It’s probably no secret, if you’ve read some of my other posts, that I love interesting dishes, old and new. I’m also a big fan of whimsical pieces if they are useful as well. One ‘collection’ as I guess I should refer to it now, is a grouping of oddball seasonal dishes, most of which are reminiscent of Autumn. Some are more like summer, shaped like green leaves, a few with a beehive pattern, and a few are Christmas or Winter themed. But mostly, the odd seasonal plates I collect relate to Autumn. Perhaps it’s because I love Autumn so much, perhaps there are more plates with Autumn motifs available, I don’t know. All I can say for sure is that I am a sucker for plates shaped like, or depicting; apples, acorns, pumpkins, oak and maple leaves and gourds. One of my favorite pieces is a soup tureen shaped like a pumpkin that I ordered out of a clearance catalog many years ago.
One of the criteria with anything I collect is that it not be expensive. Another selling point is that it be practical, as well as decorative. I host a large family Thanksgiving gathering every year, so I am always able to use these plates then. We also have a few autumn birthdays and an autumn anniversary in the family, so there are lots of opportunities, besides using them every day in season. I enjoy decorating for the various seasons and using these plates in the fall just adds to the fullness of the season for me.
I use some small ramekins shaped like acorns and apples, to hold chutneys and salsas, with a cracker and cheese platter kind of thing. Or I put them out with peanuts or olives or similar nibbly things. They even work well to place a votive candle in. Sometimes I see something at a rummage sale, but mostly I found them new. I picked those small dishes up over the course of a couple of years at Wal-Mart, surprisingly to me. I picked up some small leaf-shaped plates there one year also, all at end of season mark down prices of a dollar or two apiece.
I’ve had good luck as well, on a hit or miss basis, at discount luxury goods stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Again, these are quite inexpensive and since I’m not looking for a set of anything; it gives me a great collecting advantage when I see the odd piece marked down.
Anyway, I’ve been keeping an eye out for years and have cobbled together an odd lot of seasonal dishes. Some of the medium-sized plates I use as side dishes or to place seasonal pillar candles on. The larger plates hold candle collections or a jack-o-lantern or we use them for main courses. Once the air turns a bit nippy and some of the leaves begin to turn, I pull out the storage tote that holds this motley but colorful collection. It makes the entry into the autumn season a bit more fun and whimsical. Life’s just too short not to incorporate fun when it’s this easy!