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under the lantern light, the clean, soft
hay sifting down from the overhanging
beams and rafters, many songs, legends,
and stories fill the hour ; or, to the music
of fiddle, fife, and snare-drum, the barn-
floor dance goes on.


THE luncheon is one of the most enjoy-
able features of picnicking, and the follow-
ing hints may prove helpful in preparing and
packing the same, so that, when served, it
may tempt both the eye and the appetite.

Meats for sandwiches should be boiled
the day before; then, after the removal of
bone, skin, and gristle, they should be put
in packing tins, heavily weighted, and set in
a cool place over night. Cut in thin slices.

IO4 Lawn Parties and

Bread one day old is best, and a sharp
knife is needed for cutting it into thin
slices not over three inches square. These,
buttered slightly, may be daintily filled
with ham, salad, sardines, tongue, or what-
ever one likes. Then cut pieces of confec-
tioners' paper just large enough to cover
the sandwiches neatly. Place them side by
side, closely packed, and they will preserve
their shape without breaking. The paper is
not to be removed until they are served.

Cakes must also be one day old, and, for
picnic use, a little extra flour in stirring,
and an extra five or ten minutes in baking,
will insure a firmer crust. Frosting, if
put on hot, does not crackle and fall off.
Cookies are more desirable than loaf cake,
as are, also, cup and gem cakes. Jelly
and cream confections are seldom good for
picnic serving.

Pies made of jellies, fruits, or sweets are
best cooked turnover fashion, the pastry
covering the filling entirely. Lay them in
paper covers for convenient serving.

Lemon, orange, strawberry, raspberiy,
or currant juices should be extracted, then

Out-Door Fetes 105

sweetened, and, when the sugar is well dis-
solved, bottled. Drinks can then be pre-
pared by adding two tablespoonfuls of the
liquid to a tumbler of ice water. All
these juices combined make a delicious

Strong coffee or tea may also be prepared
and served in the same wav. Bright tin


mugs are more convenient than tumblers.
and there is no danger of breakage.

Hampers, with several trays, are very
desirable for packing. Ordinary lunch
baskets cause difficulty. White confec-
tioners' paper should be used for lining
the basket, and for separating the differ-
ent kinds of food ; also, for covering
neatly individual pieces. Cookies and
crackers must be put iu tight boxes.
Plates are too heavy, but bright, new bis-
cuit tins the square shapes are best
are useful in packing, and with fringed
napkins laid inside, they serve well for sal-
vers in handing the food around. Paper
napkins are best.

Whatever is to be eaten last should be
packed at the bottom of the hamper, and

io6 Lawn Parties and

that to be served first, at the top. Fruit,
pickles, olives, and cheese must not be


THE invitations should be sent out during
the latter days of May or early days in June,
the invitation card, of heavy white paper, be-
ing decorated with a spray of wild roses.

When the guests assemble upon the lawn
each one should be handed either bouquet
or boutonniere of wild roses, the gentlemen
being permitted to select partners, and all
to arrange themselves comfortably in close
proximity to the hostess, who for this occa-
sion is given the seat of honor, close beside
a rustic table covered with wild roses. Each
lady is handed a long strip of rose-colored
paper, and each gentleman a pencil, and the
party begins in earnest. The hostess reads
aloud the following questions, the answers
to which are to be found in the names of
flowers, and written in order on the slips
provided; and, as two heads are better
than one, the gentlemen may hold many
consultations with their partners before

Out-Door Fetes 107

they write ciown the answers which, be-
tween them, they have guessed.

The hostess begins the story in this wise :
u This is a floral love story taken from the
leaves of a bud's journal ; her name was

1 What was her nationality and appearance ? [An

American Beauty.]

2 What was his disposition and name ? [Sweet


3 What was his object in matrimony ? [He wished

to Marigold.]

4 How did he offer himself? [He Aster.]

5 To whom did she refer him ? [1'oppy.]

6 What did her father ask concerning William's

prospects ? [Anemone any money.]

7 How long had Violet been out in society ? [Four


8 By whom were they married ? [ Jack-in-the-


9 How many attended the ceremony ? [Phlox.]

10 Who were the bridesmaids? [Wild Rose and


1 1 What was the color of their gowns ? [Heliotrope

and Pink.]

