When do you use your "good silverware?"

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When SC and I married he had sterling tableware from his marriage then, and I didn't like the pattern at all so he gave it to one of his sons. Why would I want to use silverware I don't like?;)
I gave the sterling silverware to my son and DIL who were absolutely thrilled with it. They polished it all up and tossed their stainless flatware.
I use Mom's china almost daily, my MIL's silverplate the same. Both Mom's gave them to me because they knew I appreciated them and would use them. I have a handmade stoneware set from Ireland, that is MY good dinnerware, use it monthly.
My mum bought two sets of Georg Jensen stirling silver cutlery at an estate sale and never used them. She bought it for me and my sister. We use it for supper all the time. We don't have any "good" china. One of these days we will buy something that we like and we will use it every day. The stuff we have is okay, but there isn't enough of it left to use when we have a supper party, so it's some of each of two sets.
Our good silverware is actually silver plate flatware that my Dad earned over the period of a few years as safe driving awards. I always bring it out when Himself's sis and BIL roll down the hill to come over for a meal, whether it's one of the BIG holidays or just a bite to eat. I mean to use it more often, but I'm lazy and can pop my stainless steel into the dishwasher. I don't have to polish the silver often, since I got a nice silverware chest from e-Bay back when I had a habit of acquiring "stuff". I don't go there anymore since I'm moving the "stuff" in the other direction. Don't want to fuss with being a seller on e-Bay; it's so much easier donating things to worthy causes around me.

The good china is actually Pfaltzgraff stoneware. My Mom bought us a full set of everything when she found out she was going to be a grandma. We took them on vacation to York when the factory was there and the store was right in the factory. Mom went bonkers (pedestal mugs AND cup-and-saucers? soup plate AND bowl? on and on...). I would use my MIL's Franciscan Desert Rose china if Himself would let me, but he's afraid of breaking something. instead, I bought four dinner plates (e-bay again) that we rotate to at dinner time.
I have four sets of sterling. My great grandma's, both my grandmas' sets, and my great aunt's. I use my maternal grandma's everyday. I do, however, count the pieces before I put it away in the silver chest to make sure one hasn't gone in the garbage or out to the compost heap.

I do prefer sterling for stirring coffee and eating creamed soups. May just be me, but I think it improves the taste. If you use it daily, you don't need to polish it.
We have a set of plastic-like dishes that we use for everyday (paper plates it on them wonderfully so you don't have to was the plate of you're just having the sandwich and chips for a lunch). We have a stoneware set that we use whenever we have someone over for lunch and on holidays. Our silverware is mix-and-match all in 1 drawer.
Our good silver is a very, very old Rogers Bros. pattern than has long been discontinued and is now over 100-years-old and we love it. It wears its age well and we use it. It speaks of times long gone and that always makes me smile when the table is set with it.

Similarly, our china is an old Homer Laughlin pattern, also discontinued, and also old. Not quite a century but getting there. It's a gentle, lovely pattern and also speaks of a different era.

I'm in the process of planning a monthly "date" dinner for Glenn and me and will go all out with the table when I finalize my plan.

The silver and china are supplemented with antique crystal, cut glass and assorted silver pieces, along with bits and pieces of Depression glass I use to draw out the colors in the china pattern.

When the table is fully set, even a hamburger becomes special.

You can see some of the pieces in the attached Thanksgiving picture Buck and I enjoyed eons ago.


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Beautiful setting Katie. not to mention it also looks delish! Is that a lime jello and cottage cheese mold?

Sort of. It's lime jello, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, chopped nuts and cream cheese No cottage cheese. Been made on major holidays in my family since before I was born and I'm looking at 70. My children affectionately call it "green salad" and I'd be shot if I even considered NOT preparing it for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's more like dessert to me than a salad.
It took me nearly 20 years to accumulate a service for 18 of everything but it was a fun treasure hunt.

I also supplement our table with beautiful pieces of old discontinued glass serving pieces and other goodies. Our china cabinet is full to overflowing and there is a separate closet in the den chock full of bowls, platters, pitchers, etc. that I've discovered over the years. Some pieces I paid pennies for, others probably a bit more than I should have but those were scarce and I bought them when I saw them. Nearly everything is pristine.

