We did a bit more cleaning out over at my mom's house tonight and I picked up an old cookbook of my gramma's -- The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, Revised, copyright 1912. After all of the recipes, Miss Farmer details the proper composition of a full course dinner. Here's the scoop, straight out of the book.
Little Neck Clams or Bluepoints, with brown-bread sandwiches. Sometimes canapes are used in place of either. For a gentleman's dinner, canapes accompanied with Sherry wine are frequently served before guests enter the dining room.
Clear soup, with bread sticks, small rolls, or crisp crackers. Where two soups are served, one may be a cream soup. Cream soups are served with Croutons. Radishes, celery, or olives are passed after the soup. Salted almonds may be passed between any of the courses.
Bouchees or rissoles. The filling to be of light meat.
Fish, baked, boiled, or fried. Cole slaw, dressed cucumbers, or tomatoes accompany this course; with fried fish potatoes are often served.
Roast saddle of venison or mutton, spring lamb, or fillet of beef; potatoes and one other vegetable.
Entree, made of light meat or fish.
A vegetable. Mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, or artichokes are served.
Punch or cheese course. Punch, when served, always precedes the game course.
Game, with vegetable salad, usually lettuce or celery; or cheese sticks may be served with the salad, and game omitted.
Dessert, usually cold.
Frozen dessert and fancy cakes. Bonbons are passed after this course.
Crackers, cheese, and cafe noir. Cafe noir is frequently served in the drawing and smoking rooms after the dinner.
Where wines and liquors are served, the first course is not usually accompanied by either; but if desired, Sauterne or other white wine may be used. With soup, serve Sherry; with fish, white wine; with game, Claret; with roast and other courses, Champagne.
After serving cafe noir in drawing-room, pass pony of brandy for men, sweet liqueur (Chartreuse, Benedictine, or Parfait d'Amour) for women; then Creme de Menthe for all.
After a short time Apollinaris should be passed. White wines should be served cool; Sherry should be as near the temperature of the room in which it is served as possible. champagne should be served very cold by allowing it to remain in salt and ice at least one-half hour before dinner time. Claret, served without cooling, and as it contains so small amount of alcohol, is not good the day after opening.
For a simpler dinner, the third, seventh, eighth, and tenth courses, and the game in the ninth course, may be omitted.
For a home dinner, it is always desirable to serve for first course a soup; second course, meat or fish, with potatoes and two other vegetables; third course, a vegetable salad, with French dressing; fourth course, dessert; fifth course, crackers, cheese, and cafe noir.
At a ladies' luncheon the courses are as many as at a small dinner. In winter, grape fruit is sometimes served in place of oysters; in summer, selected strawberries in small Swedish Timbale cases.
And there you have it. If you make this dinner, be sure to invite me, and don't bogart the Sherry, Claret, and Champagne!