Monday, October 12, 2009

I Love real Silverware!

For those who know me well, that is not real news. I've been using sterling flatware for my everyday eating since my grandmother left me hers in 1986. I never knew the name of grandma's pattern, but it is very simple, and well-used since the early 1900's when she was married. It's engraved with an M. The remarkable thing about her flatware is that there are literally dozens of serving pieces -- from meat forks to lemon forks and pickle tongs. The unfortunate thing is that there are only 5 dinner forks.

I took custody of my mother's sterling when she passed away in 1999. It too has just 5 dinner forks, though there are also 5 salad forks, more spoons, and 6 knives. She had only a few serving pieces.

I've been eating happily off of these two sets, quietly wishing that they were the same pattern. And I also quietly have been combing antique shops, looking at more sterling.

On Friday, I got lucky. Jack and I were in downtown Big Rapids, and visited the Big Rapids Antique Shop. Darlene showed us a set of sterling flatware which we both just loved. It's Reed & Barton Diamond pattern and there are 8 six-piece place settings (salad, and dinner forks, soup and tea spoons, dinner knife, and butter knife) and 14 serving pieces! I bought the set!

Yesterday, I polished each piece and .. my goodness, what a shine they make! Today we'll shop for a drawer divider large enough for such a magnificent set of silver.

I am not sure exactly when my love affair with sterling began. I remember eating from grandma's silver when I was a little girl. Of course, I remember the family dinners with my mother's sterling. And my Auntie Dots told me of her grandmother. She explained why she always ate ice cream from a sterling spoon. "Plate leaves a taste..."

I suppose it reminds me of a more genteel time -- a time when ladies had more time to set pretty tables, when people enjoyed entertaining friends, when people moved a bit more slowly and savored the finer things. That's where I am now. I have time to set a pretty table, I love having friends over for dinner, and I love taking the time to drive off the big roads, seeing smaller communities and .. just taking time to smell the lilacs. And I love my sterling silverware!