Entertaining Tips From A Swiss Hostess
Madame Fromage is getting ready for her mother's visit, and the pressure is on. She's got some tips for anyone else in the same boat:
Everything I know about hostessing comes from my mother who was born in Geneva. To most, she was known as “The Frau” – she was a strict-as-nails German teacher in our midwestern hometown. To my brother and I, she was Julia Child crossed with Nancy Sinatra. She loved high boots, and she was always cooking.
My brother André and I were her sous chefs. In the ‘70s, we whipped cream for her gourmet club tortonis; in the ‘80s, our mother discovered the Moosewood Cookbook and we became her renegade vegetable peelers. When our mother entertained, the house had to be spotless, the lighting perfect. André and I cued the right records, served drinks (usually in costume), and made sure all the teak furniture legs were feather dusted.