Wow – What fabulous fun I had yesterday. It was the kitchen tea of a friend of mine and we had an exciting and fun time. It started with us meeting at the (yet to open) 4th Avenue Café at the Cobble centre in Parkhurst at 17:00 for some gourmet cooking and ended with drinks at The Attic Wine Bar just a block away. The café was decorated with sexist and chauvinistic vintage ads from the 1950s and is a reminder of how far we have come since then as we can now see the humour in these. We also had pink cleaning gloves up everywhere, an iron board loaded with gifts and everyone (Oupa included) was dressed in a personalised apron.
My friend arrived and was given a lesson on marriage and how to be a good wife (based on a home economics textbook from the 1950s):
- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
- Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
- Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
- Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
- Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
- Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
- Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
- Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
- Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
- Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
- A good wife always knows her place.
She was then quizzed and scored remarkable well so we are sure she will be a good wife who will know her place and will be a great asset to her husband. All the married women also gave her some tips on marriage and one of the remarks I remember was from one of her grandmothers who said: “Gee hom als om te eet en niks om te weet” (give him all to eat and nothing to know).
The evening then proceeded with everyone preparing a beautiful meal, divided in groups to prepare starters, main and dessert. The menu consisted of:
Fresh tomato, pesto and camembert on puff pastry, gorgonzola, mascarpone and balsamic onions on a short crust pastry, herby eggs on puff pastry topped with parma ham and rocket.
Homemade paste with creamy smoked salmon and fresh peas/spicy herbed tomato with onions and fresh basil and a fresh leafy green salad with biltong vinaigrette.
Three kinds of choc truffles (coffee bean, chilli or nut) and a berry surprise.
It was fun to see everyone involved and the food was simply delicious. There is something special about everyone cooking together and then enjoying a meal together. After the meal most of the family went home and the friends, cousin, sister and mom went to The Attic Wine Bar for drinks and fun till the early hours so I only got home at about 2am but what an absolute blast! The Attic Wine Bar is a lovely relaxed wine bar on 4th Avenue in Parkhurst where you can get cocktails or a wide variety of wine (also served by the glass). It has good service, a wonderful atmosphere and interesting decor such as the wallpaper and lampshades. One of the girls also brought a Polaroid camera and it was actually a lot of fun to play with the camera and capture some memorable moments!