I love pretty dishes and special serving pieces. I do my best to pull them out regularly and not leave them shut up in a cupboard.
This set of blue leaf dishes is particularly special to me. They came–kind of–from my grandmother.
I say kind of because only one piece–the one in the centre–actually belonged to my grandmother.
My grandmother entertained regularly, but I only remember seeing her use the blue dish once. It is made up of four leaf bowls, one round bowl and a pair of leaf salt and pepper shakers. They all fit together and sit on a lazy Susan.
Despite only seeing it once, it made an impression on me. I love the colour and the form of the leaves and the way it all joins together.
When I was in university I went to an auction and all of a sudden a familiar looking blue leaf dish was on the block. It was three leaves joined together with a little handle. I bought it (probably for less than $20) and excitedly showed it to my grandmother.
My Grandma was a very organized, very practical woman. When she died, items throughout her house were labelled with the names of who should inherit them. My name was on the blue dishes and their lazy Susan.
A few years later, I found another dish at a flea market. This one was a pair of leaves with a little handle. I hesitated, but eventually made my way back to the vendor and bought the dish (again for less than $20).
I’m so glad I did because I haven’t seen one since. There’s not a maker’s name on the underside, though they’re obviously all made by the same manufacturer. My grandmother’s set has her name on a fabric sticker on the bottom of each piece, a throwback to when she would take the dishes to church suppers.
I love that I’ve been able to amass a little set on my own. And I love putting them to use. They are perfect for Mexican night, when each dish is filled with its own ingredient. Set on the lazy Susan in the middle of the table, the big piece spins around so people can build their own tacos without having to constantly pass bowls around the table.
The double leaf dish holds fried onions and peppers, while the trio holds salsa, sour cream and guacamole (or as my MIL called it when we had them in to dinner, Guatemala. Sorry, Audrey. It was too funny not to share.)
We’re making our own memories with these dishes. Even though only one of them officially belonged to my Grandma, they all make me think of her and feel more good memories.
Who else loves dishware? Do you have any sets that you’ve collected over time? Or do you have any special pieces you’ve inherited?
beautiful dishes, beautiful writing.
Thanks so much, Margaret.
Your special dishes are beautiful, Julia. We enjoyed your dinner very much- thank you! I’m glad I provided some humour…lol
We enjoyed having you over. It’s always nice to spend time together.
I believe your dishes are by California Pottery. Very unusual and beautiful!
Thanks for suggesting that. From a quick internet search, it looks like that’s the case. I’m so happy to learn this. Thank you!
Very pretty dishes and I love how they work perfectly for Mexican night!
I have quite a few of my grandmother’s dishes, and I have a complete set of china that I got many years ago, but it is stored away. I keep thinking that I really should use it. Even if a piece gets accidentally broken, it is better than being stored away where no one can enjoy it!
You totally should! There are lots of options available now for replacements too if you ever decide you want to augment your set, or have to replace a piece that is broken.