the menu may include only dishes which can be served cold, and the service puts no tax on the housekeeper as the food may be prepared well in advance. Sandwiches are a favorite, and, with a variety of fillings and shapes,
they can be given a touch of novelty. They should be well made and daintily served; if prepared some time before the tea hour they should be wrapped in a damp cloth so that they will keep fresh and moist. Individual molded salads made early in the day and set to chill in the refrigerator will simplify last minute preparation and are delicious and attractive for afternoon tea. With these a simple dessert is sufficient, and iced coffee, hot or iced tea, or lemonade in tall glasses is colorful and refreshing. In fact, summer beverages offer the housekeeper a chance to give an air of distinction to her menu if she uses imagination and ingenuity in combining a variety of fruit juices. The addition of lemon juice, ginger ale or soda water will give added interest and zest.
Serving the Porch Dinner
A DINNER of three courses need present *-no special problem, if details of preparation and service are well planned. Choose a menu with only one hot course, unless the porch is adjacent to the kitchen, and omit dishes which require much last minute supervision. A jellied consommé or a fruit cocktail may be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator. They are then ready to place on the table just before the
meal is announced. The main course may consist of cold dishes—a platter of sliced tongue, a bowl of vegetable salad, small dishes of celery and pickles are easily served. In this case, have a hot dessert— individual strawberry shortcakes are nice. For these the dough is cut with a large biscuit cutter and baked as tea biscuits. While still hot they should be split and buttered and, just before serving, the crushed and sweetened fruit added. If whipped cream is used, it simplifies service to have a bowl placed on the table and allow each guest to help himself. An iced or hot beverage is appropriate with this menu and not difficult to serve.
If a hot dish is desired for the first course, plan one which does not require to be served as soon as it is taken from the stove. Scalloped potatoes, baked stuffed tomatoes, onions or peppers will retain the heat if removed from the oven before the first course is eaten. Creamed vegetable, too, will keep hot if let stand in a double boiler over boiling water and makes an acceptable accompaniment to cold meat. An ice or fruit jelly is delicious on warm days, while fresh fruit is unexcelled as a summer dessert.
A meal served in the buffet style is perhaps the easiest way of providing refreshments. Breakfast, luncheon or tea may be served in this way. The menu should be simple—perhaps a chicken salad, small buttered rolls, olives and radishes with a luscious dessert and a beverage. Peppermint ice cream, small cookies and iced tea would complete a very delightful menu. As the guests serve themselves, it is important to arrange the table as conveniently as possible. A centrepiece of garden flowers will give a gay and festive air, and china and silver can be made to add to the decorative effect. Food and service dishes may be placed on the table at the one time, the cups and saucers near the beverage service, plates, table napkins, spc~ s and forks where they can be easily cnched.
Simplicity the Keynote
V\TITII forethought and good judgW ment the service of the porch meal need be no burden. If considering outof-door meals this season it is wise to plan porch furniture with this in view. Comfort and simplicity should be the keynote of arrangement and there are many accessories which add to the joy and convenience of such meals. A tea wagon is exceedingly practical for serving food in such a way; dishes and food can be carried to and from the kitchen with a minimum of steps. If you do not wish to invest in a tea wagon, trays of ample size are useful. Some sort of a folding stand for the tray is handy, as space is often at a premium on a porch. A beverage set, a sandwich tray add also to the attractiveness and convenience of the porch meal, and are inexpensive.
Gay chintzes, festive awnings, colorful china and glassware and easily cleaned table coverings are particularly fitting for the porch. Simple table decoration is more appropriate but it should be charming in its freshness and artistic arrangement.
All the following menus can be served successfully and gracefully. Most of the dishes can be previously prepared, allowing the hostess time for rest and freedom from worry, yet are novel enough to be interesting. The attractive well planned porch makes a delightful background which will contribute to an atmosphere of good cheer and charm. And if your
IS YOUR SUBSCRIPTION DUE?
