My friend Allison, who happens to be the same Allison that did an entire weekend camping trip wearing a trash bag as a poncho in 3 inches of rain because I assured her there was no rain in the forecast and therefore, it was not worth running home for – which I would also like to point out she was an absolute trooper about, but then, that’s Allison. She’s one of those rock solid people who takes everything in stride. She’s the kind of friend you can call on a cold, snowy Saturday in January and ask to please bring you a chocolate banana milkshake because you just had a baby and your husband has told you his days of running out to please your every whim are over, thankyouverymuch and she then walks all over downtown in the snow looking for anything that’s open that will make you a chocolate banana milkshake and while she’s at it, she brings along a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which you’ve been craving for the last 9 months just in case the six pack you had sitting in the cooler on the back porch for such an event accidentally got left on the back porch in the excitement of leaving to have a baby, because it did.
She’s that kind of friend. Kinda the bomb.
Allison came down to visit recently and brought me a most delightful gift that as soon as I opened it, knew I had to share it here.
Your Complete Guide to Home Entertaining
242 Drink Recipes•42 Party Menus•36 Unusual Party Ideas•Party Planning Hints
Essentially a marketing book from Calvert Distillers, it’s a delightful little home entertaining manual that is also a big marketing pamphlet, copyright 1965.
We have a number of Calvert brand memorabilia, including a tumbler and shot glass with the Calvert stamp on it. None of them compare to this fabulous little tome, with it’s mod 1960’s vibe
The introduction is entitled “Here’s to a Happy Party” and begins with the sentence, “Parties help you relax and spend enjoyable hours in good company.” My sentiments exactly. Chapter One, “Unhurried Party Planning” points out that cocktail parties are the easiest to give because “Guests provide their own entertainment.”
If you’ve ever been to one of our parties, you know this is exactly how I throw a party. I was so grateful when Edie was old enough to start having slumber parties because then I didn’t have to plan games or activities – just throw the girls in the den with a movie and call it a day. Any party she’s had since she was 4 that has had an activity has always been something she’s planned, because I firmly believe that mingling with each other is enough entertainment for your guests.
You’d think that having been a Girl Scout leader for 5 years I’d know a few things about kids activities. Sadly, I don’t.
The Calvert Party Encyclopedia breaks down what drinks to serve when, with highballs always being appropriate. Punch is recommended as an easy solution to providing a continuous supply of drinks to many guests at one time. Given that I have three punchbowls, I’d say I agree completely.
Chapters two through four offer an array of drink recipes, including a chapter on just punches, that feature but are not limited to Calvert brand liquor. Chapter five, “Easy to Make Tiny Tempters” has 42 hors d’oeuvres, dips & canapes to “spread your reputation as a knowing host or hostess.” Included in this collection is Lobster á la Calvert, Calvert Bleu Cheese Spread, Pickle Roll-up, Smoked Turkey “Cigarettes”, Tongue Treat, Cheese Breeze, Bologna Boats and something called Hot House. Hot House is Limburger Cheese with a small amount of butter, grated onion and salt. I can only imagine the smell.
Chapter six is “Party Perfect Foods” featuring foods that are perfect to serve buffet style while showcasing your culinary skills – such favorites as beef stroganoff, chili con carne, chow mein with fried noodles, veal scalloppine and jambalaya. With chapter seven we leave the food behind for party theme ideas. “‘Something new and different…..out of the ordinary.’ This is what people like most about going to a party. And with a little imagination you can make your party an event.” There is a two page spread of Calendar Party Ideas with themes, decor, drink names, foods and games suggestions broken down by the month to ensure your event is a complete success.
Chapter seven also includes a list of birthstones, flowers & zodiac signs for each birth month as well as a list of anniversaries and their generally accepted symbols, to ‘help spark party ideas’. Chapter eight has eleven games any number can play, Chapter nine lists “Here’s to You” in fifteen languages under the heading ‘a handy collection of winning toasts. You’re certain to find many to please your guests.’ Personally, I think that chapter could have been rounded out with a few more toasts, but if toasts are where you are going to skimp on your party encyclopedia, well, who am I to argue?
Chapter ten, “Whiskey Wit and Wisdom” tells the reader a few facts about whiskey, including proof, blending, legends & anecdotes and the history of whiskey in America, calling it the most important American alcoholic beverage. Space is devoted to the stories of Calvert Extra, The Soft Whiskey, Canadian Lord Calvert whiskey, Calvert Gin and why Calvert Cocktails are “Goof-proof” (mostly because they have the name Calvert on them!).
Even though the party encyclopedia does not call for anything that resembles our Mexican spring fest, it definitely gets my seal of approval. After all, it’s a Calvert Party Guide!