Thursday, November 19,1981 — The Salina Journal Page 11 Living Today The Salina Journal Haw tn he a. ErllESt ith everyone offering advice at Thanksgiving time on how to be the "perfect host," it's easy to forget being the "perfect guest" takes nearly as much thought and planning. More people are guests than hosts at Thanksgiving. For that reason, a survey was taken of food and etiquette experts from across the country to collect tips on how to be a welcome visitor at Thanksgiving or any other time: • When you receive the invitation, ask if you can bring dessert or a side dish. This will certainly lighten the hosts' work load and may be very much appreciated by those busy with a million- and-one details. • Dress appropriately. Although you may be more comfortable in jeans, remember the hosts may want this dinner to be an extra-special affair. The way you dress can set the mood for the entire festivity. • Arrive on time. Unless you know your hosts would prefer you to be late, make sure you're there on time. Tuning a large meal for many people is difficult if everyone shows up at different times. Keep in mind that heavy holiday traffic may slow up your trip. Plan accordingly. • Ask if you can help before the meal. If the hosts say yes, do so. B ' ut if they decline your offer, stay out of the kitchen and their way. They probably can work much more efficiently without having to keep up a conversation and work around you. • Don't turn on the television or radio before, during or after the meal without consulting the hosts first. The hosts may be planning on turning on a special sports event or parade, and the dinner hour may be planned with this in mind. Or, the hosts may not want the television or radio on at all that day. • Don't bring pets without asking the hosts for permission. Besides the general uproar the pet may cause, there may be guests present who are allergic to certain animals. Your pet may spoil their day. • Bring a gift, even if you're told that dessert or a side dish isn't needed. If you bring wine, don't expect the hosts to serve it at the meal for it may not go with the food or beverage being served. A box of candy, on the other hand, is an ideal gift and is always welcome after the holiday feast. • Keep close watch on your children. You may not worry about them, but they may be a source of worry for the hosts. Make sure they don't get into your hosts' things or go running throughout the house. Or, offer to read a story or play a game to keep them occupied until dinner time. • At the meal, try a bit of everything. • Use coasters if they are provided. Ask for them if they are not. This may sound like a minor point, but it can be a real irritation to the hosts if wet glasses leave a stain on wood furniture. • Offer to clean up after the meal, but don't insist. Many hosts would rather clear the table themselves and wash the dishes after everyone leaves. Follow the lead of the hosts on this one. • Don't overstay your welcome. o u, nless you have a real reason not to eat something, give it a try. It will please the hosts and make them feel that all their work was worthwhile. • Don't smoke without consulting the hosts. It is a simple courtesy to ask if anyone minds if you smoke. If someone objects, move away from the dining area. Your smoke may ruin the meal of some of the other guests. ne of the most common faults of an otherwise good guest is not knowing when to leave. It can spoil the entire day for everyone. Make sure you stay aware of the time and look for the first sign of fatigue in your hosts. • Remember to write a thank-you note. Just a small effort on your part will mean so much to those who have spent hours preparing and serving the meal. It's a great way to show your appreciation. Your reputation as a good guest grows over the years and follows you nearly everywhere you go. Make sure you give your actions some thought and you will always be a welcome guest in anyone's home. and hosts are people, too Even with a house full of "perfect guests," the responsibility for making the Thanksgiving meal a memorable and enjoyable one still lies with the hosts. Advance planning and adding special little touches make the hosts' job easier and the guests glad they came. Food and etiquette experts proposed several suggestions that will help the hosts who are preparing for the special meal: • Make sure you gather a compatible group. The size must be one you can handle with ease, allowing enough space for everyone to be comfortable. • Don't overexert yourself on the day of the dinner. Write down details ahead of time. Prepare as many dishes ahead of time as possible. Get help from everyone who offers it. • Consider setting up a children's table. It can be fun for the children and make things easier on the boats. Lo< cate it away from the adults' table to keep the noise level down. • Get a big head start on the non- cooking chores. Polish silver far ahead of time, for example, and wrap it in plastic or put in closed plastic bags. To have a pretty table, set the table ahead of time. • Allow time to relax before the meal. Relaxed hosts can work more efficiently and more pleasantly. It will make the entire day much more enjoyable for everyone. • Use trays and rolling carts if possible. Make every trip pay. Never go empty-handed either way. • Everyone likes favors. Miniature boxes of appropriately wrapped chocolates or a marshmallow turkey or pumpkin are nice. • If games are played, provide prizes for the children. Any type of candy or other novelty will make guests happy. • Don't be concerned about the mess in the kitchen. Just put the perishables safely away. With family help, do the dishes later. (If you do want help, however, don't be afraid to accept help from your guests.) Thanksgiving should be a special day for everyone, not just the guests. TT Unsfuffed stuffing for the bird It is not traditional to let the stuffing and turkey go their separate ways. But then, according to a University of Florida anthropologist, thanksgiving feasts date back 8,000 years. "Harvest festivals are celebrated on a worldwide basis by all agricultural societies," he says. "They have been around for as long as man first learned to control his food supply by planting crops. It's a time when you celebrate and thank the Gods or God for your blessings and for providing the feast." Enter the Maine Department of Economic Development. While the agency doesn't dispute the Pilgrim invented Thanksgiving, it contends the fint celebration featured •tafood, not fowl. The date: 1607. The place: a fort under construction near the mouth of the Kennebec River. The hosts: British sea captain George Popham and the small band of colonists he brought across the Atlantic. The guests: a small band of peace- loving Abnaki Indians, who preceded ff the foreigners by several hundred years. The food: lobsters, clams and a variety of fish. When the first turkey got stuffed isn't a matter of record. But many cooks believe the unstuffed bird is more juicy. Another benefit is the stuffing can be prepared while the turkey cooks. Another reward of making stuffing casserole-style comes at cleanup-and- put-away-leftovers time. No scooping out the turkey — the dish goes directly into the refrigerator. Unstuffed stuffing may not be traditional, but we are living in the 20th Century. Oyster Stuffing 4 bacon slices 1M: cups chopped celery % cup minced onion V« cup chopped parsley 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning V* teaspoon white pepper 1 pint shucked oysters, drained and chopped 4 tablespoons butter 16 slices fresh white bread, crusts removed 1 serving spoon turkey juices greg melikov pilot light In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towel and crumble. In bacon drippings, cook celery and onion on medium heat 5-7 minutes, remove from heat and stir in parsley, poultry seasoning, pepper and bacon. In another skillet, heat oysters 5 minutes in melted butter. Cube bread and lightly toss with celery mixture and oysters in large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place in greased 2-quart casserole, top with turkey juices and bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes. Ck>rnbre*d-S«iuage Stuffing 1 pound bulk pork sausage T 2 cups chopped onion 2 cups chopped celery V4 pound butter V4 teaspoon sage 1 package (1-lb.) cornbread stuffing mix 3 hard-cooked eggs, cut up 1 raw egg 1 can (14%-oz.) clear chicken broth 1 ladle turkey juices In large skillet, brown sausage and remove with slotted spoon, reserving drippings. Cook onion and celery in melted butter on medium heat 7-10 minutes, stir in sausage, sage and drippings. In large bowl, combine cornbread stuffing and eggs, pour in broth and lightly toss with sausage mixture. Spoon into 3-quart casserole, top with turkey juices and bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes. Readers are invited to send questions, suggestions or comments about food, cooking and shopping to Pilot Light, Greg Melikov, 650 NW 153rd St., Miami, Flu. 33169. Enclose self-addressed stamped envelope for individual replies.
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