September with Bettina


Meal Planning with Bettina



Don’t miss hearing about the lovely rainbow wedding announcement party Bettina throws at the end of the month!

Apple-tree, apple-tree, crowned with delight,
Give me your fruit for a pie if you will;——
Crusty I’ll make it, and juicy and light!——
Give me your treasure to mate with my skill!


“I’LL tell you, Ruth,” said Bettina, in answer to some questions, “you come home with me now, and make an apple pie for our dinner! I’ll watch and direct you, and perhaps I can show you what made the crust tough on the one you made at home. Do come. I can’t promise you an elaborate dinner tonight, for my funds are very low and I must be careful. But I had planned to make an apple pie myself. Bob is so fond of it that no matter what else we may have, an apple pie dinner is a feast to him.”

“But goodness, Bettina! I might spoil it!”

“No, you wouldn’t, and I would show you just what to do. I suspect that you handled the dough too much before and that was what made the pie seem tough.”

“I suppose I did; I was so anxious to have it well mixed.”

“Did you use your fingers in mixing in the shortening? I know that many good cooks do it, but it is really better to use a knife, with the blade flat. And then roll the pastry out just as lightly as possible.”

“Do you make pastry with lard or butter?”

“I usually make it with an equal amount of each. Lard makes a more tender crust than butter, and a whiter crust, but I think butter gives it a better flavor.”

Bettina and Ruth had reached home by this time, and Bettina brought out the materials for Ruth’s pie. “I’ll give you ice-water to moisten the pastry,” said she; “it isn’t necessary, but it is really better in the summer time. And while you’re mixing in the shortening with this knife, I’ll be cooking some eggs hard for eggs a la goldenrod which I am going to give you tonight.”

“Eggs a la goldenrod!” exclaimed Ruth, “How good that does sound!”

“It is a very good luncheon-dish, but I find it also good for dinner when I’m not having meat. I think it looks appetizing, too.”

“I must learn how to make it. You know Father comes home at noon, and it is hard to think of a variety of luncheon-dishes. I usually have eggs or cheese in some form or other, but ‘eggs a la goldenrod,’ are new to me.”

“We also have cottage-cheese tonight,” said Bettina. “I plan to make it about once a week. Ruth, I believe I hear Bob now! Well, he’ll have to wait half an hour or more for his dinner!”

That night they had: Eggs a la Goldenrod, Potato Cakes, Strained Honey, Cottage Cheese, Bread, Butter, Apple Pie, Coffee


Potato Cakes (Four portions)  2 C-mashed potatoes, 1 T-lard, 1 T-butter

Form cold seasoned mashed potato into cakes two inches in diameter. Dip the cakes lightly into a little flour. Allow one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon lard to get very hot in a frying-pan. Put in the cakes, brown on each side, and serve.

Cottage Cheese (Four portions)  1 qt. sour milk, 1 t-salt, ¼ t-paprika, 1 T-cream

Place thick freshly soured milk over a pan of hot water, not boiling. When the milk is warm and the curds separate from the whey, strain off the whey in a cheese cloth. Put into a bowl, add salt, pepper and cream to taste. Stir lightly with a fork.

Some of Bettina’s Pastry Rules

  • One—All the materials must be cold.
  • Two—Always roll one way and on one side of the pastry.
  • Three—Shortening should be handled as little as possible.
  • Four—Dough should be mixed with a knife and not touched with the hands.
  • Five—Shortening should be cut in with a knife.
  • Six—Cook pastry in a hot oven having the greatest heat at the bottom so that it may rise before browning. Crust is done when it slips from the pan.
Cozy Kitchen


“WHAT have you been doing?” asked Bob, as he and Bettina sat down to dinner.

“Oh, Bob, I’ve had the nicest day! Mother ‘phoned me this morning that Uncle John had brought her several big baskets of apples from the farm, and that if I cared to come over to help, we would put them up together, and I might have half. Well, we made apple jelly, plum and apple jelly, and raspberry and apple jelly. I had made all these before, and knew how good they were, but I learned something new from Mother that has made me feel happy ever since.”

“And so you came home, and in your enthusiasm made this fine dandy peach cobbler for dinner!”

“Bob, that was the very way I took to express my joy!”

“Well, what is this wonderful new apple concoction?”

