If dishes could talk, these would have quite the story to tell.
Once sitting on the shelves of a shop in Japan, on an ordinary day in 1953, a handsome young sailor in a Navy uniform purchased them.
They travelled across the sea and ended up in a small farming town in Montana where they were gifted to a young lady who later became the handsome sailor’s bride.
They sat around the lacey tableclothed table and heard laughter of family celebrations. They clinked with the music of silverware ~ and stayed til the meal ended with a flourish of traditional steam pudding. After being carefully handwashed and dried, they were nestled all safe and snug in their buffet home until another special occasion rolled around.
One day, they found themselves being packed in bubble wrap and boxes, and placed in a suitcase for a trip up to Canada.
After spending so many years on the farm, they found themselves in a new home on an island in beautiful British Columbia.
The young bride to which they were given was now a Mom and Grandma, and she decided to pass her precious dish sets on to her children “while she was still alive ~ so she could watch them being enjoyed”.
I was thinking of this dish story as I dug them out of their snug little buffet home the other day. The handsome sailor was my dad, and his cute little bride ~ my mom.
It was a joy and delight to have so many great memories float through my mind as I planned and prepared, and set the table for a little holiday party we had here the other night. How grateful I am for the heritage of memories of my family and for the priviledge of being reminded of them with every plate, glass, teapot, and cream and sugar I pull out to use for special occasions.
This tablescape is really brought to you thanks to my Mom…and my Grandma (her mom), who taught me how to make a “proper” pot of tea ~ and modelled to me the art of hostessing.
Without a doubt, my favorite part of the hostessing process is setting the table and preparing the atmosphere. This time, the guests were bringing appetizers, so I cleared away a lot of space so they could sit on the top of the buffet and the table.
I alternated gold and woven chargers under the plates to give a rustically elegant eclectic look. Colorful paper Christmas napkins were a backdrop for the folded cloth napkin Christmas trees.
I was delighted to realize I had kept just enough cloth napkins for the occasion and found this simple and fun tutorial on how to fold them.
Since I was expecting 11 guests, and have only had 7 place settings of the blue and floral china, I added in a few plain white china plates we also got as wedding gifts. It was a sort of a mix and match affair, which sometimes is a little more exciting than matchy matchy anyway.
I’ll be honest. I was a little nervous about hosting 11 guests in our small space, but it worked out just fine.
If our dishes could tell the story of that night, they would say there was lots of delicious food and laughter gallore ~and that they are glad to be out of storage and being used again!:)
PS. The name of the china pattern is Noritake Nippon Toki Kaisha.