12 What did the bride wear on her head ? [Bridal


13 What did she resemble ? [Maid in a Mist.]

14 What did the bridegroom wear for the last time?

[Bachelor's Buttons.]

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15 What did he resemble ? [A Night-blooming

Cereus Knight blooming serious.]

16 How was the house decorated for the reception ?

[With Blue Flags and Yellow Flags.]

17 What did they throw after the carriage ? [A

Lady's Slipper.]

18 Where did they go on their wedding trip ?


19 What animals did they see on visiting a me-

nagerie 1 [A Dandelion and great Solomon's

20 What two presents did they take to her parents ?

[A Dutchman's Pipe, and Yellow Jacket.]

21 What did they take to her good little brother ?


22 At what hour did he awaken them blowing it ?


23 How long did he keep it going ? [Until Deadly


24 What happened when they took it from him ?

[He did Balsam bawl some.]

25 Whom did they engage as cook? [Black-eyed


26 Who was her young man 1 [Ragged Robin.]

27 For what was a plumber called in ? [A House-


28 When Sweet William left home on business what

were his parting words ? [Forget-me-not.]

29 What did she reply ? [Speedwell.]

30 What happened when she saw him returning 1

[A Yellow Rose a yell arose.]

Out-Door Fetes 109

31 How did she salute him ? [With Tulips.]

32 What bonbons did he bring her 1 [Buttercups

and Marsh mallows.]

33 How did Violet rule her husband? [With a


34 Was their happiness enduring ? [Everlasting.]

When all have finished, the papers are
collected and prizes are given to the two
who have guessed the most answers cor-
rectly, and, of course, to the two who
have been least clever in guessing. Flower
stick-pins, sunflower pincushions, vases, or
a box of buttercups and rnarshmallow bon-
bons make suitable prizes. The prize for
the couple who have been least successful
may be a huge bouquet of roses, or a bon-
bon box filled with rose-colored " April-
fool " candies. Then refreshments may be
served upon small tables covered with snowy
cloths and lavishly decorated with viands of
a rosy hue. A delightful afternoon party
may thus be brought to an end.

It is difficult to imagine anything which
can be made more charming than the wild-
rose luncheon here described. The season
is the one of the year which lends itself most

no Lawn Parties and

readily to outdoor entertainments, and the
prolific growth of roses during June sug-
gests at once the suitable flower for the


VERY attractive is the idea of a " farmer's
supper." Though it may be utilized for in-
door use, it is prettier on the lawn. It may
be given by those who have ample grounds,
with conveniences for entertaining large
companies, or, picnic fashion, by a com-
pany of young people, each person bring-
ing contributions for the table ; or, if
desired, it can be arranged for in a hall or
vestry, when members of Young People's
Benevolent Societies wish to raise money
to carry on their charitable work.

The " supper " calls together, in rustic
costume, the various characters belonging
to farm life. The farmer and farmer's wife,
with their sons and daughters, receive the
company, and give a supper, to which all
are invited dairy men and dairy women ;
haymakers men who swing the scythe,
and maids who ' spread the fallen grass ; "

Out-Door Fetes in

boys who tend the sheep, and little " Bo-
peeps" who lose them; plow-boys wearing
gloves and whips, and berry pickers bringing
their "pails heaped high and red; " garde-
ners and flower girls ; hunters and fisher
lads; market girls with baskets of eggs or
fruit or vegetables, all come in costume
suited to their station and work. The
village lawyer, doctor, deacon, and squire
may also be added to the list, with the


neighborhood rhymester and wit, and the
singer of local songs.

The costumes may well be copied from
English or continental farm life, or per-
haps the American type of a generation
ago, since the farmer and his family of
to-day wear little or nothing to mark by
their dress the nature of their life and

Tables spread upon the lawn should be
furnished wholly with the fruits of the farm
and dairy, the special dishes, such as boiled
dinner, baked beans and brown-bread, not
omitted. The farmer offers to his guests
bread from Ms fields of corn, rye, and
whtjat ; butter, cheese, milk, cream, and

112 Lawn Parties and

curds from his dairy; berries and fruitg
from his fields and orchards ; flowers and
fresh vegetables from his gardens ; fish cap-
tured (perhaps) from his meadow brooks;
poultry and meats fed by sweet pasturage
and grains, and sugar from his own fair
maple orchard.

