14 August, 2008

...With a Silver Spoon In Your Mouth

There's something really nice about eating with silver utensils...something that makes a meal kind of special, even if the food is on styrofoam plates. That's why I set the table with good quality antique silverplate for every meal.

Now, I'm not wealthy, but my well-equipped kitchen has benefited greatly from auctions, estate sales, church rummage sales, and thrift stores. I've purchased wonderful, gently-used professional-grade kitchen equipment from such sources for over twenty-five years, and finding flatware from the same sources has enabled us to use silverplate and sterling for our "everyday" flatware at very little cost.

We have several sets, some complete, some not. Often, we mix and match sets the way we mix and match the colors and patterns of our Polish pottery dinner service. Of course, we have the Most Elegant China and the Heirloom Wedding Silver From Grandmother for formal dining occasions, but we've found ourselves taking all that stuff out less and less as we've relaxed and stopped caring so much about tight formality. Long before Martha decreed it acceptable, eccentrics like me with a sense of fun have set our tables with mirthful chaos.

It's easy to do, even if you're broke (like me) or cheap (ha! like me again!) Check your local paper and craigslist on line for rummage sale and estate sale listings in your area. Spend a few hours on a Saturday morning browsing through the sales for kitchen treasures, and you'll turn up lots of great deals. The photo above shows the gorgeous antique Rogers silverplate I picked up this past weekend at an estate sale: service for 12 for three dollars! And not a scratch or a worn-out bit on them! Can you believe it?

Dollar stores are great sources for accessories, like colorful cloth placemats, napkins and napkin rings, and even plates and cups. My daughter and I picked up some fabulous china at a Dollar General store last summer - Square plates with rounded corners and big, bold orange-and-pink flowers. Yes, I know, they sound hideous, but they're actually very retro-mid-sixties and look incredibly awesome when we set the table for lunch.

1 comment:

Tina Butler said...

Hi Dave thanks for stopping by my blog. I hadnt had a real orange julius since high school myself. Geez that was long ago I cant believe i have been out of high school for 24 years ugh i am getting up there.

I love craigs list you can find some awesome treasures. I am just like you cheapo, alot of people say i am cheap but oh well they are just jealous of all the steals i find. Ü