Beautiful things were made to be enjoyed, and I was reminded of that the other day.
My mother-in-law had just purchased a complete set of china at a local thrift store. She especially liked the pretty floral pattern painted on the inside of each tea cup, which she thought gave it a little something extra.
It was a splurge, she said.
Mom's always wanted a more formal set of china and couldn't resist the incredibly low price.
"But now that I have one I don't have many special occasions to actually use it," she said.
She considered it too good for everyday use.
"If you love your new plates and cups so much, why don't you use them now?" I asked.
That's when it hit me.
In every household, there is the so-called good stuff. You know, the things that only come out when there are guests, or a party, or at Christmas.
I have my own pile of good stuff.
Like my set of lovely cut-glass salt cellars. They're tucked way in the back of my china cabinet, flawless and unused. I'm still imagining someday filling them with fluffy fleur de sel.
I'm not sure if I'm waiting for the queen to visit or just some amazingly romantic date, but as much as I try to ignore it, I hear them calling out to me, "Yoo hoo, Lynn, we're gathering dust in here."
I'm a frequent shopper at estate sales. I've found some wonderful, fabulous treasures and occasionally come home with a great find and say, "Look at this ... It's never, ever been used before."
It always makes me bit sad that the person had saved the piece for some special occasion that never came.
Why should my salt cellars outlive me?
Point is, these beautiful things were made to be enjoyed, and what better time to break out the special dishes, than now. As the L'Oreal commercial says, we're "worth it."
Oh, speaking of good stuff, since the heat has me feeling like I'm living in the tropics lately, I reached for some fresh pineapple to make this pineapple sherbet. Cool, creamy and fruity with a little tartness, I think I've found my favorite way to enjoy pineapple this summer.
Lynn Kessel is a freelance food columnist and blogger. For more of her recipes, visit southshore.tbo.com and enter the search words Lynn Kessel or look for her blog at www.lynnkessel.blogspot.com.