I can’t believe I have started a blog post on serving dishes. You must think that I am scraping the barrel. But, pathetic or not, serveware is a subject about which I am passionate and to which I have given considerable thought! You are much more likely to see me in the homewares section of a department store than a clothes or makeup section.
I fondly remember compiling my John Lewis gift list (bridal registry). An awful lot of thought went into every item. Many people think of gift lists as being overly materialistic, but I think they are very special, for when compiling your list you are imagining what aspects of your married life will look like: what saucepan will make your dinners every day (the easiest one to clean – not, I assure you, your Le Creuset), which plates will grace your table on special occasions etc etc.
One thing that was prevalent in my mind when making these decisions was that I wanted everything to match. You see, after living at university and abroad, I had acquired a whole host of mismatched stuff, none of it very good quality. Add Marc and his totchkes to the equation (think forks that fall apart as you are eating) and I can be forgiven for wanting new shiny matching things, right? I was so excited at the thought of hosting my first dinner not out of a Sainsbury’s oven dish and an old stained Pyrex casserole.
It is undeniably nice to have matching sets. But what I didn’t account for at the time is how special it is to have those odd pieces which you love, that have significance for you, that you spot once and know you won’t see again or that were gifted to you.
Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen has a section on kitchen equipment in her new book. There she recommends that her readers find the most beautiful platter or cake stand they have ever seen and ask for it for a birthday. What a wonderful tip!
I am soon to turn 30 and my gorgeous friend Sophia, who knows me so very well, bought me the best and most thoughtful and ‘me’ present imaginable: a Highland Stoneware
serving dish. She is from Scotland, so it is particularly apt. I shall treasure it forever. And I love the fact that it doesn’t come in a set.
Another such item is my Marinoni platter. I had had my eye on this for so long but, owing to the price, I didn’t allow myself to splurge. When Marc and I moved into our new house, my father bought us the platter as a moving in gift. It is one of my favourite things!
So there are my thoughts on serveware for you. You dream of matchiness, and then you see the beauty of one-off pieces. It’s nice to mix things up!
What are your favourite serving dishes and why?