Turning your buffet up to 11

Friday Fiction: Paging Doctor Charm!
Moody Teens

buffet entertaining cookbook

Family Circle
Buffet Entertaining
Robinson, ed.
1978

When I think of buffets, I usually think of potlucks and lots of informal, easy prep food. I am a Midwesterner, after all. This book actually surprised me on the complexity of some of the dishes. More than half of these buffet recipes and presentation actually seem over the top for a family party or home entertaining. I suppose a Martha Stewart type or a professional wouldn’t find these challenging, but all I could see was a lot of work.

Actually, there are quite a few good recipes (i.e. would be popular in 2017) as well as the 1970s favorite of aspic molds and weird shapes for food. The artful arranging of food for the presentation makes me laugh as I think of my large extended family falling on a buffet so fast that no one would notice any special arrangement. I am guessing my family is NOT the target market for this book.

Mary

buffet entertaining back cover

family enjoying television with food in the foreground

how to prepare step by step

appetizers and side dishes

Easter ham

13 comments

  1. I don’t know where to start with the family watching the TV. The girl looks bored to tears, the boy is way too enthusiastic, and why is the television on the table with the food? It makes no sense to have the food laid out *behind* the TV. Last of all, why is the family seemingly all crammed into one chair? Looks more like a cult than a “Bowl Game Party.”

  2. Truly a lost art, at least in my corner of the world.

    And the family enjoying a now-vintage TV is a nice touch.

  3. I love the realistic admission that the family will only admire the food long enough to fill their plates, and then migrate to the TV.
    Also, at first I thought that was a ham with spaghetti thrown on it. But the idea of putting lemon peel over a ham sounds tasty.

  4. The bored to tears girl would definitely be me. Except the tears thing would be literal. I don’t get how anyone in the states would have the energy to cook all that food for the Super Bowl when they must still be recovering from Christmas and Thanksgiving.

      1. …I think that’s *maybe* an orange-glazed duck? Unless you’re talking about the cranberry Jell-o molded thing.

  5. So, my question is… why, if this is about bringing excitement to the buffet table, is all the food on the cover and all the food in the “Bowl game” picture so uniformly beige and boring? That ham, on the other hand, might have to get made.

  6. Books like this really make me appreciate all the advances we’ve made in the field of food photography. Yuck.

  7. I am left speechless by this book. As others have noted–the family agog around the TV on the table with (presumably) Mom’s hard work all laid out behind it, being ignored? Also, what’s up with the weird dish surrounded by veggies that looks like some orange version of a deep-sea anglerfish?

  8. Nice to see BRIDE OF DRACULA and her family crowding round the tiny TV before they tuck into that revolting food… What did we do before technology was invented?

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