Today the Hostess was nosing around over at David Lebovitz's first rate food blog, which is a great read scribed by a brilliant man. I highly recommend you subscribe. Right after you subscribe to the Hostess, naturally.
I digress. The subject of the post today was Mr. Lebovitz's butter dish and the controversy surrounding the vessel among his peers who deemed it a garlic dish. It looks a lot like these below but you can go to the post and see for yourself.
Individual butter dish, Crate and Barrel, $4.95
In fact, he is correct, they are butter dishes when they appear in this shape and are not heatproof. Sometimes, a larger version in many types of non-heatproof materials are employed in French households when the butter is left upon the table or counter, as many places in the world (like the Hostess' Mother's kitchen) do not feel the need to store butter in a fridge constantly (a tale for another day). But sometimes they do toss it into the fridge and use a vessel such as this for cold storage as well. They are made in many sizes from many makers.
It seems the "garlic vote" was confused with the vessel below which is a garlic roaster. These vessels are generally earthenware and heat proof to a very high degree, intended for roasting one head of garlic (in case you wanted a gadget and preferred not to use some tin foil):
Garlic roaster, Sur La Table, $25.
With me so far?
In reading the post that started this butter and garlic gallop, why, it seemed to me the little butter dishes would make adorable cloches for a fabulous holiday table setting! Or, would be a lovely way to serve a luxe truffle butter with Christmas Eve dinner, as it was intended and as I have not used mine in forever. Like a great game of blog-related Memory, I remember a recent Mrs. Blanding's post regarding tiny cloches and I was taken with the lovely small-bite offered in the photos toward the bottom of her post. And then I thought: OR, I could make a fabulous small bite to start out a holiday dinner and stow them in a cloche or teeny butter dish.
I was about start preliminary holiday menu posts here and at Blushing Hostess, I was sidetracked by this idea which merits a bit of consideration: A lovely tiny food to start a dinner which fits in 2.75 ounce butter dish above. I will return on this subject, as I have two ideas swirling and naturally they will require a bit of testing.
If you were not inclined to reduce your first course to a cook's tiny tasting in order to slide a tiny blossom inside the dome along side it (or something-else charming), you can certainly find any number of larger cloches for your table. However, these are definately not butter dishes or garlic roasters/ cellars:
Glass cloches, Sur la Table, $14 -$30 (though, I have seen any variety at Homegoods for less...)