Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Cold Meat Fork, A Pea Spoon and a Bacon Fork

I love giving programs to groups. I do programs on Afternoon Teas, programs on Growing Herbs and programs on Cooking with Herbs. But I also do one that in some respects is my favorite -- Victorian Silver Serving Pieces.

The Victorians loved their silver and the silver manufacturers loved the Excessive Victorians. The Silver Manufacturers would come up with a serving piece for each type of food and the Victorians bought!

Of course, many of these manufacturers used the flatware patterns for the serving pieces and if you're patient and have a pattern originally made during this time, it is possible to acquire all kinds of neat pieces to match you set.

I'm not a purist -- I do have family silver but I love to collect those odd bits and bobs of silver used for specific purposes. And if they're monogramed so much the better -- I feel more of a connection with the person who owned it originally!

For my classes, I type an identification tag and tie it with a ribbon to the serving piece. That way I can pass the pieces around the room and everyone knows exactly what they are!

I did a program in December for the Nevada chapter of the DAR. Some of the pieces I chose to take, among other things:

Confection Spoon

Butter Pick

Asparagus Fork

Pie Server

Bacon Fork

Pea Spoon

Baked Potato Fork

Toast Fork

It's a fun collection and although requiring polishing, it does take up very little space in the sideboard drawer.

And I use it -- although, perhaps not for the intended purpose for whenever I have company and have a buffet (whether it is the meal or just a dessert buffet for a meeting), I always use some of my Victorian silver. And it's surprising that a pea spoon can really be used for other vegetables and a bacon fork is great for little cakes!

I'm sure a proper Victorian would be aghast at that usage but it suits me and I love using these pieces whether or not I cause a proper Victorian to turn over in their grave!


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I love 'em. They are pretty and fun!!! It is amazing the other vegetables don't protest being served with a pea spoon.

Dan said...

I never knew there were so many different types of cutlery! What a lovely collection.

Pondside said...

I love the odd bits and pieces of Victoria silver for the table, and also ladies' dresser silver. It all speaks of another time, before technology took so much of our attention.

On Crooked Creek said...

Your post today was amazing! i love all the heirloom silver pieces and have vowed to get out the two sets of silverware and put them to use this year. One reason. . .I fear my son will have no memories of using them, the other. . .I need to re~fresh my own knowledge of how each piece is used! If I get stumped. . .I'll know who to ask!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pieces!

The Lazy Peacock said...

that is so cool! all of your pieces are wonderful. I would love to take a class like that.

Beth said...

You have some lovely pieces, Martha. I really like the butter pick. Silver is so lovely, isn't it?
Hugs, Beth

Sherry said...

I love the odd pieces too. I have a tomato server that I use for cranberry sauce. One can never have too many gravy ladles or cake/pie servers either!

PS If I ate cranberry sauce, I would make my own. However, everyone...and I do mean my entire family prefers the canned jellied sauce. They want it sliced, not mashed. So...I slice serves perfectly with the round tomato server. :-)

Sherry said...

Oh. Almost forgot the sugar shells/spoons.