Okay, before I wade in here, let it hereby be known: I want comments on this post. Please! Pretty please with sugar on top! I don't care if you comment anonymously; I'll approve any comment so long as it's decent and not spam. I want some opinions, and I want those of you who think you don't have an opinion on this to come up with one and share it with me.
BTW, this is one of my random posts, so I expect that the comments might be random, too. That's good, that's what we need here...y'all are my therapists...help me out here. Because it's random, I have to use bullet points. I think in bullet points.
•Do you know anyone else crazy enough to want to develop a Philosphy Of Dinnerware?
•We were talking around here the other day about inviting a group of 10-15 people over, and in the course of the discussion it came up that we do not have enough dessert plates or bowls to feed that many people.
•We've fed dessert to a group that size before by using both plates and bowls. But if we were to serve something that specifically required a bowl or a plate, we would not have enough of either.
•We used to have enough of everything to feed 16 people.
•The set of 16 place settings were this neat swirly bistro-looking pattern in cobalt, spring green, and yellow on a white background. We got all 16 settings for $40 at K-Mart. We live large. (Before this we had pink and gray Pfaltzgraff, about which the less said the better.)
•After 10 plus years of use the K-Mart dishes got really nasty and chipped and scraped up. So I started out looking for something to replace them.
•My goal was to buy "everyday dishes" and use them for company also, but then start accumulating "good dishes" to use for company.
•Thanks to a series of fortuitous Ebay purchases, we ended up with a lot of blue transferware. We have enough dinner plates to feed an army, a handful of small plates, ditto small bowls, and a bunch of tea cups with fiddly little handles that infuriate men with large fingers.
So, that brings us to where we are today. Now, where I need help is this: I am overthinking this issue to the Nth degree. The simple way to handle things would be to get on Ebay and buy some blue transferware dessert bowls and plates. And also some cups with decent handles. But it gets sticky...so here are the philosophical/practical/stupid questions messing with my brain:
•Transferware does not seem to have been made in any kind of robust, manly, coffee mug shape.
•I dream of someday having china cabinet full of creamy ivory china with gold rims. In the china cabinet I would also have miscellaneous pieces of other china in different colors and styles which I would effortless combine with the basic ivory pieces to create beautiful "tablescapes" for all occasions.
•Tom is concerned that guests would feel uncomfortable eating on dishes with gold rims. Even though we know that "good china" is usually more durable than inexpensive stoneware, and even though those gold rims can go in the dishwasher. He still thinks we would be rude to make our guests feel uncomfortable by using them.
•I like too many different kinds of dishes to make up my mind. But if I buy a place setting of each thing I like, will the table look chaotic?
•If I have all blue and white dishes on the table is it overwhelming?
•Do people feel pressured to eat lightly if the plates are too small? The blue and white plates are a little over 9 inches; most modern dinner plates are at least 11 inches. Will my company feel like they are being put on a diet with small plates?
•In my opinion, most food looks good on blue plates. Am I just biased because I like blue? Do any of you hate the look of food on blue? In your opinion, what would be a better background color?
•I saw an online discussion recently where some people said that it is "snobbish" to use nice dishes when one entertains. These people recommended paper plates or inexpensive plastic plates to make guests feel comfortable.
•Do you notice dishes and tablesettings when you eat at someone's house? Or do you notice the food more? Or are you a conversation and people person? (I thought I noticed dishes, until Natalie and I tried to remember what kind of dishes several friends have and came up almost blank...and I know we've eaten off of something other than paper plates at these folks' houses.)
So, if you were a Dinnerware Counselor, what would you suggest I do? Please feel free to share your opinions even if you've not been in our house. I promise to take any and all suggestions seriously even if you say something like "carve bowls out of birchbark".
Speak out, speak up...vote for something that really matters. :)