Saturday, October 27, 2012

Life is Too Short for Paper Plates

I was talking to Five Eleven today again about dishes and my quirk about drinking certain things out of certain glasses and eating things or not off certain types of dishes. And, growing up with a china cabinet full of fancy dishes that were hardly ever used.

I just couldn't imagine eating this off a paper would have to be very sturdy for one...and, well, why?
She isn’t particular about things like that. Except for a favorite coffee mug. A lot of people I know at least have a favorite cup for coffee or tea. Gives you a nice start to your day.

I have two different favorite ones. One was a gift from a friend. It’s covered with funny little robot/alien kinda people. Makes me smile. The other is a winter Japanese tea bowl style. It is a beautiful sage green color that I bought from Starbucks. One cools my drink down quicker…even though I joke about liking my coffee like my women…hot and black…I really prefer it barely hotter than warm. (Though I do like it black, or sometimes sweet or sometimes sweet and creamy…depends on my mood). The other holds the heat in…wonderful for warming my hands and holding close to my body while snuggled up on the couch with Five Eleven on a cold, cold day.

That cozy, warmth-holding tea bowl that I just love the feel of...from Starbucks.
This one makes me smile too.
Now, with drinks other than coffee, I insist on glass. Clear glass is best. To me, there are certain glasses that you can drink milk in and others you just can’t. Same with orange juice, iced tea, water…any kind of beverage. The glass has to have a certain feel in your hands and on your lips. The idea of drinking isn’t just to get the beverage into me…but to enjoy it. To make it an experience...of several senses.

Why do you think there are so many types of barware? Could you imagine drinking a margarita out of a pilsner glass? A cosmopolitan out of a shot glass? Or wine out of a tall cordial glass? Despite the popular thought that drinking is to do it in abundance, I think it’s all about the overall experience. Kind of why I don’t like to drink beer out of a can. It has to be a decent brew in a bottle or on tap in an appropriate beer glass. It’s about the feel and flavor of that one drink…not the saving calories or carbs and having it in mass quantities.

Onto dishes. Yes, we have paper plates here at the Chick Shack. I don’t think we’ve used them at all this past year (except as paint trays). But, I have kids, you say? Uh huh. And, paper is convenient. Real dishes are no less convenient. You pull them out of the cupboard just like the paper ones. But, the cleanup, you say? Most people have dishwashers that they could put them in. I don’t. To me, I’d rather take the time to wash real dishes by hand from a meal that we all sat down to enjoy than to use thin, cheap paper plates.

Presentation of pancakes on weekends is a lot of fun at our house.
Even kids can add their own whipped cream "hair."

There is something about the feel of real dishes…the way food looks on real dishes…and mostly, the way food tastes on real dishes. Presentation is everything. Make it look nice and you’re apt to enjoy your food…linger over it…and eat less. It really doesn’t take much to do this…take cues from your favorite restaurants or cookbooks, or from that food porn your friends are always posting on Facebook. Why does their food look (and taste) so delicious? Much of it is presentation. You may not be the best cook, but if your food looks good, people will think otherwise.

This just wouldn't look the same on white plates...eww...too white. These are from IKEA.
They were very inexpensive and they have a nice feel to them too.

So, maybe time is part of the problem? So many people are in such a hurry all the time. Doing too much or too many things? There is no reason why you can’t make time to sit down and have a real family meal together here or there. Turn off the tv, dim the lights, put on quiet music, light candles, sit at the table and make meal time a ritual (do this even if you only have weekends together…then find ways to do it more).

Quick and easy meal of mussels cooked in garlic, butter, lemon juice
and Reisling served on rigatoni.
Add a salad and some bread (okay, yours doesn't have to be homemade) and sparkly water. Voila!

Put out real dishes. Use the good ones from the china cabinet that you just look at. What are you waiting for? I grew up with those only being used on holidays, and then, as kids, we weren’t allowed to use them. Because we might break one? What? Sitting there eating? Give your kids some credit or teach them not to be animals at the table if they are. And what if one breaks? It’s just stuff. Take pleasure in the memories you are creating. Relish in the history of your family if using heirloom dishes. Your kids will only be kids for so long. Slow down this techno/ADHD lifestyle you are living. Breathe. Enjoy each other.

How many of us have had someone in our life one day and then they were gone the next? Life is too short to not enjoy family meal time. Or, relaxed dinners with friends. Life is too short to eat off paper plates.

So, do you have a quirk about drinking out of certain glasses? What's your take on paper plates? Please share below!



  1. It's a pain in the ass to put dishes into the dishwasher and take dishes out of the dishwasher, day after day after day. Paper plates for me! But my cups and glasses have to be crystal. Go figure.

  2. Yay on the crystal! You know, we have to do whatever in life that doesn't add stress to if paper works for you...go for it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That was a delicious comfort-food recipe for Life. Hit the spot *-* A hearty Yes! on all of the above. I definitely have special cups, dishes, glasses and even silverware for everything I eat or drink. Especially spoons and milk glasses, LOL.
    Even if I do paperplates to avoid dishes, I embrace the metaphor! Life is too short, too anxious, too disconnected to use paper plate therapy. Take the good stuff!
    I too have found the juju in presentation and sparkling water :) How it lends instant special to our soul. Water, who knew? Here's a metaphor we've all experienced,'re dining out, having a delicious expensive steak...but your first bite and true pleasure is of the baked potato! The metaphors are your own to choose :)
    The simple mussels and pasta at home are what we pay extravagantly for when dining out, and they make me feel so great! Sometimes the ambiance of dining out makes everything taste better...but yes, we can taste this good at home with our Special Spoons! Loved this menu of feelings and dishes! The mussels, pancakes, chips n salsa, YUMMY photos! Just the right ambiance *-*

  4. And those mud-colored bowl plates are a 5* experience o their own!!!

  5. the idea of special spoons! Silverware has a certain feel to it too that just adds to everything. Do you do candles too when you dine? My girls love having them lit at the table. I even do it if I'm eating alone.

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