“Perhaps it isn’t new, but it was new to me! It is an apple and mint jelly, and I know it will be just the thing to serve with meat this winter.”

“How did you make it? (I hope you are noticing how interested I’m becoming in all the cooking processes!)”

“Well, I washed and cut into small pieces four pounds of greening apples. Then I washed and chopped fine one cup of fresh mint, and added it to the apples. I covered the mixture with water, and cooked it all till the apples were so tender that they were falling to pieces. I strained it then, and used three-fourths of a cup of sugar for each cup of juice. I cooked this till the mixture jellied, and then I added four teaspoons of lemon juice and enough green vegetable color paste to give it a delicate color.”

“Isn’t that coloring matter injurious?”

“Oh, no, Bob! It’s exactly as pure as any vegetable, and it gives things such a pretty color. Why, I use it very often, and I’m sure that more people would try it if they knew how successful it is! It is such fun to experiment with. Of course, I never use anything but the vegetable coloring.”

“Well, go on with the jelly. What next?”

“That’s all, I think. I just poured it into glasses, and there it is, waiting for you to help me carry it home from Mother’s. Now, Bob, won’t that be good next winter with cold roast beef or cold roast veal? I know it will be just the thing to use with a pork roast!”

“I’m growing very enthusiastic. Sounds fine. But speaking of cooking, this is a mighty good dinner. I like peach cobbler as well as any dessert there is.”

“I’m glad you like it. But I forgot to tell you, Bob, that I’m to have all the apples I can use in the fall. Uncle John has promised them to me. Then Mother says we’ll make cider. Won’t that be fine?”

“I should say it will! Cider and doughnuts and pumpkin pie! Makes me long for fall already! But then, I like green corn and watermelon and peaches, so I suppose I can wait.”

That evening Bettina served:  Sliced Beef Loaf, Sautéed Potatoes, Creamed Corn, Cinnamon Rolls, Butter, Peach Cobbler, Cream


Cinnamon Rolls (Twelve rolls)  2 T-sugar, ½ t-salt, 1 C-milk (scalded and lukewarm), 1 yeast cake, ¼ C-lukewarm water, 1½ C-flour, 3 T-butter, 4 T-sugar, ¼ C-butter, ½ C-sugar

Mix sugar, salt and scalded milk. When lukewarm, add the yeast cake dissolved in one-fourth of a cup of lukewarm water. Add one and a half cups flour. Cover and set in a warm place to rise. When double in bulk, add the butter (melted), four tablespoons sugar and more flour (enough to knead). Let rise, knead and roll into a sheet half an inch thick, spread with a mixture made by adding melted butter, one and a fourth cups sugar and the cinnamon. Roll up like a jelly roll. Cut in slices three-fourths inch thick. Place in a pan one inch apart, let rise again. Bake in a moderately hot oven twenty-five minutes.

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“A BEAUTIFUL day,” said Bettina at the breakfast table. “September is doing better than August.”

“I was just thinking,” said Bob, “that it might be fun to get Harry and Alice, and go out to Killkare park this evening. I don’t believe you’ve been on a roller coaster this year.”

“It would be fun to go,” said Bettina, “although I haven’t missed the roller coaster.”

“Well, let’s ask them to go. We can stay there awhile and then——”

“Then what?”

“Oh, nothing. Then go home.”

“Bob, you meant—come here afterward and have a nice little lunch; didn’t you?”

“I confess that I thought of that, and then I happened to remember that you were going out this afternoon and wouldn’t want to bother with any preparations for a party.”

“Going out this afternoon would not worry me at all—it is just that my funds are getting a little low, and I couldn’t serve anything expensive. Let me think what I have on hand—yes, I believe I could do it by serving a salad and a dessert out of my own head.”

“A Bettina salad? That’s the very best kind. And what will the dessert be?”

“A Bettina dessert, too. I have some lovely apples, Bob, and I just can’t afford anything very expensive. I know this will be good, too, but you mustn’t complain if I have sponge cake to eat with it.”

“I should say not, Bettina. Whatever you give us will tickle me, and Alice and Harry are in such a state of blindness that they won’t know what they’re eating.”

