Sometime ago when I wrote about remembering local stores giving away china as promotional items in Remains of the Day, a number of you wrote to me with your memories of mothers and grandmothers buying a plate here or there, or saving slips which would eventually add up to complimentary pieces in whichever pattern a local grocery store might be offering.
I remember my own Grandmother explaining this to me at Finest Grocery store in Mount Kisco, New York. I was little and this had to be 1978 or 1979. Powerful memories occur in grocery stores for all of us evidently. Grocery trips and plate patterns marked many of us and I think of this now when I enter a store with my girls so I thank you for calling my attention to how they will look back on a seemingly innocuous task. But, I digress.
Delmarva Media has published a net article, the title of which I take issue with so it will not be published here, but the content, on plates and grocery stores is relevant. Find it here.
I did a little digging regarding the pattern I assume the writer refers to, which is likely Blue Garland by Haviland.
Staggering that at one point, Haviland which bills itself with such refinement now, and has patterns costing into the many thousands for place settings, was once respectably attained at the A&P. I love that once upon a time Haviland patterns were easily available to all through one means or another and wish it were the case today. As I look over the Michael C. Fina website and shake my head with disapproval, it is hard to believe fine china was once so accessible because it is perfectly outrageous for many now.
It is a fine story those of you who wrote in will recognize in parts, although I very much disagree that "Fine china is the mark of a caring hostess."
I prefer something far more sensible and grounded in reality for a sentiment: "Preventing salmonella is the mark of a caring hostess and after that you do what you can." Or something which rolls off the tongue equally as appealingly.
Sometimes obtuseness is overwhelming.