The china has a silver border that adds a little shimmer and is complemented by all the glassware and silver when the table is fully set.
I never intended to have a separate set of "the good" flatware but I got them as a wedding present that had us all rolling on the floor. The flatware I bought myself (as opposed to the stuff my parents got me at an outlet for my first apartment) is pretty funny in and of itself. It's "Pisces" by Reed Barton. The handles are stylized fish.

What could be funnier than that, you ask, for people who neither fish nor live near the beach? Well, when we got married at age 54, we asked people to forego presents because we were combining two full houses. My sister-in-law had to break the rules, though. She found a GOLD PLATED service for 8 of my fish flatware at a Reed Barton outlet for less than $50! It's a hoot!

It was par for the course, I suppose. Many years ago I won Greg Lougainis's bathing suit at a charity auction and gave it to her for Christmas.
My first wife and I were given a fine sterling set of flatware when we married.. It didn't come from a family member so there was not a lot of sentimental value attached to it..

About 20 years into our marriage, we decided to let it go when the value of silver went sky high.. We had dragged it along through many moves and seldom used it.. Neither our son or daughter cared for it so we financed a very memorable trip to Acapulco with the proceeds of the sale..

The memory of that trip is priceless.. The silverware, not so much..

Our good silverware is whatever is clean. No fancy dinnerware or dishes for us. I think I have talked my wife into spending maybe 20-30 bucks on a utensil set. Most of ours are hand me downs or wally world 1.99 for 4 pieces. I did spend .99 cents each on a couple Goodwill teaspoons the other day.
Forgot my folks' sterling. Trying to find the "bad" silverware...might be in the box in the basement marked "old" flatware ... older than my great grandmas' "flatware"????
If you use it all the time, you don't have to polish it. My bro and I grew up counting it to make sure a piece didn't go in the garbage. I still count it.
...Similarly, our china is an old Homer Laughlin pattern...
Lovely dinnerware set, Katie! I bet most people nowadays think "Fiesta Ware" when they hear Homer Laughlin, but they made some very pretty floral patterns back in the day. I have an oval serving platter and serving bowl that were my MIL's. I love to use them, but am very careful to keep them intact. I also have (most of) an oval dish that I picked up cheap in a 2nd hand store, but chipped one edge when a cup bounced off of it. Hmm, pretty sturdy stuff, too! :LOL:
Lovely dinnerware set, Katie! I bet most people nowadays think "Fiesta Ware" when they hear Homer Laughlin, but they made some very pretty floral patterns back in the day. I have an oval serving platter and serving bowl that were my MIL's. I love to use them, but am very careful to keep them intact. I also have (most of) an oval dish that I picked up cheap in a 2nd hand store, but chipped one edge when a cup bounced off of it. Hmm, pretty sturdy stuff, too! :LOL:

Yes, Homer Laughlin made many varieties of tableware and is still producing beautiful things today, Fiesta dinnerware most likely being the most recognizable.
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I went through a spate of collecting late-19th/early-20th century covered vegetable dishes made in the Ohio River Valley, which was the capital of tableware in that era. Homer Laughlin was one of the more productive firms, producing hundreds of different patterns and designs.
I do have a 5 place setting of Fiestaware (buy 4 get one free)...5 different colors, the purple are mine...all mine. A 2 place setting of Mikasa "Berries" pattern. Various odds and ends of rice bowls, soup bowls. Let's face it I have lots of dishes, all of which get used regularly depending on what I am serving. All the flatware, silver and stainless, get used, too.
PF, we must be soul sisters. Or soup bowl sisters. I have various collections in my cupboards, too. In addition to the two sets mentioned earlier, one cupboard has a real mish-mash of plates and bowls. some we bought, and some were my Mom's from when I was a kid. I also have a habit of picking up hand-thrown bowls from our travels. I can pull out the one from Blue Ridge Pottery and remember our week around Charlottesville, VA. The shallow one with blueberries painted on the bottom is from a day trip my SIL and I took in central MA. I picked that one up at a little shop called the Blue Cupboard. Memories, all of them
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