Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White Plates and why?

Many years ago I had an English Professor, Dr. Jones, at DeSales University - at that time it was St. Francis DeSales College -  but it moved up in the world. Our class was complaining to him because he gave us an assignment with an impossibly short deadline; we said we would never be able to complete it on time. As I recall it was something like a 10 page paper on a Salman Rushdie novel. I've never forgotten what he said to us in response to our complaints. He said, "I could give you all the time in the world to do that assignment, but the truth is, a paper is never done, it is just due". 

How true. Like so many things in life - never really done, just due. If given the opportunity and the time, how many of us would go back and "redo" something - perfect it, tweak it just one more time. Maybe that's why I like blogging. I always have another day to go back and comment, tweak, readdress or redo. 

I like second chances too. It gives me the opportunity to make it better. Maybe that's why I love cooking so much. I can add an ingredient, change a cooking time, stir a little of this or a little that into the mix next time. 

I know that's why I like white plates. Years ago when I first married my husband Jim, like many couples today, we both had a household. We combined my stuff with his stuff to come up with a hodge podge of stuff. One day I decided that I wanted matching plates. I shopped and looked and picked up and hemmed and hawed over my dish choice for months, finally deciding on a Pfaltzgraff collection known as "Sedona". I just thought they were beautiful. Rust, blue, and golden circles on a beige-ish background. I bought everything in the set. Salt and Pepper shakers, platters, chip and dip, you name it. I spent a small fortune. What I didn't buy I received as gifts over the years. 

Then I started cooking. Alot. And the more I cooked, the more I hated those plates and dishes and bowls and mugs and platters. See, they were too done. They didn't need me to redo them or tweak them in any way. They were perfect all on their own. You could set a table with all that crockery and it was a perfect setting. 

So awhile back I put all those dishes in a side cupboard and bought all new plain, sparkling white dinnerware. Just white. Not a pattern to be seen. I love it. It needs me. The dishes need me to give them character. They are my canvass and I get to create on them everyday. Ruby red strawberries with glistening green tops nestled in deep square pure white bowls. Beautiful. Golden roasted chicken with crispy brown potatoes and bright orange carrots on a sea of white. Lovely. Deep brown molten chocolate cakes with the shock of raspberry puree on a bed of glistening white - perfect!

These plates are my research paper of the past. But unlike the paper, they allow me to recreate my food story everyday. So you see, dinner is never done. It's just due. And that Rushdie paper? I think I got an A. 

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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