Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a fiesta (without the radioactivity)!

No, actually we're not having a non-nuclear party. ::grin:: (Well, dad and I are having one this Saturday for the SEC Championship game, and that might go nuclear, but that's another thing entirely.)

My mom has had some dinnerware in storage that I've coveted for years. Some of the pieces were my great-grandmother's, even. She'd already passed on her Lenox china (saying she never used it) so I didn't want to ask for anything else. But this Thanksgiving the opportunity arose... I was helping her clear out some cabinets and such, and she asked me if there was anything I wanted. So I mentioned the boxes of Fiestaware stored in the attic. It's a mixed assortment - cinnabar dinner plates, ivory salad plates, shamrock dessert bowls, some random serving pieces, and a gazillion small coffee cups/saucers in two different colors. (OK, that's an exaggeration. There's more like 14, but everything else is in multiples of 8, so that counts as a gazillion in dish-math.) Our "walmart china" was on its last legs, so this gift/early inheritance was a boon to our pocketbook too. Thanks, mom!!

Aesthetically, it will take some getting used to - I'm all about things matching, and now none of our dishes match. But there's a wierd freedom to that too. Our stone cottage in Virginia had a definite "Italian" theme going, with olive colored dishes and such. With the Fiesta, we are no longer tied to keeping up a color theme. The philosopher is going to build a display shelf for some of the pieces - a beautiful evergreen platter, the sugar/creamer set (blue and... er... pink-ish, I think) and the small disk pitcher, which is bright yellow. It also goes well with our new kitchen, which has light, neutral wood/tile tones. So the new dishes add a bit of spark that our Italian-color pieces didn't quite do.

Some of the pieces, like the sugar/creamer and yellow coffee cups, were my great-grandmother's (bought when they first came out in the 30s). Mother added some of the other pieces when the line was re-introduced in the 70s. So not only do I have some excellent dinnerware now, I have a little piece of my family history too. As an only child, that's really important to me (and thanks go here to my hubby for understanding that!) I have some furniture from my father's parents - a walnut dining room table and a bedroom suite - and a rocking chair from my mother's mother. Now I have something from one of my "greats," so how cool is that?

Now, those of you who are familiar with Fiestaware have heard about the radioactive red plates from the mid-20th century. You know, the ones where the red color came from depleted (or natural!) uranium. Fortunately, we don't have any of the "radioactive red," so you are completely safe if you come to have dinner with us!

4 comments:

The Heart said...

Congrats!! My prents rescued the Fiestaware from my grandparents back pantry and they have been enjoying it immensely. They have even added a few new pieces. The colours are so much fun.

Matthew said...

Sally adores fiesta ware. And mis-matched plates and cups are part of the fun!

JAG said...

When I was going through radiation training in grad school, the prof did a demo with "radioactive red" fiestaware. The geiger counter went crazy! I'm glad you're without the red.

Zana said...

The new red is really pretty, though (and non-radioactive) so as we start to fill in the missing pieces don't be surprised to see it show up in our kitchen. 8-)