Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Kitchen Kollectibles: Use Vintage Pieces – Don’t Hide Away the Memories

November 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

Editor’s note: Scott Simmons will be at the Antique Show at the South Florida Fairgrounds Nov. 4-6; stop by and say hello, and tell him you’ve read his Kitchen Kollectibles columns here.

Covered vegetable bowl in Lenox Colonial pattern /photo by Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

By Scott Simmons, columnist

Each Thanksgiving, Grandma would set the table with her Lenox china.

The set had belonged to her mother-in-law, a woman she admired.

And each year, she would sigh and reflect on how she wished we children could have known our great-grandmother.

“You would have loved her,” Grandma said.

She said that when she looked at the china, with its raised enameled flowers and urns in hues of burgundy and blue, she saw my great-grandmother.

And perhaps she saw memories of happier times.

Lion's head bowl /photo courtesy ScottSimmonsAntiques.com

Not merely a plate or bowl

This cherished object, that much-loved recipe are part of what evoke memories of other times. I can’t think of cranberry sauce without picturing Grandma’s lion-head bowl.

I know now that bowl, in the Amazon pattern, was made in the 1890s, and that it probably had a lid at one time.

But who cares?

All I see is a can of fresh Ocean Spray, ready to be sliced and ready to be savored by my 10-year-old self.

Of course, I make my own cranberry sauce, and the bowl is perfect for serving it, or my friend Concetta’s pickled green tomato relish.

And I reflect on Grandma, and the four years that she has been gone.

That, my friends, is the perfect mix.

Bring out the china and silver – and remember those who used them

Grandma’s bowl only would fetch a few dollars at an antiques show. But it’s priceless to me for the memories it evokes.

So, that bowl you received as a wedding present from Grandma? Use it. Unless it’s a museum piece, it needs to be used and enjoyed. Those fine scratches and nicks form the patina of an object well used.

And, hopefully, memories to savor.

* * *

Scott Simmons is a South Florida writer whose passion is antique china and glassware. He has written about collectibles for more than 10 years as The Palm Beach Post’s “Look What We Found” columnist. His Kitchen Kollectibles column highlights food and dining ephemera. Write him at scott.simmons.writer@gmail.com, and visit his website, ScottSimmonsAntiques.com

Tags: Holiday cooking · Kitchen Kollectibles: Scott Simmons on vintage items

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