Subscriber* receiving notice of the approaching expiration of their subscription* are reminded of the necessity of »ending in their renewal order* promptly.
The demand for copies to fill new orders is so great that we cannot guarantee the mailing of even a single issue beyond the period covered by your subscription. To avoid disappointment, your renewal order should be mailed to us promptly when you receive the "expiration” notice.
porch permits a view of forest or field or a glimpse of the lake or stream, you will have food for the soul as well as nourishment for the body.
Cheese and Minced Celery Sandwiches Ice Cream with Fudge Sauce
Baked Ham with Pineapple Slices Asparagus Salad Rhubarb Sponge
Casserole of Vegetable Cucumber Salad Frozen Strawberries Macaroons
Cress Rolls Jellied Celery
and Nut Salad
Brown Bread Slices Raspberry Mousse
1 Cupful of minute tapioca 6 Ripe peaches 1 Teaspoonful of lemon juice 1 Quart of boiling salted water Cupful of sugar y Teaspoonful of butter
Cook the tapioca in the boiling water until it becomes transparent. Peel, stone and cut the peaches in quarters and arrange them in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar, add the lemon juice and dot with the butter. Pour the tapioca over all and bake slowly until the peaches are tender. Serve hot with cream and sugar, or cold with whipped cream, sweetened and flavored with vanilla.
1 Cupful of sugar 4 Tablespoonfuls of cocoa
1 Tablespoonful of flour
2 Tablespoonfuls of butter y Teaspoonful of vanilla y Cupful of milk
Mix the sugar, cocoa and flour. Add the milk, and heat, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. Add salt, butter and vanilla.
1 Quart of strawberries Juice of two lemons
2 Cupfuls of sugar 1 Quart of water
Crush the berries and add the lemon juice. Boil the sugar and water for ten minutes. Cool and add to the berries and freeze. Serve with whipped cream.
1 Cupful of raspberry juice
1 Cupful of sugar
y Tablespoonful of gelatine
2 Tablespoonfuls of cold water 1 Cupful of whipping cream
3 Tablespoonfuls of confectioners’
Heat raspberry juice and sugar. Soften the gelatine in cold water and dissolve in the hot liquid. Cool the mixture until it begins to thicken and fold in the cream which has been whipped until stiff and sweetened with the confectioners’ sugar. Turn into a mold, pack in ice and salt and let stand for at least three hours. If canned raspberries are used in this recipe, less sugar will be needed. Serves six.
1 Tablespoonful of gelatine Cupful of cold water 1 % Cupfuls of stewed rhubarb Few drops of lemon juice y Cupful of whipped cream
Soften the gelatine in cold water and pour over it the lemon juice and the hot rhubarb which has been sweetened to taste. Stir until dissolved. Let cool, stirring occasionally. When the jelly begins to stiffen, beat with a Dover egg beater and fold in the whipped cream. Pour into cold wet molds and chill.
Jellied Celery and Nut Salad
2 Cupfuls of celery cut in pieces 4 Slices of onion 2 Sprays of parsley 1 Quarts of chicken stock 6 Slices of carrot Gelatine
Simmer the celery, onion, carrot and parsley in the chicken stock until tender. Strain and season with salt and pepper. Allow one-quarter package of granulated gelatine soaked in one-quarter cupful of
cold water, to two cupfuls of the above j mixture. If desired, tint a delicate green and turn into ring molds. Chill, and when firm unmold and fill the centres with hearts of celery cut in small pieces and mixed with an equal quantity of chopped walnuts. Moisten with mayonnaise and garnish tip of mound with the tender celery leaves.
Baked Ham With Pineapple Slices
2 Pounds of ham Canned pineapple
Have the ham cut three-quarters of an inch thick. Brown lightly on both sides in a frying-pan, then place in a baking dish. Surround with pineapple juice and place a round of pineapple on each slice of ham. Cover and bake in a moderate oven until the ham is tender, uncovering for the last half hour of baking.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.