The Intimate Dinner Party


Better Homes and Gardens’ Recipes for Entertaining, 1972

Caption in  Recipes for Entertaining says: Cook Chicken-Steak Almond at the table in a wok or an electric skillet for an intimate dinner for four.  Accompany with crispy chow mien noodles, steamed rice, Cucumber-Radish Plate, and warm sake.

Sometimes when looking at the group shots in cookbooks, I can’t help but let my mind conjure up a story of what is happening in the scene.  It is one of the reasons why I like vintage cookbook and recipes in general.  Letting your imagination run wild with thoughts of the person who might have previously owned the book.  Who was this person who wrote excellent next to a chocolate cake recipe or needs more sherry by a salad dressing?  I will admit sometimes my mind can take it to a weird place like in my last vintage food photo post.

What trigger me this time was the blonde in this picture.  Everyone else was chatting away eating their very bland looking Chicken-Steak Almond and she is just staring dead straight at the camera with not amount of joy for the situation she is in.  Why?  Did she originally think it was going to be just a girls night with her friend Tracy?  Drinking some wine spritzers while deciding if they were going to see Liza Minnelli in Cabaret or stay in and get their macrame on.  The blonde gets there and realizes her friend Tracy set her up on a blind date with Tracy’s boyfriend’s coworker Rick.  All Rick likes to talk about is his new Ford Mustang and how the shag carpet business is making that all possible.  Plus the blonde’s best friend Tracy is not a great cook.  So a bland meal plus a boring date is not equaling to be a fun time.  The poor blond is just counting in her head how early can she leave with being rude.

So what to you see when looking at this picture?  Or do you think why story is spot on?  Do you like to imagine the story behind a photo?


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