Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Fourth of July Picnic with Bettina (and some matchmaking)

"Betty, how pretty those pasteboard plates are with the flagseals pasted on them !"
"I saw some ready-made Fourth of July plates, but it was more economical to make my own. And how do you like the red, white and blue paper napkins and lunch cloth? 'Lunch paper,' I ought to say, I suppose. Alice, you arrange the fruit in the center in this basket, with some napkins around it, and with these little flags sticking out of it in every direction. But first, my dear, please tell me why you changed the subject when I was speaking of Mr. Harrison?"
"Those devilled eggs wrapped in frilled tissue-paper look just like torpedoes."--A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband

Bettina goes all out for the opener of this 4th of July picnic--"lobster-salmon salad" obviously not being too outrageously expensive in 1917. But the other things to eat sound a little like Frances the Badger's lunchbox: "Ham Sandwiches, Nut Bread Sandwiches, Pickles, Radishes, Potato Chips, Devilled Eggs, Moist Chocolate Cake, Bananas, Oranges, Torpedo Candies, Lemonade." Some things don't change too much.

Here's Bettina's 4th of July Devilled Eggs suggestion, as Alice mentioned at the beginning (obviously avoiding a tricky subject): "Refill the whites and put pairs together. Wrap in tissue paper with frilled edges to represent torpedoes."

Yeah, I like my lunch to remind me of weapons too. I wonder what that teacher who refused to let the kid wear his plastic-soldiers cap would make of torpedo eggs in the lunchbox.

Bettina's chocolate cake incorporates mashed potatoes, something I've never tried. Here's a link to an updated version.

"But—is everything ready now? We'll sing a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner, and I'm sure the men will come immediately!"


Sebastian said...

Is this a Canadian or American book? I'm wondering because the US hadn't entered the war until late in 1917, but of course Canada had been fighting since the beginning.
I wonder if the torpedos were supposed to be a reminder of the Lusitania?

Mama Squirrel said...

It's an American book. I think the torpedoes were meant more as "the rockets' red glare" than as a comment on the war. At least I hope so.

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