That evening they had: Bettina Salad, Boston Brown Bread Sandwiches, Bettina’s Apples, Sponge Cake, Coffee


Bettina Salad (Four portions)  1 C-chopped New York cheese, 12 Pimento stuffed olives chopped, 3 sweet pickles chopped very fine, ¼ C-chopped roasted peanuts, ¼ t-salt, 1/8 t-paprika, 4 T-salad dressing, 4 pieces of lettuce

Put the cheese through the food chopper or grate it, add the olives chopped, the sweet pickles, peanuts, salt and paprika. Blend well, and form into balls, one inch in diameter. Arrange several on a lettuce leaf. Serve salad dressing with the salad.


“WHERE are you, Bettina?” called Bob one September evening when Bettina failed to meet him at the door. “Oh, Bettina!”

“Here I am, Bob, in the kitchen! I’m so ashamed of myself!”

“What for?”

“My carelessness. I just spilled a whole bottle of ink on this new apron of mine! I had begun to get dinner, and as it was a little early, I sat down for a minute to finish a letter to Polly. Then all at once I thought something was burning, and jumped up in such a hurry that I spilled the ink. I ought to have known better than to try to do two things at once! Luckily, the dinner was all right, but look at this apron! And it was such a pretty one!”

“Well, Bettina, I’m always getting ink and auto grease on my clothes, and you seem to keep yours spotless. So it is a surprise to me that it happened. Still, spoiling a new apron may be unfortunate, but I shouldn’t call it tragic. Is it really spoiled?”

“No, I think I can fix it up so it will be almost as good as new, but it’s a nuisance. See, I’m soaking it in this sour milk. I’ll leave it here for four hours, and then apply some more milk for awhile. Then I believe the ink will come out when I rinse it.”

“Well, Bettina, I’m glad you didn’t spill ink on the dinner. Something smells mighty good!”

They had: Beef Balls, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Bettina’s Celery and Eggs, Cinnamon Rolls, Butter, Watermelon


Mashed Potatoes (Three portions) 4 medium-sized potatoes, 1½ T-butter, ½ C-milk, ½ t-salt, 1/8 t-pepper

Cook the potatoes (peeled) in boiling salted water. When done, drain off the water, pass through a vegetable ricer, or mash well with a potato masher. Add butter, salt, pepper, and the milk. Beat vigorously, reheat and pile lightly in a hot dish.

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“WELL, what have you been doing today?” asked Bob, after he had finished an account of events at the office.

“I’ve been away all afternoon, Bob, at the loveliest little porch party at Alice’s! You know her porch is beautiful, anyhow, and her party was very informal. She telephoned to five of us this morning, and asked us to come over and bring our sewing; the day was so perfect. She served a delicious little luncheon from her tea cart, very simple but so good! And the beauty of it was that she had made everything herself! She didn’t tell the girls, but she whispered it to me. Of course, if she had told the others, she would have given herself away; they are a little suspicious of her now because she is seen everywhere with Harry!”

“He told me he wished they could announce it right away! He doesn’t like to make a secret of it.”

“It won’t be very long now—you know they are to be married in October or November. But, Bob, as I was telling you, Alice did all the cooking for this party herself. Of course, it was simple, but really, I think she is quite wonderful. She has never done anything useful before, but she is so clever, and she has such a ‘knack’ that it will really be easier for her than for Ruth. And Ruth will work twice as hard. Alice says that she is going to give other little parties this way, and practice on her guests. She says she is determined to do things just as well as anybody else, and now that she is interested, she has a tremendous pride in being a success. You know how high-spirited Alice is. Well, she isn’t to be surpassed by anyone in anything she cares to do! Oh, I forgot, Bob, she gave me some cakes to bring to you, and also some salted nuts.”

“Hurray for Alice! She’s some friend all right! What else did you have at the party?”

“Such good salad—she gave me the recipe—well, her menu consisted of:

Honolulu Salad, Graham Bread Sandwiches, Frozen Apricots, White Cake, Salted Nuts, Coffee


“WE’LL treat Uncle Eric so well that he’ll have a good time in spite of himself,” Bob had said when he had proposed that his gruff old uncle be invited. “I’ll take Saturday afternoon off, and we’ll go to the matinee, then we’ll come home to dinner, and then go again to the theatre in the evening.” For a great actor was to be in town, and this was the reason for Uncle Eric’s possible visit. “If he’ll only come,” Bob had added doubtfully.

“He’ll come,” said Bettina confidently, for she felt that she had discovered the soft spot in Uncle Eric’s heart. “We’ll have a good dinner, too.”

