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Time for Formality

Time for Formality


A formal dinner party can be lots of fun!


By FamilyTime

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Even as our culture becomes increasingly casual, every now and then we’re in the mood for formality. Now is the time to cover the table with your grandmother’s linen table cloth, polish the silver, and use your wedding china for a dinner party that is as decorous as it is delicious.

There is more to giving a dinner party than setting the table. The food should fit the mood, as well.

The Menu
Start the evening with some nice goat, blue, or aged cheddar cheese and good quality crackers. If you want to serve more, consider Crab Puffs or Shrimp Cocktail. Both are elegant and relatively easy to make.

The main course could be Mustard-Glazed Rack of Lamb or, if you prefer to serve fish, Swordfish with Vegetable Couscous. Lamb is a glorious spring meat, and fish, equally welcome, and tastes fresh and delicious in the spring.

If you choose swordfish, the couscous rounds out the meal. If you decide on lamb, you might want to serve it with New Potatoes with Herbs.

For a salad, choose one that takes advantage of the spring’s tender greens. For instance, you might want to serve Radicchio, Watercress, and Arugula salad or, instead, Red Leaf Lettuce, Watercress, and Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing.

End the meal with a simple yet elegant dessert of homemade Papaya Sorbet and your favorite cookies. If you are feeling ambitious, make a Lemon Meringue Pie, perfect for this meal.

Your guests will appreciate some high-end chocolate truffles to end the meal with alongside cups of coffee or espresso. Buy them at a specialty shop or gourmet market.

During the meal, pour the right wine. A light, fruity white to begin, followed by a full-bodied red such as a Cabernet or Bordeaux. For the tuna, you might prefer a Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc.

The Table
As mentioned, display your most beautiful linen tablecloth and matching napkins. Set the table with your heaviest silver flatware. Polished to a high sheen. If you have stainless flatware, rub it with a soft cloth to make it shine.

Use your prettiest candlesticks and be sure to insert new tapers in them. Fill a low vase or bowl with luxurious spring blooms, such as tulips or roses, and place them in the center of the table.

Don’t crowd the table. Make sure everyone had ample elbow room and a comfortable dining chair as you and your guests will linger over dessert.

Many formal parties end in the living room where they began. Carry a silver coffee service into the room and pour the steaming brew into demitasse cups. Pass the truffles or other candies in a pretty candy dish.

Enjoy the dinner party. It’s fun to have a fancy party every now and then!



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