Infare Dinners on the Homestead

I wonder how many remember the
infare, or second-day dinner, that used to follow a wedding. My grandmother
believed that such a dinner was the outgrowth of the Old
World custom of feasting for several days after a special event. I
went to many infare dinners as a small child. I loved the cake!

There was a lovely dinner at the home
of the bride the day of the wedding, with the bride’s family as hosts. On the
second day the bridal couple and their guests went to the home of the groom
where the infare dinner was served.

If the event took place in summer,
long tables were laid under the trees in the yard, oak planks were arranged on
wooden horses and covered with cloths. In cold weather the dinner was served
indoors, the guests eating in relays according to their importance. Children,
of course, were last.

The menu of the infare dinner might
include turkey, chicken, guinea fowl, mutton and perhaps a roast shoat or two.
There were many, many delicacies.

A stack cake was a feature of both
the wedding and the infare dinners, and the families of the bride and the groom
vied, each hoping to produce the taller cake. It was said that glass
manufacturers conceived the idea of the tall, footed cake plate to lend an
illusion of greater height to the cake. A serving was a very thin slice.

Neither the wedding nor the infare
dinner was complete without a butter tree which was often the centerpiece on
the table. Butter was pressed thru clean cheesecloth so that it came out in
long curly strings. A circle of butter curls was laid on a plate and more curls
added until a cone, resembling an evergreen tree, was created. The tree often
was one or two feet tall.

My grandmother had a white dress
with loops of light blue ribbon for her wedding day, and for the infare dinner
she wore her second-day dress in dark red worsted with black velvet trim. 

Alma Robison Higbee
Lathrop, Missouri

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the
Capper’s Weekly asking for readers
to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from
early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from
grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were
received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first
My Folks title –
My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon
hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the
My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true
tales from Capper’s readers, and
we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.