January 05, 2012

To Keep the Pepper from the Salt


It was my mother's idea. To pass the china down to me. The china that was passed down to her. Delicate china that will break if the slightest misstep.

I took such a misstep.

But these things happen.

We pulled the china from the newsprint and ran the water until hot. With soapy sponge we washed, then rinsed, and set to dry.

The following day I stacked neatly on the dining room table. Saucers. Plates. Cups. Bread plates. Bowls. Platters, and the like.

Made in England.

It made me wonder how ever did they make the trip? So delicate. So prone to a misstep.

The set was not complete, though. There had been many missteps before.

We emptied two plastic containers from the upstairs hall closet. Retrieved old newsprint from the basement, and made quick work of rewrapping, nesting, and securing the china.

Everything was put away.

And then on a day where I scrubbed the house from head to toe with white vinegar and lavender, I took notice of the pepper sitting atop the salt container.

The pepper flecks. The inevitability of the flecks falling from the chamber onto the lid of the salt container after each use.

Well, I was tired of it. Tired of laying the grinder on it's side, after a good shake. Rinsing the lid of the salt container and then placing the grinder back atop, only to see a fleck. Just one. Enough to get my goat.

I decided then and there that I would remedy this for good.

I went to one of the plastic containers and lifted the lid. I found a small dish. Could it be a finger bowl? I did not know. It would do. And it did.

No more rinsing the salt container lid to remove flecks of pepper. No more lifting the grinder from the salt container lid just to retrieve salt. I had made the kitchen infinitely more efficient—in a way—I guess.


  1. It is beautiful, you must make use of it. China has to be used not wrapped in paper. Is it Spode? Coalport? I have never seen the design before and I have seen a lot of china.

  2. Kath - I know, but I have butterfingers. The name on the bottom of the china is: Seaforth Enoch 1784 Ralph 1750 Wood's Burslem England.

    Denise - It's attention getting.

    Lindsey - Thank you. It is a beautiful punch of color.

  3. Burslem is part of the Potteries. The potteries is Stoke on Trent and the surrounding area, not far from where I live, and in the West Midlands of England and very famous for the china it produced until quite recently when most production went overseas and probably to China with a capital C. This site might help you identify the age of the pottery from the stamp if you are interested, http://www.thepotteries.org/mark/w/wood_sons.html
    See, I am a china geek!

  4. Kath - Wow! You are the best. This is really helpful. I will check it out AND yes, you are quite the china geek :)

  5. Stunning china. It is just begging to be used, Tracy.

  6. Beautiful dishes, beautiful thoughts. How lovely all around!

  7. Tracy, I've been enjoying these new slant, outside-your-kitchen domestic posts--artful glimpses into your lovely home.


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