Bob remembered what she had said about the dinner and repeated it to himself as they stepped from the street car after the matinee. “It’s late, Bettina,” he said anxiously, “will it take you long to get dinner?”

“A very few minutes,” answered Bettina. “Just long enough to warm it over.”

To warm it over! But then, all of Bettina’s dinners were good, so he resolved not to worry. Nevertheless, he could not help leaving Uncle Eric for a few minutes to come into the kitchen. “What can I do to help?”

“Not a thing, Bob dear. You see, I had this whole dinner ready this morning, and I have warmed it all up in the oven. I have discovered that croquettes are exactly as good when fried in the morning, and so are veal cutlets. And wait till you try the cauliflower!”

“I trust you, Bettina,” said Bob, laughing. “It all looks mighty good to me. Here, I’ll help you put it on the table.”

For dinner that night they had: Veal Cutlets, Potato Croquettes, Escalloped Cauliflower, Baked Apples, Bread, Butter, Chocolate Ice Cream, White Cake


Potato Croquettes (Three portions) 1 C-hot mashed or riced potatoes, 1/8 t-celery salt, ½ t-chopped parsley, 1/8 t-onion extract, 1 egg-yolk, 1 T-milk, 1 t-salt, 1 T-butter, 1/8 t-paprika, 3 T-flour

Mix the mashed potatoes, celery salt, parsley, onion extract, egg yolk, milk, salt, butter and paprika. Beat two minutes. Shape into balls two inches in diameter. Roll in flour and allow to stand fifteen minutes. Cook in deep fat three minutes or more until a delicate brown. Drain on brown paper and keep hot in a moderate oven.

Escalloped Cauliflower (Three portions) 1 small head of cauliflower, 1 qt. water, 1 t-salt, 1½ C-vegetable white sauce, seasoned, ¼ C-buttered crumbs

Soak the cauliflower in cold water to which a tablespoon of vinegar has been added. Cut apart and cook in a quart of water to which salt has been added. Make white sauce and add the cauliflower. Pour into a well-buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered crumbs. Bake twenty minutes in a moderate oven.

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“WE have gone ‘over home’ for so many Sunday dinners lately,” Bettina had said to her mother, “that I want you and father to come here tomorrow.”

“But, Bettina,” her mother protested, “isn’t it too much work for you? And won’t you be going to church?”

“I can’t go to church tomorrow, anyhow, for Bob’s Uncle Eric is to be in town all morning; he leaves at noon, and the Dixons have offered us their car to take him for a drive. Don’t worry, Mother, I’ll have a simple dinner—a ‘roast beef dinner,’ I believe. I often think that is the very easiest kind.”

Sunday morning was so beautiful that Bettina could not bear to stay indoors. Accordingly, she set the breakfast table on the porch, even though Uncle Eric protested that it was too far for her to walk back and forth with the golden brown waffles she baked for his especial delight. When he and Bob had eaten two “batches,” Uncle Eric insisted that he could bake them himself for a while. He installed Bettina in her chair at the table, and forced waffles upon her till she begged for mercy.

“Gracious!” Bettina exclaimed as she heard the “honk” of the Dixons’ automobile at the door. “There are the Dixons already and we have just finished breakfast! Bob, you and Uncle Eric will have to go on without me, for I must get the roast in the oven and do the morning’s work.”

“Well, I learned today to make waffles,” said Uncle Eric.

For dinner that day Bettina served: Roast Beef, Brown Gravy, Browned Potatoes, Baked Squash,
Lettuce, French Dressing, Lemon Sherbet, Devil’s Food Cake, Coffee

Devil’s Food Cake (Sixteen pieces) 1/3 C-butter, 1 C-sugar, 1 egg, 2/3 C-sour milk, 1 t-vanilla, 2/3 t-soda, 2 C-flour, 2 squares of melted chocolate

Cream the butter, add the sugar and continue to cream the mixture. Add the egg, well beaten, and the chocolate. Mix well. Add the soda and flour sifted together, and the sour milk and vanilla. Beat three minutes. Bake in two layer cake pans prepared with waxed piper for twenty-five minutes in a moderate oven.

