Monday, January 25, 2010

Fine China

Our house hosted the Cooking Club on Saturday night. Dinner parties of the fancy manner don't happen very often in the Eid house so our china is very rarely used. Back when Brent and I registered for our wedding gifts he made it very clear that he didn't want to register for china. "Why have special dishes for special dinners that only happen a few times a year? A plate is a plate." Not one to argue with my fiance, I agreed.

I agreed so easily and gave in so quickly because packed away carefully was my Grandma's china set. She split the set between my sister and I, giving us each a set of eight. She handed the dishes down to us when dialysis forced her out of her lake home in Siren, Wisconsin and brought her to my parents home in Woodbury. I'll admit it. It wasn't that big of a deal to be getting her china. These were the same dishes we used every year for Thanksgiving at the Lake. The food was always delicious; the plates, bowls and cups always the same. I knew they were special, but I didn't understand how much they would mean to me until a few years later.

In October of 2004 my wonderful, strong, and loving Grandma passed away. She was lucky enough to go in her sleep. It was one of the saddest days of my life. She was inspirational. She had a lived a long life. She was my Grandma. One short month later was Thanksgiving. I had never even entertained thought of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. The magnitude of the entire meal seemed daunting, but that year it did not matter. I had to host. I had to clean, stuff, and bag a turkey just like I watched my Grandma do every Thanksgiving morning. I had to make the same stuffing she had always made. I had to whisk the gravy so it was smooth and free of lumps, just like my Grandma made me do for as long as I can remember. I had to dig out the china, set the table with thought and precision like my Grandma did every year for all of us.

Thanksgiving that year was emotionally hard. I talked to my Grandma as I prepared the meal like she was in the next room (in fact I still do this when I am stuck with some cooking malfunction..."Grandma, what do I do?") The meal was good, not as great as Grandma's would have been, but then again, no Thanksgiving meal will ever compare to hers. The plates made the table beautiful, but the memories made the meal satisfying.

I have realized that setting the table with her dishes makes me feel like a little bit of Grandma is enjoying the meal sitting along side of me.

1 comment:

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Oh that was sweet and made me smile. We don't have China, but I do have 2 special platters from my grandma that I use for special occasions.

If you are from MN - are you ready for the snow?!