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.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Relish Trays

Growing up
there were two things every bride got for a wedding gift

A deviled egg plate


A relish tray!

I DO have my Grandmother's deviled egg plate and I use it -- 
mostly for Easter dinner for that's when we have deviled eggs --
the colored Easter ones are always on the Easter dinner table.

But alas, I have neither my mother's nor my grandmother's 
relish tray.

Growing up, if we ate in the dining room, there was a relish tray on the table.
With celery, olives (usually green pimento stuffed ones)  and small sweet pickles.
As a child, it was one of my favorite dishes!!!

And every holiday dinner included the relish tray
But for holiday dinners it included both kinds of olives -- the big black ones and the green stuffed ones -- the celery too, was often stuffed with cream cheese

I think ahead and sometime during my first year of marriage,
at a flea market that we frequented every Sunday morning,
I found the relish tray of relish trays!

It's big -- think at least 12 inches and it has slots for all the ingredients of a relish tray -- 
with the picture of the ingredients embossed.
The pickles, the olives, the celery . . . and then there is a fish!
I'm not sure if the fish is for caviar or perhaps chunks of tuna
But it is there --
At my house it is another slot to put olives!

It's a depression era piece, I'm sure, but I don't know who made it.
It's not all that common a piece (not like the relish dish like my Mom's that I pictured above)
but I have seen it occasionally.

I knew that one day that I would be hosting and this was a perfect dish!

And it's true, I became the host and so every Christmas, every Easter, every Thanksgiving,
I would get out my dish, fill it from the jars in the fridge, cut celery into sticks, plunk the pickle fork on top and set it on the holiday table.

I was at the Methodist Church Bazaar in the little town 20 miles from us
and there was this dish!

It's small -- about six inches square
But it has the same pictures embossed in it.
So I am sure it's made by the same company in the same time period

It was way more than $2 -- $12 actually, but I knew it had to come home with me.
I thought that I would revive the relish tray for our dinners.

Husband Jim is not big on olives (unless they are in a martini) but he does love pickles and celery

So Tuesday night, I filled the tray and put it on the dining room table.
We ate everything!

And everything is placed correctly, because there is a picture to tell me so.

Those don't look like little sweet pickles, you might comment,
And indeed, they are not -- Husband Jim likes pickles that are spicy or even
a whole raw Jalapeño pepper with his meal
So the pickle slot is filled with a hot pickled pepper.

I love my new relish tray.
It's home is in a kitchen cabinet, not the china cabinet like it's bigger sister.
For it's for everyday use -- not holiday only use.

I think we should revive the tradition of a relish tray with dinners.
It adds a layer of flavor to a meat and potato meal.


Bernideen said...

Oh how fun Martha and I have some too. I don't always use them but when I want them - there they are. I also have quite a few dishes I use in the kitchen for butter that are glass singles. I like changing them out so they are always nice and clean. Nothing worse than a nasty looking glass dish!

Rhonda said...

We always have a relish tray at our holidays too.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

I have a couple of relish trays too but nothing as lovely as yours. Yours are simply wonderful finds! I was three years old when my auntie got married and the reception was held at my grandmother's house. The banquet table was in the dining room. I was standing on the grand staircase admiring the whole scene when I spied the small green and red balls in the dish on the table. I remember standing on my tiptoes, reaching as far as I could, and plucking a small round green ball from the relish dish. I plopped it into my mouth and bit down. The most unusual taste filled my mouth and I have loved green olives ever since. True story! Wonderful post, Martha!

Sandra said...

I have my mothers deviled egg plate as well as relish platters from both my mother and mother-in-law. I love to serve on pretty dishes.

Southerncook said...

I can remember my mother's relish tray on every holiday table too and her relish trays were glass as well. I don't have them but I do continue the tradition of having a relish tray on the holiday table. DH doesn't care for olives but he does love pickles and jalapeno peppers, great idea. Your post has inspired me to look for old glass relish trays when next in an antique shop.


Tricia said...

I have that exact deviled egg plate, plus another white with gold trim one! (Southerners eat a lot of deviled eggs, I guess.). And I also got a silver tray with a glass divided liner for relishes. For some reason, we tend to only use it at the holidays, too. But I like the idea of using it for pre-dinner snacking. At holidays, the grandkids always clean out the black olives immediately, so we keep extra cans on hand! I also have a covered relish dish that was my in-laws', and love it, too. Great post!

nancy2 said...

I have and use my Mother’s, Grandmother’s and Mother in law’s relish tray’s. It isn’t a holiday meal without a beautiful relish plate. I have given that part of our meal to my Granddaughters. It is fun to see what they come up with, like celery filled with peanut butter!

Running with a sharp pencil said...

I have my grandmother Elsie's glass relish tray- I bought my daughter-in-law one like it for a dinner they were hosting and I learned the hard way that this vintage glass is NOT tempered glass--very HOT water will cause it to break! I love stuffed celery, all varieties of olives and pickles so it is a favorite with me!

Running with a sharp pencil said...

I happened to remember that at Thanksgiving my grandmother also would serve spiced peaches and at Christmas it would be the spiced red apple rings! Lovely, tasty memories!

Pat said...

Loved this post on relish trays!
I have three generations of deviled egg dishes. . .
and three generations of relish trays!
I've not seen a square relish tray before!
Adore the uniqueness and the size of this new find!
I agree, relish trays should be used more than just the holidays!

Denise said...

I hope all is well at Linderhof. Merry Christmas!