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The Nervous Hostess Cookbook
by Ursula Bacon
Book Partners, Inc.
ISBN 1-885221-09-6
Published October 1997 - Hardcover - 252 pages - $15.95

This book was published ten years ago, but guess what?  There are still nervous hostesses, and there always will be.  The lovely Ms. Bacon has terrific tips to help put you at ease come your next dinner party.  Like who you should invite on the same night, how to prepare your menu, and that it's okay to serve what you feel comfortable making and that you don't have to make that rather intimidating "latest" meal everyone else is preparing.  I loved this tip: "I keep a little book where I enter the date of the dinner party, who came, what I served, and what kind of evening we had."  What a great idea! - may sound a tad pedantic but this way you don't run the risk of repeating the same meal to the same people or wearing the same outfit one too many times - ever tried recalling what you made the last time so and so came over?  Impossible, right?  You'll also learn short cuts and things to do to take the rush out of preparation, what to stock your pantry with, and so much more.  You'll discover menu ideas, and courses include: Appetizers (Chicken Liver Pâté); Breads and Spreads; Desserts (Apple Cheesecake, Lemon Mousse, and Strawberry Fool); Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Shepherd's Pie); Meatless Meals; Poultry (Chicken Paprikash): Salads, Sauces, and Condiments; Seafood; Soups (Texas Black Bean Soup), and Vegetables.  All this and an interesting account of Ursula Bacon's childhood.
See my review of Ursula Bacon's other book, Shanghai Diary, a fantastic account of her life during World War II, as well as my interview with Ms. Bacon.
Conclusion - No more excuses for not entertaining!

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