This relic of the days of gay blades, wild oats, and horse-and-buggy romancing has changed considerably. Just as there are many young men who do not know what this traditional dinner is, and would not want one in any case, there are others, young executives and professional men, especially in the larger cities, who enjoy entertaining their friends in their apartment. They may cook and serve dinner themselves or have a part-time maid who cooks for special occasions, or a favorite caterer who prepares meals and brings them in and serves them.
Such a host can provide a modern version of the bachelor dinner, a good get-together for his own or a friend’s last fling as a single man, and for the ushers and other men of the wedding party.
Invitations are given by telephone or in person about a week before the dinner date. The guest list may include the engaged man’s close men friends as well as those who will be best man and ushers. The time set for the dinner depends not only on what hour the host comes home from the office but also on the crowded schedule of the wedding-party members, who may have to help decorate the house and church, or meet trains and planes of arriving relatives. Once the time is set, the host can manage if he prepares and shops in advance, even if the apartment is small and time is limited.
Menu, which pleases most men and is easily prepared, is broiled steak, baked potatoes, hot rolls, tossed green salad, and for dessert delicious warm apple pie with a fine cheese. The meat, salad greens, brown-and-serve rolls, and any basic necessities such as fresh coffee and cream can be bought the day before. Greens for the salad can be washed the night before the dinner, wrapped in a towel, and placed in the refrigerator. This not only makes them cold but crisp. The pie can be bought at a good bake shop or from a favorite restaurant or club.
If serving facilities are cramped, as they usually are in a small apartment, and if one sufficiently large table is not available, two bridge tables can be used to seat six or eight. These tables should be covered with attractive cloths, and places should be set with silver, water goblet, and napkin.
If the meal is cooked in a kitchenette, it is easier to serve the warmed plates with the meat and vegetables right at the small range or electric rotisserie-broiler. Salad greens are then taken from the refrigerator, quickly broken into the salad bowl, and tossed with dressing. The salad is served onto cold plates, at the table. Heat-and-serve rolls can be buttered before serving, which does away with bread-and-butter knives and plates. The tables should be cleared before dessert and coffee, and all used dishes carried to the kitchenette and out of sight.
If the host lives with his family, and his mother or a family cook prepares the meal for the bachelor dinner, she can leave the kitchen to him for the serving and final touches and take herself off to the movies or elsewhere, since the idea of this occasion is no women even to serve the table.