|"Mess Detachment," Wight, On Active Service With Base Hospital 46, 120.|
"We certainly have someone in our outfit who knows how to cook," the author of "Banquets Here and There" enthused. In addition to the "platters of turkey" she mentions, we learn from On Active Service with Base Hospital 46 that the turkey cost $1.00 per pound and preparation started a day in advance for meals that served nurses, medical officers, enlisted personnel and several hundred patients. (Wight, On Active Service with Base Hospital 46, 123.)
It appears that the nurses dined among themselves with the addition of "one lone man" as a guest who "seemed to enjoy things." The nurses did "stunts" at the end of the meal, including reciting poetry and singing. "Then everyone sang, and the party terminated, a howling success."
"Banquets Here and There" also reveals that the nurses picked up some French during their stay. The author refers to "mangering" [manger=to eat] and the "salle a manger" [dining room] and says one of the French women working there as a maid told them "Il ne faire rien a moi" -- "It doesn't have anything to do with me."
The praise the author of "Banquets Here and There" gave to Lieutenant Sutton's cooking and the fond memories of the banquets themselves suggests the importance of community and food in a difficult time of service.