Where the size of the grounds permits,
various games, such as quoits, ball, and
croquet, etc., foot and jumping races, also
swinging, tilting, and dancing upon the
lawn may be enjoyed. If indoors, such
old-time games as hunt the slipper, stage-
coach, and their like can be revived.
Choruses, songs, and recitations of the
pastoral type, with tableaux and pantomime
representing scenes in farm life, may well
be offered as a part of the entertainment.


How many housekeepers have received
with dismay the news that some intimate
friend is visiting a neighbor's in sultry,
summer weather, knowing that the intelli-
gence means to them the necessity of giving
a dinner to the visiting friend and her hosts,

Out-Door Fetes 113

and asking some people to meet her and
this when the thermometer is most at home
in the nineties, and even thoughts of food
and dining produce acute discomfort ?

However, it is possible to give a formal
dinner, which will delight all concerned,
even on a sultry August evening, and such
a one is the ice party now to be described.

Limit the diners to eight in number, if
possible, unless your dining-room will seat
more than this with amplest elbow-space.
Name seven o'clock as the hour for dinner,
and suggest in your informal notes of


invitation that evening dress, like oysters,
be limited to the months with an "r;"
whereupon your male guests will call you

Cover the table with the snowiest of linen
cloths, and use for a centrepiece a frosted-
glass bowl of white, or so-called Christmas
roses. At each cover place a guest-card
of pure white pasteboard sprinkled with
diamond dust, in imitation of frost, and
having tied to it, with a frosted ribbon, a
boutonniere or a bunch of the white roses.
Use only white bonbons, in glass dishes,


114 Lawn Parties and

for candies, and candles with white frosted
shades for illumination.

The dinner must be of the simplest kind.
Little-neck clams, served on the half shell,
in beds of cracked ice, with celery as a
relish, will make an acceptable first course.
Omit soups, unless you wish to serve iced
bouillon, which but few people like. Cold
salmon, cold trout, or any other fish served
cold with mayonnaise dressing will be found
delicious and appetizing. Your meat course,
which should follow, will be the only one
in which hot dishes are to be served:
" French " lamb chops, Bermuda potatoes,
and green peas. Guava jelly should accom-
pany the chops. Lettuce with French dress-
ing, salted wafers and Neuchatel cheese
should be served in the salad course. Va-
nilla ice cream, moulded into snowballs, and
ornamented with a sprig of holly or ever-
green, if either can be secured, with frosted
fancy cakes, angel's food, or any other cake
with white icing, will make a delicious and
simple dessert. Iced or hot coffee which-
ever is preferred should be provided, and

Out-Door Fetes 115


A COOL and pretty entertainment for the
late summer is a fern party, which is espe-
cially within the reach of all out-of-town
residents. Gather from the woods as many
ferns as you can, the largest to the smallest
each has its particular mission in the
scheme of decoration. In sending out your
invitations paste neatly at the top of the
card a tiny fern of delicate pattern.

On the day of your entertainment, if the
exterior of your house will lend itself to


the plan, mass ferns generously upon the
piazza ; have them follow the railing, let
them be arranged in shady corners on the
porch, and, of course, meet the eye in the
hall. In the dressing-rooms, over the white
linen covers on the dressing-tables, lay the
ferns so they will completely cover them,
and decorate the mirrors, fireplaces, and
mantels. Exquisite effects can be obtained
at the windows with the soft lace curtains.
In the drawing-room bank the mantelpiece^
and at one end tie a large green satin bow,
made of feather-edge ribbon. Tie bunches

1 1 6 Lawn Parties and

of ferns on the lampshades. You will find
that the green of ferns will blend with almost
any shade of silk, but, of course, all strik-
ingly inharmonious colors should be removed
from the room.

When the guests enter the dining-room
the effect should be that of going into a
fernery. Bank the mantel like that in the
drawing-room. In the corners have large
boxes filled with ferns, and arrange them
to run up as high as possible, which can
be done by the aid of tacks and fine green
cord. Have the table laid with a fine white
damask cloth, fern pattern, if possible, and
at the two diagonal corners arrange grace-
fully loose bunches of the larger ferns tied
with large bows of ribbon. The linen centre-
piece should be embroidered in a fern design,
and on it place a big glass bowl filled with
the choicest specimens of the delicate plant.
Set each plate on a mat of ferns, which can
be easily made by covering a stiff founda-
tion with them. The white candles should
have green paper shades, and the entrees
should, whenever permissible, be garnished
with bits of green.

