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If you’ve wondered why my blog posts have been infrequent lately, I have a good explanation: I’ve been busy. And a warning: I’m going to do A LOT of recipes for you between now and the New Year. So buckle up!

Besides trying a green tomato pie recipe which was a complete flop (therefore, I will not subject you to the details), I’ve been busy planning my first-but hopefully not last-vintage dinner party.

In the days before TV, iPods, DVR’s, and Netflix, evenings were a time of quiet… boredom. To break the monotony, women planned dinner parties to bring together friends for food and conversation, music and games.

I’ve really been itching to throw a vintage themed dinner party for months now… but finding a free evening in amidst the schedules of myself and my friends is like finding a needle in a haystack. Undaunted, my good friend Jennifer Hill and I put our heads together and hatched a plan to make it happen. She offered me her insanely gorgeous house/kitchen and I offered to make all the food.

That’s me, serving up the salad!

I just had to share this photo. This was my view from Jen’s kitchen window while cooking. Groups of wild turkeys could be seen at various parts of the day across the lawn in the field.

Thus it was that on a cool, fall evening, we gathered an intimate party of 12 people around one table for a feast of old-fashioned food. I like cooking for groups of people. I know that sounds insane but, a news producer by profession, I am totally comfortable plotting a meal, timing its elements, and trying to serve it all up in an orderly and delicious fashion. Plus, I learned, it’s a great way to try a whole bunch of recipes at once-and get outside opinions on their success-or lack thereof.

Jen’s family, my family, and our mutual friends The Lippert’s prepare to dig in!

Because it was my first such party, I chose a menu based on my cooking strengths, available ingredients, ease of preparation, and presentation.

The menu. I didn’t actually make the bacon dish but I’ll do it for the blog soon!

Colonial Williamsburg Cheese wafers
Winter Salad from Women’s Institute of Cookery, ca. 1920

Main dishes
Haricot of Venison from Dressed Game and Poultry A La Mode, ca. 1888
Pasty’s from Milwaukee Journal, 1948

Side dishes
Baked Potato Rolls from Dr. Allinson’s Cookery Book, ca. 1915
Escalloped Eggplant, The Golden Age Cookbook, ca. 1898
Jane Austen’s English Bread, ca. 1800

Colonial Williamsburg’s Tipsy Squire
City Tavern’s Chocolate Mousse Cake

Dessert drink
Colonial Williamsburg Hot Spiced Punch

So, over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing these new recipes with you! Plus, I have planned a bunch of seasonal recipes to try and share. I don’t know about you, but I think the kitchen is the best place to spend October, November and December.

We’re also coming up on the one year anniversary of this blog and I thought it was be fitting to make some special dishes to celebrate that milestone!

So get your palates ready because Bite From the Past is kicking into high gear.

Dinner is served!