Icing (Sixteen portions) 2 C-“C” sugar, ½ C-water, 2 egg-whites beaten stiffly, 1 t-vanilla

Cook the sugar and water together until it clicks when a little is dropped into a cup of cold water. Pour slowly over the beaten egg whites. Beat vigorously until creamy. Add the vanilla. Pour on one layer of the cake. Place the upper layer on top, and pour the rest of the icing upon it. Spread evenly over the top and over the sides.


“I USUALLY complain when it rains—I have that habit—but I must confess that I like a rainy evening at home once in a while,” said Bob, as he and Bettina sat down at the dinner table. “Dinner on a rainy night always seems so cozy.”

“Liver and bacon don’t constitute a very elaborate dinner,” said Bettina. “But they taste good for a change. And oh, Bob, tonight I want you to try a new recipe I heard of—peanut fudge. It sounds delicious.”

“I’m there,” said Bob. “I was just thinking it would be a good candy evening. Then, when the candy is done, we’ll assemble under the new reading lamp and eat it.”

“Yes, it’ll be a good way to initiate the reading lamp! Wasn’t it dear of Uncle Eric to give it to us? I kept wondering why he was so anxious to know just what I planned to do with the money I won for my nut bread at the fair. I even took him around and pointed out this particular lamp as the thing I had been saving for. And here it arrived the day after he left, as a gift to me! It was dear of Uncle Eric! But now what on earth shall I do with my fair money?”

“Don’t worry about that, Bettina. Put it in the bank.”

“But I’d like to get something as sort of a monument to my luck. Have you any particular needs, Bob?”

“Not a need in the world! Except for one more of those fine fruit gems over there.”

That night they had for dinner: Liver and Bacon, Creamed Turnips, Fruit Gems, Apple Sauce, Tea


Fruit Gems (Nine Gems) 2 C-flour, 3 t-baking powder, 3 T-sugar, ¼ t-salt, ¾ C-milk, 1 egg, 1 T-melted butter, 1/3 C-seeded, chopped raisins or currants

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Break the egg into the milk, stir well, pour into the dry ingredients. Beat vigorously one minute. Add the melted butter and raisins or currants. Bake in nine well buttered gem pans for twenty minutes in a moderate oven.


“IS it still as much fun to keep house as it was at first, Charlotte?” asked Bettina as she and Bob sat down to dinner with the Dixons.

“Fun?” said Charlotte. “Bettina, look at me! Or better still, look at Frank! And the funny part of it all is that Aunt Isabel thinks our keeping house is a result of her preachments against boarding and hotel living. Why, she quite approves of me now! And I’ll just keep quiet and let her feel that she was the one who did it, but all the while in my heart I’ll be remembering that it was the sight of your happiness that roused my ambition to make a home myself.”

“I tell you,” said Mr. Dixon, “we can never thank you enough, Bettina. Now shall I play ‘Home Sweet Home’ on the piano? And will you all join in the chorus?”

“Not if you sing, too,” said Mrs. Dixon, smiling at her husband’s foolishness. “I’ve learned a great deal from you, since I began, Bettina, and not the smallest lesson is that of having company without dreading it. I don’t try to make things elaborate, just dainty and simple food such as we have every day. Why, tonight I didn’t make a single change for you and Bob! And I don’t believe I should dread even Aunt Isabel’s sudden arrival now.”

“Aunt Isabel is really a good soul, Bettina,” said Frank. “Charlotte has never learned how much worse her bark is than her bite, and she takes it to heart when Aunt Isabel speaks her mind. Why, I remember so well the scoldings she used to give me when I was a boy, and the cookies she would manage to treat me with afterward! I used to anticipate those pleasant scoldings!”

“If a scolding always comes before food,” said Bob, “Charlotte must have given you an extra good one before inviting us to partake of that delicious-looking chocolate pie!”

That evening they had: Cold Sliced Ham, Creamed Potatoes, Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice,
Peach Butter, Chocolate Pie, Coffee


“BIG success!” was what Bettina’s eyes telegraphed to Ruth across the purple and white asters in the center of a long porch table. Ruth was giving a farewell luncheon for Bernadette, her young cousin, who was leaving that night for a fashionable New York school. Although there was no suggestion of it in the dainty dishes the two girls served to the hungry and vivacious young guests, Ruth was “trying out” her cooking with all of the stage-fright of the beginner. The recipes and suggestions were chiefly Bettina’s, and the two had been busy in Ruth’s kitchen since early that morning. Bernadette was a critical young person, although light-hearted and affectionate, and Ruth felt that she could set her humble efforts before no sterner judge. Yet all the while, as she tasted each course in its turn, her mind was running on, “Will Fred like this? Some day I’ll be serving this to Fred!” It was certainly a satisfaction to feel one’s self able to cook a luncheon acceptable to “the younger society set!”