Out-Door Fetes 117

For favors get small glass bowls and
ornament them with narrow green ribbons.
Line with moss and fill with earth, and then
plant in them tiny specimens of maiden-hair
fern. This will make a novel and welcome


To insure the success of a barn party a
moonlight night should be selected. The
barn chosen should be large, the floor space
ample, and the decorations lavish. They
may consist of green boughs, vines, and
golden-rod, and a number of American
flags. The two large opposite doors should
be thrown wide open for free circulation
of air. The floor should then be cleared,
swept, and washed. High up over one
door a large flag may be draped, and wires
stretched across from beam to beam, away
from direct draughts, upon which Japanese
lanterns may be hung, care being taken that
none are allowed to come in contact with
the bunting in case of one's taking fire.
Chairs also should be provided, and a
rope stretched across one side of the open

1 1 8 Lawn Parties and

space, on the farther side of which place
a table. On this table place a large bowl
of soapsuds, into which a spoonful of
glycerine has been put, and by its side
place half as many pipes as there are to
be guests. Prepare half as many cards
also as there are to be guests, and write
across the full length of each card the
name of an agricultural implement, as a
hay-rake, hay-cutter, pitchfork, hoe, spade,
scythe, sickle, mower, plow, reaper, binder,
seeder. Each card should be numbered at
the top and bear a question concerning the
implement named on it; besides which the
number and a query concerning it should
be written at the back upon the lower half.
Questions like the following will answer :

1 What is the true mission of a harrow ?

2 Can you tell a harrowing tale ?

3 What is a hoe used for ?

4 What is a good receipt for hoe cake 7

The cards should then be cut in halves.

When the guests arrive a numbered half
is given to each young woman, and each
half upon w r hich a query is written is given
to a young man, who proceeds to match

Out-Door Fetes 119

it, retaining as his partner the young woman
whose card completes his own. When all
have found their partners, the hostess, who
is constituted "judge" for the evening,
calls out, " Number One," and the young
woman who holds this number is escorted
to a seat in the middle of the floor, her
partner putting to her the question upon
his half of the card. She then demands
of him an answer to number two. These
must be answered in the hearing of the
others, and for each failure to do this a
forfeit must be paid. When all have par-
ticipated it is put to vote as to who gave
the brightest answer, the winner being
granted a first trial at the soap-bubble
contest which ensues.

Taking her place by the table on one
side of the rope, she selects pipe number
one ; her partner places himself opposite
her on the other side of the rope, and she
then proceeds to make the largest bubble
possible without breaking it. When this
is accomplished she wafts it into the air as
high as possible toward her partner, who
tries by blowing it in the opposite direction

I2O Lawn Parties and

to prevent it from crossing the rope to his
side. Should he prevent it from bursting
on his side of the rope one point is scored
for himself and partner and another turn is
allowed. If, however, the bubble crosses
over to his side one point is given to the
next player, who immediately takes her
place at the bowl with her partner oppo-
site. When all have participated, a large
bunch of old-fashioned flowers is presented
to the young woman who formed the largest
bubble, another to the man who won the
most points, and another to the one who
won the least, and so on.

Refreshments may be served from tables
spread out under the trees, upon the branches
of which are hung bright lanterns.


LATE in October when the corn has
matured and been stacked in the barn,
informal invitations may be sent out to
all the neighboring young people to attend
a husking bee.

Previous to the evening mentioned the
ears of corn are stripped from the stems

Out-Door Fetes 121

and formed into two huge piles upon the
barn floor. Lanterns should be hung here
and there upon the beams to give the
necessary light, and stools provided for
the workers. The company, on arrival, is
divided equally, one half being assigned to
one pile, the other half to pile number two,
and the contest begins, each division "striv-
ing to finish its pile first. The husks must
be entirely removed from each ear, and
whoever first discloses to view a red ear
is considered especially fortunate, as the
first red ear shown is supposed to bring
good luck to its possessor.

