548 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
fruit-cake, jumbles, and "damson" preserves decorated the table—with old-fashioned simplicity.
Clam broth was served in pewter porringers, for which the possessions of friends and family connections had been laid under contribution. Large clam-shells held the creamed codfish, which primitive service was strictly correct, according to tradition of Puritan feasts.
A "chicken pot-pie" did duty for an entre'e, and venison steak furnished the piece de resistance. Icecream was not to be thought of, the hostess being the proud possessor of an ancient recipe for "pandowdy"— an apple-pudding with delicate potato crust, and eaten with a rich sauce. There were no place-cards, and after luncheon the guests were invited to seat themselves about an old quilting-frame, and were provided with needles, thread and thimbles. Upon it was stretched a quilt made of two layers of pink cheese-cloth with cotton batting between. It was explained that the hostess was making warm coverlids for the children of the very poor, and all joined merrily in tufting and knotting the pretty one before them. The work seemed to have no deterrent effect on the conversation—an contraire !
The hostess who was expected to recall December at her luncheon beamed upon her guests across a table bright with holly, and the light diffused through scarlet candle-shades gave a ruddy glow to everything. Suspended above the centre of the table, from the chandelier (wreathed with Christmas greens), was a bdl made of three hoops of graduated sizes hung together with stout cords. This was covered with scarlet tissue paper, thickly covered with holly. The clapper of the bell was a tiny candle-lamp of red glass. From the top of the bel1