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Thursday, March 03, 2005


You are probably saying, "oh no, if he's talking about his dishes he's run into blogger fatigue already! No, pull through, pull through! Run to the light Carol Ann, run to the light!"

Don't worry. I don't have blogger fatigue or blogger block, yet. Really, I want to tell you about a few of my favorite dishes, and I don't mean recipes. I mean plates, glasses, and flatware. I know it sounds mundane, and well, it is. I mean they're only inanimate objects. But they're my special inanimate objects, dammit, and they are as much a part of my "tablescape" (God, I hate that word! What silly newspeak.) as the food I lovingly prepare.

Favorite Plate

Mikasa Saucer with Homemade Linguica and Home-cured (lye-cured, salt-cured, water-cured) Olives

My favorite plate isn't a dinner plate or even a serving dish. It's a 1960's Mikasa Focus-Shape blue-green Tartan pattern saucer. I found it in a thrift store on the peninsula, along with a bunch of cool, mismatched silverware, and heavy, black leather shoes. All of this for the low, low price of $3 and some change. It was hidden between a stack of saucers on the lower level of some dusty shelves, tucked away in a corner. I didn't know what it was at first, but the pattern immediately caught my eye. I love it. I use it mostly for cheese (I'm thinking, Roquefort Carles, yes that's it), but I'll also use it for any small bites, such as olives. Mikasa is a Japanese town on the island of Hokkaido, and at first I thought this was perhaps a Post-War Japan antique. It was later that I learned that Mikasa (the brand) was created in the late 50's by a guy from California. I wonder, though, if "Mikasa" isn't just a twist on "Mi Casa". Or perhaps, George Aratani's family, the founder of Mikasa, is from the town of Mikasa, Japan. Anyway. Cool saucer.

Favorite Glass

This is how I see the world.

My favorite glass, the one I always drink out of, is an Imperial pint glass, made in France, that Bruce and I found in a wooded area next to a Norman church in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. It was sitting, with a little beer left in it, on a picnic table, apparently by someone engaged in sinning the night before. We ducked into this wooded area to ditch this total freak who thought because we had engaged in a friendly hello, we were suddenly bonded for life. This guy was literally following us from shop to shop; don't ask me why. Anyway, I love it because it is the perfect size for beverages. It fits really well in my hand. And, of course, it reminds me of our trip to Britain and the great, hand-pulled beer and scrumpy we had. Ah! Cold scrumpy after a day of walking all over town, or that tepid ale with some fine British pub food. You know, I don't know why, but I had always heard and believed that British food sucked. I think this misconception is a hold-over from the rationing days of post-war Britain. I can personally tell you that far from sucking, British food in pubs was better than most American food I've eaten in restaurants. And the food stalls in Oxford's covered market, the butcher shops selling faggots and scotch eggs in small Cotswold villages, the cheeses, the full English breakfasts at the B&Bs; oh my Gee-odd! Absolutely amazing! We had the best fish and chips in a shop run by Turks in Islington. And we had the best pizza I think I've ever had in Hay-on-Wye. It was a lamb kebab pizza with local cheddar cheese and mozzarella. We sat in the pizza place listening to a techno/house concert broadcast live from Belfast, trying to not burn the roof of our mouths with hot cheese, while two young, hip women sitting next to us were having a conversation in Welsh. One day I would like to try and replicate that pizza, or maybe I should just go back to Wales. Yes, I think I will.

Favorite Fork

Bruce's Forks (L) and Mine (R).

Actually, this is not really a chosen favorite. It's simply that Bruce eats with only one style of fork, leaving me to choose the other style of fork by default. This began when I came to live with him. I don't understand why he has two styles of forks, but only eats with one. So, then, since I began to eat with the other style, that's all I ever eat with now, even though I could use his style of fork if I wanted to. But I'm sure that as soon as I do, Bruce will ask me why I'm eating with his fork and tell me to get my own. Yes. This is what I have to live with. I've given up and now I eat with the default style of fork.

Later: Favorite Kitchen Gadgets.



Blogger Sam said...

my SF friend katja has that same crockery set. You can see some pictures here

11:08 AM  

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