One of my pet peeves is the articles in magazines that to advise you to let go of the stress of the holidays don’t do anything to make your dinner special. Just use paper plates and eat frozen pizza!
Really? I mean, I know all about stress at the holidays. Just ask my hubby, I can definitely set out to tackle too much.
But you can make some concessions without out going as far as paper plates and plastic forks that break. The secret? Everything possible goes in the dishwasher!
My grandmother has a saying, “As soon as I get something, I put it in the dishwasher before I get attached to it.” She paints china herself, and made a point when she gave me my first piece to tell me to put it in the dishwasher or I’d never use it. It was a butter dish that’s been washed about once a week for almost 20 years and it’s still lovely.
Growing up, we ate off my mom’s fine china and silverware every day and it went in the dishwasher. Yes, it got a little bit worn, but we actually *used* it. It didn’t just stay stored away where no one could see it.
I haven’t gotten into the same habit, but when I do pull out the fine china and silver, I don’t wash it by hand. I’ve been washing my china, silver, and nice glasses in the dishwasher for over 20 years now and none of it is the least bit worn. The only time you might want to take care, is if you water etches your glassware. Then you have bigger issues. (I’ve heard that can be helped by using less soap.)
The only things I don’t put in the dishwasher are my fine crystal and biggest pots. You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I am so attached to dishwashers that we have two. Yes I know it is terrible for wooden knife handles to go in the dishwasher. But it’s terrible for me to wash them by hand.
This thanksgiving we had 17 and I ended up using my paternal grandmother’s crystal at the teenager’s table, which made me a bit nervous.
So for Christmas one of my gifts as Marquis by Waterford goblets to pair with my water glasses that go in the dishwasher. That’s what I used Christmas dinner. We’re teetotalers, but I like to serve sparkling grade and apple juice for a festive treat.
Is it possible my glasses will chip in the dishwasher? Yeah, it’s possible. But it also might happen when I take them out of the china cabinet once every three years to dust them. And that’s not as much fun.
How do you dress up your holiday table? Or do you go for the ease of paper on the special day? On Christmas Eve, we use paper bowls for our traditional seafood chowder. On Christmas Eve I always still have presents left to wrap! Paper does have it’s place.