With each course an enormous motto, supposedly of the “Don’ts for School Girls’ Series,” was brought in ceremoniously on a tray and suspended from the chandelier over the table, until finally five huge, if foolish, “Don’ts” were dangling there for Bernadette’s inspection.

With the last course, Ruth, in the postman’s hat, coat and bag, brought in an endless supply of letters for Bernadette, to be opened at such times as “When You Meet Your Impossible Room-mate,” “When You Feel the First Pangs of Homesickness,” “When Reprimanded by a Horrid Old Teacher”, “When Forced to Mend Your Own Stockings,” etc.-

Bernadette seized them all delightedly, glanced at the covers and cried out, half in laughter, half in tears, “Oh, girls, I simply can’t go ‘way off there! I’ll die!” Her friends fell upon her with scoldings and hugs, and in the midst of the noise and clamor, Ruth and Bettina slipped out to laugh and talk over Ruth’s first serious culinary effort.

The menu consisted of: Iced Cantaloupe Balls, Chicken Croquettes, Potatoes in Cream,
Green Peppers Stuffed with Corn, Rolls, Peach Pickles, Cherry Salad, Wafers, Chocolate Cream Pudding, Coffee


“AND so I thought, if you were willing, I would have the luncheon the last of this week,” said Bettina to Alice one sultry afternoon which they were spending on Bettina’s porch.

“That’s dear of you, Bettina. Oh, how queer it will seem to have everyone know about it! You must let me help with the luncheon, of course.”

“No, indeed, Alice! Ruth and I are going to do it all alone, and the guest of honor is not to lift a finger! You can advise us, of course, but you mustn’t arrive that day till everything is ready. I want to tell you about a few plans I’ve made. I wish I could consult Harry, too.”

“But he won’t be at the announcement party!”

“No, but he’s the leading man in the drama, and important even when off the stage. Let’s telephone him to come here to dinner tonight. It is so warm that I have planned only a lunch, but we can set the porch table and have a jolly informal time. Do call him up, Alice.”

“I’d love to, of course, if you really want us.”

“Indeed I do, but we’ll have to hurry, for it’s after five now.”

“I’ll help you,” said Alice, after Harry had given his hearty acceptance. “Let me fix the salad.”

“All right, and I’ll stir up some little tea cakes. It’s better not to cut those beets too small, Alice; it makes them soft. I never add them till just before I serve the salad. There, that’s fine! Do you want to fix the parsley to garnish the ham? Ham looks so much better with parsley that I never fail to garnish it. I have nasturtiums for the center of the table, and we’ll garnish the salad with them, too.”

“It will be a festive little meal. What else can I do while you’re baking the tea cakes?”

“You can make the iced tea, Alice. You do everything so easily and deftly that I love to watch you. And you have never cooked at all until lately, have you?”

“No, but I really like it. Wouldn’t it be a joke if I should become very domestic?”

“Well, your fate is pointing in that direction! Time is swiftly passing, and in a few short weeks—Alice, shall I call off the announcement luncheon?”

“Oh, no, no, Bettina! Let fate do her worst! I’m resigned.”

Supper that night consisted of: Cold Sliced Ham, Beet Salad, Bread, Butter, Tea Cakes, Apple Sauce, Iced Tea

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“OH, Bettina, aren’t the butterflies darling?” exclaimed Ruth, looking once more at the table display of her work. “And with everything ready to begin in the morning, won’t things be easy for us both? What shall I do next?”

“Not a thing, Ruth dear. You’ve worked too hard all this afternoon, I’m afraid. Now we’re going to sit down to a good hot dinner, and tell Bob all about our preparations.”

“M—m! Something smells good!” said Ruth. “I’ve been so busy with all these cunning things that I haven’t even thought of eating. But now that you mention it, I’ll admit that I have a fine healthy appetite.”

“Well, dinner is almost ready, and Bob will be here any minute. It’s all in the oven except the corn: meat loaf, sweet potatoes and apricot cobbler.”

