900. The 900th handed on a plate
© Bruce Goodman 28 March 2016

It’s the 900th story on the 900th day! How to celebrate? Some people in their excitement toss their handbag in the air; some throw high their mortar board; yet others get tipsy and post pictures of themselves in the nude. I need to find something equally exciting to celebrate this occasion…

I know! I shall tell you about my crockery!

I don’t have much crockery, but the bits I have are used frequently and with pleasure. My regular plates are Libretto by Mikasa. It cost a pretty penny about sixteen years ago in North Carolina, and has been used almost every day since. It’s stoneware, and is now starting to look a bit scratched. I never saw the point of getting a dinner set for cabinet display. There’s eight pieces in the set, although one saucer broke when bringing it to New Zealand from Quebec, and I dropped the sugar bowl a couple of years back.

Then about fourteen years ago, in a quaint second hand shop on the banks of the French Broad River, in Asheville, North Carolina, I spied a turkey dish. It was selling for nearly $100, but I liked it, so bought it. It has been used (and washed) lovingly every celebration (turkey or not) since. It’s called “Home for Thanksgiving” by Johnson Brothers. It might not be that rare or unusual, but it’s quite my most cherished thing.

Then, to impress with finger food on hoity-toity occasions, there’s this little dish, again by Johnson Brothers. It is called “Leaving the Village”. Although costing only a couple of dollars, it was purchased online at considerable personal cost. I lost a lifetime of good reputation in a single purchase. The woman selling the plate online via a fairly reputable website never sent the dish I purchased, so I complained. She answered with an apology; her grandmother had died and she had to attend the funeral. Scanning through previous comments on her pages, I replied that I was sad to hear her grandmother had died for the sixth time. Well! Did that press a button! “The characteristics of this trader: callousness and arrogance beyond compare. A ‘lovely’ email acts as testimate to the true calibre of his character. With a 100% reputation from over 600 trades I have come across some prickly people, but this 'gentleman' takes the cake. Do yourself a favour and blacklist, he's simply not worth the effort.” This stands as the crowning achievement in my online-purchasing-career, and serves as a story repeated whenever cucumber sandwiches are served. I’m still blacklisted by the website. I follow the seller with interest. Her grandmother sadly passed away several more times, but seems to have eventually snuffed it permanently. The seller is now a simple student struggling to earn money to become an eye specialist so she can help poor blind people in Africa! I would buy another dish to help her out if I wasn’t blacklisted.

Then there is the French Fish Dish (on the left), along with a French Cake Dish. I do like them. They are Sarreguemines and are not of great value. And I have never managed to find a fish long enough to fill the length of the plate. Besides, if I did, such a long fish wouldn’t fit in the oven. But the plates get used daily on the table piled with fresh fruit for the taking. And on special occasions they get used for this and that – nibbles, a bit of this and a bit of that!

Finally, a few years ago I visited a second hand store and there was a Christmas dinner set for six on display. “How much?” I asked. It was $15. I bought it, and it gets used from American Thanksgiving until the Feast of the Epiphany! Who said I wasn’t organized? The picture has food on the plate – just to prove that I sometimes eat.

There now! That’s my crockery! Fascinating eh? I bet you’re glad I didn’t celebrate the 900th by throwing my handbag in the air.

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