Full Course Dinners Circa 1896

Full Course Dinners Circa 1896

The following comes from one of the 19th century cookbooks I’ll be sharing at my next presentation THIS SATURDAY, Oct 19 at 2:00 at the East Side branch of the Spokane Public Library.

Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook

Published 1896



Little Neck Clams or Bluepoints, with brown-bread sandwiches. Sometimes canapés are used in place of either. For a gentlemen’s dinner, canapés accompanied with sherry wine are frequently served before guests enter the dining-room.


Clear soup, with bread sticks, small rolls, or crisp crackers. Where two soups are served, one may be a cream soup. Cream soups are served with croûtons. Radishes, celery, or olives are passed after the soup. Salted almonds may be passed between any of the courses.


Bouchées or rissoles. The filling to be of light meat.


Fish, baked, boiled, or fried. Cole slaw, dressed cucumbers, or tomatoes accompany this course; with fried fish potatoes are often served.


Roast saddle of venison or mutton, spring lamb, or fillet of beef; potatoes and one other vegetable.


Entrée, made of light meat or fish.


A vegetable. Such vegetables as mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, are served, but not in white sauce.


Punch or cheese course. Punch, when served, always precedes the game course.


Game, with vegetable salad, usually lettuce or celery; or cheese sticks may be served with the salad, and game omitted.


Dessert, usually cold.


Frozen dessert and fancy cakes. Bonbons are passed after this course.


Crackers, cheese, and café noir. Café noir is frequently served in the drawing and smoking rooms after the dinner.

Where wines and liquors are served, the first course is not usually accompanied by either; but if desired, Sauterne or other white wine may be used.

With soup, serve sherry; with fish, white wine; with game, claret; with roast and other courses, champagne.

After serving café noir in drawing-room, pass pony of brandy for men, sweet liqueur (Chartreuse, Benedictine, or Parfait d’Amour) for women; then Crême de Menthe to all.

After a short time Apollinaris should be passed. White wines and claret should be served cool; sherry should be thoroughly chilled by keeping in ice box. Champagne should be served very cold by allowing it to remain in salt and ice at least one-half hour before dinner time. Claret, as it contains so small an amount of alcohol, is not good the day after opening.

For a simpler dinner, the third, seventh, eighth, and tenth courses, and the game in the ninth course may be omitted.

For a home dinner, it is always desirable to serve for first course a soup; second course, meat or fish, with potatoes and two other vegetables; third course, a vegetable salad, with French dressing; fourth course, dessert; fifth course, crackers, cheese, and café noir.

At a ladies’ luncheon the courses are as many as at a small dinner. In winter, grape fruit is sometimes served in place of oysters; in summer, selected strawberries in small Swedish Timbale cases.


Fascinating isn’t it??? Makes me think of the new Downton Abbey movie! If you’d like to read more, check out this website where you can find lots of cookbooks in the public domain available to read and share!


And don’t forget to come see me share more on October 19th! See you there!

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