“Oh, how good it sounds! More sensible than all our fluffy dishes for the announcement luncheon. But then, I do love fluffy things. I’m sure Alice will like it, and all the others, too. Makes me ‘most wish I’d kept my engagement a secret, and announced it with ceremony as Alice is doing. But I couldn’t, somehow.”

“No, you couldn’t, Ruth, and neither could Fred. He’d give it away if you didn’t. So I guess there’s no use wishing you had kept it. Anyhow, you just suit me as you are. You’ve been such a dear to help with the luncheon! Goodness, there’s Bob now!”

The dinner consisted of: Beef Loaf, Sweet Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Bread, Butter, Apricot Cobbler


“OH, Bettina, how lovely!” cried the ten guests in a chorus, as Ruth and Bettina ushered them into the softly lighted dining-room. Not one had had even a glimpse of the luncheon table before, for Ruth had been entertaining them on the porch while Bettina put on the finishing touches. It all seemed a burst of soft rainbow colors. “What is it?” cried someone. “How did you ever get the rainbow effect?”

“Let’s not examine it too closely,” said Bettina. “You know a rainbow after all is nothing but drops of water with the sun shining through, and maybe my rainbow table has a prosy explanation, too.”

From the low mass of variegated garden flowers in the center—pink, yellow, lavender, orange, blue, and as many others as the girls could find—ran strips of soft tulle in rainbow colors. The strips were attached at the outer end to the dainty butterflies which perched lightly on the tulle covered candy cups. These candy cups held pink, lavender and green Jordan almond candies. More butterflies in all sizes and colors hovered among the flowers. Upon the plain white name cards, little butterflies had been outlined in black and decorated in butterfly colors. Ruth and Bettina had cut with the scissors around this outline and then, when it had been cut almost away, had folded back the butterfly so that it stood up on the card, as ready for flight as its brothers and sisters.

“Aren’t they cunning?” exclaimed Barbara, taking her butterfly from her favor cup. “Goodness, it’s attached to something!” Pulling gently by the rainbow tulle to which the butterfly had been pasted, she drew forth from the greenery in the center a little golden bag. It was in reality a little fat bag of soft yellow silk tied with gold cord and holding something that, seen through the mesh, appeared to be—gold?

The other girls, in great excitement, drew forth their little bags.

“Rice!” declared Mary, “though it looks yellow!”

“It’s the bag of gold at the foot of the rainbow!” exclaimed Ruth, with flushed cheeks. “Discovered by——”

“Harry Harrison and Alice!” cried the girls, laughing almost hysterically. For one small card which read, “Discovered by” and the two names, in gold letters, was tied to the little bag by the gold cord.

“Alice, how did you ever manage to keep it a secret?” asked someone.

“Well, it would have been harder if you had all known Harry, but you see, we haven’t been with the crowd much lately, have we? Now admit it! You haven’t even missed me!”

“But you’re more of a butterfly than any of the rest of us. And the limits of the old crowd don’t always bound your flutterings.”

“I’m not a butterfly anymore,” said Alice. “I suppose I’ll have a butterfly wedding (Harry will detest it, but he’ll have to give in that once), but after that I expect to be as domestic as Bettina here, though not such a success at it, probably. Aren’t these orange baskets the prettiest things?”

The girls, in their excitement, had almost forgotten to eat, but now they looked down at their plates. Fruit cups in orange baskets, with handles of millinery wire twisted with pink, green, yellow and violet tulle, added to the rainbow effect. The baskets were placed on paper doilies on tea plates, and were artistically lined with mint leaves.

“It looks too pretty to eat,” said Dorothy.

“Ruth will feel hurt if you don’t like it, but I know you will,” said Bettina. “She prepared this course, and made most of the table decorations, too.”

“And didn’t you wish that you were announcing something yourself, Ruth?” asked Mary. “Although I don’t believe the crowd could stand two such surprises! We’ve known Fred and you so long that your engagement seems the natural thing, but when a perfectly strange man like Mr. Harrison happens by, and helps himself to one of our number—well, it certainly takes my breath away! Where did you first meet him, Alice? Was it love at first sight?”

“Love at first sight? Bob introduced us—here, in this very house, and I thought—well—I thought Harry the most disagreeably serious man I’d ever had the misfortune to meet! And he thought me the most disagreeably frivolous girl he had ever seen! So our feud began, and of course we had to see each other to fight it out!”