After all the ears have been husked the
winner of the red ear is escorted in state to
the house, where a warm fire (always an
open one, if possible) and a supper are

Decorate the walls of the room in which
ihe supper is to be served with as much
green as can be procured at this season
of the year. Procure a dozen pumpkins,
remove the pulp, cutting a hole at the top
of the shell ; cut also four stars in the
sides of each pumpkin, cover with light

122 Lawn Parties and

yellow paper, and place candles inside,
These lanterns, being set in various con-
venient spots about the room, and lighted
just before the supper is served, shed a
corn-colored glow over the room. Have
the table spread with a snowy cloth. In
the centre place a tall vase filled with any
late autumn yellow flowers, dahlias, chrys-
anthemums, or marigolds ; place a candle
at each end of the table screened by yellow
crepe paper shades. The refreshments may
consist of egg and lemon butter sandwiches,
cornbread, chicken salad, sponge-cake, gold-
cake, lemon ice cream, and lemon water ice,
cup custards, honey in the comb, lemonade
and coffee.


THE guests assemble around the blazing
open fire. Two large baskets of apples are
brought in. A row of dishes is placed
upon the hearth in front of the fire, and a
short distance above the dishes is stretched
a wire, to which apples are to be fastened
in a row to roast. Next, knives are dis-
tributed, and each one attempts to slide his,

Out-Door Fetes 123

or her knife safely round and round an
apple taken from the basket without break-
ing the paring. This being accomplished,
each one privately gives to his or her paring
the name of a favored one, stands in the
middle of the room, takes the paring by
one end, twirls it three times around the
head from right to left, and drops it over
the left shoulder to the floor, repeating:

" I pare this pippin round and round again,
My sweetheart's name to flourish in the plain ;
I fling the unbroken paring o'er my head,
My sweetheart's letter on the ground is read."

The paring is supposed immediately to
assume the form of the first initial of the
favored one's name. Again, an apple seed
is cut in halves, each half named and stuck
upon the closed eyelids. It is rarely that
either one remains on long. If both drop
at the same time then it is reasonable to
suppose that the experimenter will go un-
loved to his or her grave. Should one,
however, remain longer than the other, that
one will prove constant through life. While
all this has been going on, the apples grow-

124 Lawn Parties and

ing tender and juicy before the fire drop
one by one into the dishes placed beneath.
It is then that pitchers of cream are brought
in with small bowls and spoons, and the
evening closes with roasted apples and


THE fact that a spelling bee is to form a
part of an evening's entertainment need not
be indicated upon the programme, it being
a part of the fun to catch people unawares.

After the arrival of the guests the choice
of a "teacher" and two leaders is effected
by ballot. The two leaders then stand out
at the end of the room opposite each other,
and each chooses alternately one of the com-
pany at a time, to represent his side, until
all have taken their places in two lines.

The teacher, who is supplied with a book,
then gives out a word to the person at the
end of the line at her right. If the word
is correctly spelled, the next word is given
out to the person at the end of the opposite
side at her left. If this person fails to
spell this word correctly she must inime-

Out-Door Fetes 125

fliately leave the line, and the same word is
put to number two on the opposite side.
If the word is correctly spelled she is privi-
leged to choose one person from the oppo-
site line to step over to the foot of her own
line. Another word is then given to the
opposite opponent, and so on down the
lines. It often happens that two equally
proficient spellers are pitted against each
other for some time, when the contest
becomes very exciting.

It is a good plan, lest the contest become
wearisome, to limit the time for the last
participant. If at the end of six minutes
the winner has not failed on any word given,
he or she becomes director of the revels that
follow, and must be implicitly obeyed for
the rest of the evening. The first duty is
to announce a "recess," and having been
previously instructed, he or she leads the
way to an adjoining room, where upon a
table, in a pile, lie boxes of various shapes
and kinds, neatly tied. These are distri-
buted among the young women, after which
it is announced that each box contains a
small school luncheon, and that a young

126 Lawn Parties and

man accompanies each. Then comes a dis-
tribution of the young men in the same way
that the boxes were distributed, and each
young woman shares her luncheon with her
partner. Should the box contain an apple,
a sandwich, and a cake, these must be

After "recess" follow games, or music,
or recitations, as the winner of the contest

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Online LibraryHamilton MottHome games and parties → online text (page 5 of 8)