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Original Issue

Olympic buffet

A lot of fine eating awaits foreign visitors arriving in the California ski country for the Winter Games

When the committee delegates and teams from 34 nations gather in Squaw Valley for the Olympic Winter Games later this month, residents of the Sierra ski country are prepared to greet foreign dignitaries with a full show of California hospitality. Many of the visitors will have the good fortune to be wined and dined at the Lake Tahoe lodge of Mr. and Mrs. William Wallace Mein Jr., who are shown above readying a sumptuous buffet for a winter party, together with their San Francisco friend, Mrs. G. Howland Meyer. Both of the women have hospitality functions in connection with the Games—Sally Mein on the Lake Tahoe committee which has coordinated the planning of parties by local people, and Georgiana Meyer as one of three members of the official Division of Protocol and Entertainment.

The lodge overlooking Lake Tahoe has seen many festive gatherings, for the sports-minded Meins are noted among their friends as skillful and popular hosts. They live in Woodside, Calif., just south of Burlingame on the Peninsula, where "Tommy" Mein, a mining engineer and business executive, serves in season as Joint Master of the Los Altos Hunt. He and Sally and their four children journey as often as possible to the mountain country—in winter for skiing on the Sierra slopes and in summer, with a slight change of equipment, to spend hours water-skiing on the lake.

The buffet shown on the preceding pages is characteristic of the fare offered to guests at the Meins' lakeside lodge. It includes a 15-pound roast of beef, served with fresh horseradish sauce, side dishes of creamed potatoes and greened spaghetti, a California green salad, a platter of cold artichokes served with a mustardy mayonnaise, three varieties of Monterey Jack cheese, San Francisco sour-dough bread and a dessert of apricot mousse. Onion soup preceded the meal, and before that a hot, hot punch was offered as a winter alternative to cocktails.

Here are the highlights:

"This is called Sandringham because we drink it out of the coronation mugs we bought in England," explained Tommy Mein. And since he is of Scottish descent, he added, "I generally wear my Menzies tartan jacket [see color picture] when I make it." These are his directions: Dissolve ¼ pound brown sugar in one pint of newly made hot tea. Add ½ cup of port and the thinly sliced yellow rind of a lemon. Now pour in one bottle of bourbon whisky and ¾ cup of brandy. Stir well, heat gently and serve hot in hot mugs. This makes two fifths of punch, enough for about 10 people.

This consists of two top sirloin roasts, boned and laid end to end to make a large roll of even size that is trimmed and tied by the butcher (same principle as for fillet of beef—SI, Sept. 28). The meat is cooked rare—approximately 3 hours in a preheated 350° oven. "It has top flavor, very little gristle, no bones or waste and is the best buy for our large family and many guests," says Tommy Mein. "To avoid loss of meat juices, I stick the fork into the roast only once, far back. It carves very easily from this position, and I cut nice thin slices."

This is a packaged thin spaghetti cooked in boiling salted water, drained almost completely, then tossed, in the same pan, with lots of butter in bits, lots of grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and a peeled clove of garlic. Shake hard for 3 minutes, holding the lid on the pan. Take out the garlic before dishing up. If you've done it right, the spaghetti is in a sort of creamy sauce.

Leaves of red lettuce, a butterhead lettuce (such as Boston) and romaine are combined with chopped watercress, minced parsley and green onions in a tart French dressing made with white wine vinegar.



IN LODGE with windows overlooking icy Lake Tahoe, W.W. Mein Jr. carves a 15-pound roast of beef for a luncheon party, while his wife Sally completes preparation of the table with Mrs. G. Howlan Meyer (far left).


AT MEINS' PARTY, President Prentis C. Hale of Olympic Organizing Committee sits to chat with Georgiana Meyer about hospitality arrangements at Squaw Valley.