“And then comes Bettina’s rainbow luncheon to show us how serious the feud proved to be,” laughed Barbara. “What? More courses, Bettina? This is a beautiful luncheon! I wonder who’ll be the next to discover the treasure at the foot of the rainbow?”

The menu consisted of: Fruit Cups in Orange Baskets, Cream of Celery Soup, Whipped Cream,
Salt Wafers, Tuna Moulds, Egg Sauce, Potatoes a la Bettina, Green Peppers Stuffed with Creamed Cauliflower, Rolls, Butter, Head Lettuce, Russian Dressing, Thin Sandwiches in Fancy Shapes, Marshmallow Cream, Coffee

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


BOB had scarcely left the house the next morning when Bettina was called to the door. “I couldn’t resist coming!” said Alice. “The announcement party was lovely, and I must thank you for doing it. Aren’t you tired to pieces?”

“No, Ruth helped me a great deal, and by the time Bob came home to dinner, the luncheon dishes were washed and put away and the house was in apple-pie order.”

“Everything tasted delicious, Bettina. Maybe it sounds altogether too practical for my own announcement party, but I’m armed with a pencil and a notebook, and I do want to get some of those recipes of yours!”

“You’re welcome to them all, Alice, of course. They are all recipes that I have used over and over again, and I’m sure of them.”

“What kind of soup was it? Celery? I thought so. Wasn’t it hard to prepare?”

“Why, Alice, it was canned celery soup, diluted with hot milk. Then I added a teaspoonful of chopped parsley and a teaspoonful of chopped red pepper.”

“But surely it had whipped cream in it, Bettina!”

“Yes, I put a teaspoonful of whipped cream in the bottom of the bouillon cup and poured the hot soup on it, so that it would be well mixed.”

“Well, that accounts for it; I thought it must be made with whipped cream. Oh, Bettina, everything was so pretty! The tulle bows on the baskets holding the wafers and the rolls—and the butterflies perched on them! How did you ever think of it?”

“Well, butterflies are a happy choice for decorations! They can be put anywhere, and they are easy to make—at least Ruth says so.”

“You use paper doilies a great deal, don’t you! Aren’t they expensive?”

“Expensive? Well, I wish you’d price them! They are so inexpensive that I like to use them even for a very informal meal; they add such a dainty touch, I think.”

“I must write down the recipes for your tuna loaf, and green peppers stuffed with cauliflower, and Russian dressing—and oh, that wonderful kind of rainbow dessert! Bettina, what was that dessert?”

“Marshmallow cream made with gelatine and cream and marshmallows and whites of eggs. I puzzled a long time over a real ‘rainbow’ dessert, and finally decided on marshmallow cream with a few variations. Come into the kitchen, where I keep my card index, and I’ll get all the recipes for you.”


“AND here we are, busily planning Alice’s affairs,” said Bettina, “when we might be talking of yours, Ruth. Are you sure, sure, sure, that you don’t want any parties, or showers, or affairs of any sort?”

“Sure, sure, sure!” said Ruth, emphatically. “I may be silly, Bettina, but to me such a fuss beforehand takes something away from the beauty of the wedding! And then there are other reasons. We’ve had to postpone building till next summer, and may not be married till the house is done—you know that. So we’ll have been engaged a long time. It seems to me that after a long engagement like ours, it is better to have a simple wedding and no parties. Alice’s is happening just as I always expected that it would—a surprising announcement, a short engagement, and many parties, with an elaborate wedding as the climax! Sometimes I think that sort would be the kind to have—but you see, Bettina, when you’re expecting to be married only once, you want to have just the kind that seems best to you.”

“And yours will be just right for you, Ruth,” said Bettina, warmly. “You are you, and Fred is Fred, and I can’t imagine either of you caring for much excitement. And when you are in your new house——”

“I’m going to have you over at least once a week to just such a dear little luncheon as this! Or rather—as much like it as I can devise. Bettina, how did you have time to cook such good things?”

“Well,” said Bettina, “Bob will have these same things for dinner tonight, with the addition of some cold sliced meat. So now, Ruth, we have a long afternoon before us—to sew and talk!”

Bettina’s luncheon consisted of: Bettina’s Mexican Salad, Brown Bread, Apricot Preserves,
Orange Cake, Hot Chocolate


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