Wednesday, March 06, 2013
A Paella Party
I so enjoy food and entertaining articles from the late 1960s and early 1970s because hosts and hostesses were then just starting to forgo elaborate dinner parties and numerous courses in favor of a simple style of entertaining. These bygone articles about one-pot dinners, make-ahead recipes, and stylish, comfortable table settings still inspire today, especially considering that most of us continue to prefer simplicity over fussiness when preparing our meals.
The photos featured in this post came from a 1971 House & Garden article. The fetching couple was Adriana and Dan Rowan, whose name some of you might recognize from the television show "Laugh-In". I admit that it was Mrs. Rowan's pink and black paisley hostess gown that initially caught my eye, but I also found the Rowans' dining room so attractive with its tile floor, the potted flowers placed everywhere, and that chic yet casually set table. Terracotta potted tulips, Mexican tin chargers, brown earthenware plates, and plain crystal stemware were the proper accompaniments to a dinner in which paella was the main course. (As Mrs. Rowan noted, "I like to cook in five languages- French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Mexican.") And Mr. Rowan assisted in the preparations, too, by choosing wine from his well-stocked cellar.
Little about this dining room or the table looks dated, and I think the same can be said for that hostess gown too. (The kitchen's linoleum floor and double ovens, on the other hand, scream 1970.) In fact, considering that paella, still a popular entertaining dish today, was on the menu, you might not know that this dinner party took place over forty years ago- until you see photos of the kitchen, of course.
Salted Soybean Nuts and Crudites
Green Salad with Raw Vegetables
Cheese Garlic Toast
Fruit Salad with Cointreau
Cheeses: Gourmandise, Blue, Swiss, Brie
Wine: Pouilly Fumé la Doucette 1964