Kitchen Table Memories

moms-chinaGrowing up, we had our Melamine dishes for every day use, and good china for company. I wasn’t allowed to touch the good dishes until I was well into my teenage years. This was a special set of Noritake china that my parents brought over from Japan. The design was different from any I’ve seen anywhere else. I remember the first time I was allowed to eat from one of the special plates. Boy, did I feel grown up! I don’t even remember what I ate, but I felt so good about having used it and not breaking it.

tupperwareOur everyday place setting included Tupperware cups and bowls. We had the set of six: pink, white, blue, orange, yellow, and green. Somehow I was assigned the pink, my brother Mike got the white, and youngest brother Ken got blue. I always drank out of the pink cup and ate cereal from the pink bowl. We never really questioned it; that’s just the way it was. One day after eating his cereal from his blue bowl, Ken asked for some grapes. Mom put a few in the yellow bowl. He got very indignant at having to eat out of a bowl that wasn’t his! He’s a lot more flexible now.

my-chinaWhen I got married, I chose what I considered a very simple but elegant china pattern, and our wedding and shower guests generously supplied us with twelve sets plus all the accessories. Over the past thirty-five years, that set has been used perhaps a dozen times. It’s sad, isn’t it? But the occasions in which we used them were special – holiday dinners with the family, and special times with special people. Now, we tend to use disposable plates and flatware so that we can spend more time chatting with our guests. Lately, the holiday gatherings have been at my daughter’s house, so our china sits unused in our hutch. I wonder if our kids remember ever using it.

kid-stuffWhen my first daughter was eighteen months old, I took her to Japan to meet her great-grandmother. My relatives there gave us a dish set (divided plate, bowl, and matching cup) that had some cute cartoon-like drawings on it. We brought the set home, and she used it for a long time. When my second daughter arrived, they sent us another set. Now, my grandchildren use them, and every time I watch them use these dishes I’m taken back a few decades to when their mom and aunt were small. I remember feeling so rushed and harried as a working mom. Now I wish I could relive those days.

Hubby and I tend to use our Corelle dishes most of the time, and paper plates when we have a big crowd. But maybe once in a while I ought to take out the good china. After all, if the people I live with aren’t special enough, who is?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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12 Responses to Kitchen Table Memories

  1. jeff7salter says:

    ah, yes — the “good” dishes. Those which are rarely used, and then only for special gatherings. And they can’t be washed in the dishwasher. Must be hand-washed and dried.
    I think we had three sets of wedding dishes: some fancy china, a sturdy set of Frankoma (which was my favorite), and possibly some correlle “unbreakable” dishes (unless those came later).
    We also have a set of Coaching Scene china that (I think) came from her grandmother.
    We’ve either lost or broken pieces of everything but the fancy china — which my wife protects like it belonged to the Queen of England.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      We’ve actually put our good china dishes in the dishwasher. Not the cups, because those would rattle around too much, but the plates have all been power washed – which seems safer, since they’re not going to be handled (and potentially dropped) when they’re soapy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We don’t use our good china very often either, Patti. But we love to mix and match our Fiestaware dishes for a colorful table. I remember using the blue and white willow pattern dishes as a child. Every time I see them I remember the boisterous dinners with my large Irish family. What a fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      What fun! I remember the blue willow dishes. How nice that you can associate them with good times.Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth!


  3. It is really amazing the significance dishes have in our lives! I love the stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your parents’ dishes sound like a treasure.

    My parents only got out the China for Thanksgiving ( probably Christmas too) when I was younger. I remember feeling grown-up when we ate dinner off them.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Isn’t that so true? I also have a set of China we seldom use. Mostly it’s brought out for holidays but sometimes not even then. Beautiful serving pieces, too. What am I waiting for? I’ll probably give the set to my daughter someday and maybe she’ll use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I used to think my daughter might want my china, but I have the feeling she won’t. She’s a busy lady and more prone to using paper plates than anything else. Maybe it’ll pay for my retirement home. Thanks so much for visiting, Lucy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane Burton says:

    It’s funny how we all remember the “good” dishes and the everyday. When my daughter got married, they only registered for one set of Pfaltzgraff–everyday & good dishes combined. Then her grandmother gave her a set of handpainted china. Her “good” dishes. I use my good dishes for holidays and Corelle for everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I think that’s the trend now, Diane. My daughter only registered for one set of stoneware. They’re nice looking, so she uses them whether they have company or not. If we ever celebrate another holiday here I’ll have to take out my good dishes.

      Liked by 1 person

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