A week ago today, Tom and I celebrated our 38th anniversary with a quick trip to Chicago (yeah . . . we saw Hamilton again . . . ) and then had a bit of a "pub crawl" the next day on our way home. (I say "a bit" because we only stopped at 2 places - Three Floyds in Munster, IN and Greenbush in Sawyer, MI . . . and one of us was the designated driver.) (That was me.)
Anyway. We had a great time.
Yesterday I pulled out my trusty salad bowl to use once again, and it got me thinking about our wedding -- because my salad bowl was a wedding gift. I was thinking about how often I use this particular bowl, and what a perfect gift it was.
Tom's childhood neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Ratliff, gave us the bowl. It wasn't intended to be a salad bowl, actually -- just a lovely wooden bowl for display. But over the years, it's become my go-to bowl for pretty much any salad I throw together. I use it all the time, as you may be able to tell by the worn edges around the rim. (That wear-and-tear has made the bowl all the more beautiful, actually. I'm happy it's not one of those "pretty things" I just packed away and never used.) It is a much loved item in my kitchen, and I actually think about it being a wedding gift every time I use it.
There are a few other wedding gifts that we still have and use regularly. A lot of things were much appreciated back in 1981, but they simply did not hold up or stand the test of time over the long haul. Since it's a Thursday, I thought it might be fun to share 3 more wedding gifts we're still using . . . 38 years later.
Here they are: Three Wedding Gifts with Staying Power.
1 - The glass-and-chrome "relish tray"
As a 22-year-old, I remember unwrapping this gift and just thinking . . . what the heck will we ever do with THIS???? It is super shiny and totally not my style (then or now). And yet . . . this particular relish tray has made an appearance at every single party or get-together we have hosted since 1981! Ugly? Yes! But oh so useful! The elevated chrome "tray" rotates. The little glass "dishes" lift out separately for easy filling and even easier washing. The middle "dish" is perfect for holding dips or hummus or what-have-yous, and the outside "dishes" are great for veggies or fruits or cheeses or crackers. I mean . . . this bright and shiny hideosity turned out to be a PERFECT party serving piece and I will be forever grateful to my mom's former co-worker Mr. Dolence for this gift. (I think of him and chuckle whenever I pull this tray out for a party. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me or this relish tray even if tortured.)
2 - The Pyrex mixing bowl set
If you were lucky enough to receive a Pyrex mixing bowl set for your wedding, you quickly realized . . . you were pretty much set for life when it came to mixing bowls. Four sizes. Super versatile. An ultimate git-r-dun kind of kitchen tool. Until I got my KitchenAid Stand Mixer about 10 years ago, every single batch of cookies, every cake, every meatloaf I ever made . . . was mixed in that big bowl there. (Thanks Jeri Cay Boulden, Tri-Delt sister! I'll bet you had no idea you'd live on in my memory forever because of these bowls.) The smallest sized bowl - sadly - cracked only last year. I miss it still.
3 - The remaining 2 items from the 6-piece kitchen utility set (with special veggie motif handles)
Yep. The potato masher and a very sad (but much used) strainer are all that remain of this set -- which at one time included a little hanging rack (also with veggie motif) and matching spatula, ladle, fork, and mixing spoon. I don't actually remember when the other utility tools met their ends (except for the spatula) (the plastic handle made contact with a hot burner) (it wasn't pretty), but these guys still have a place in my utility drawer --even making it through multiple Kon-Marie's of my kitchen. I don't actually recall who gave us this particular gift, but I'm betting they'd be surprised that it's lasted this long. (By the way, that veggie motif? Sticker!)
38 years later.
Still going strong!
There are a few other long-lasting wedding gifts around -- a few random steak knives, a sterling silver tray, the "happy mushroom" motif potholders (I'd share a photo, but they're in the cabin kitchen up north), a wedding clock that doesn't work any more (but is still quite pretty), a coffee table book about Idaho (there was a connection), and a Corning Ware cutting board (we remember the giver with much fondness).
How about you? Do you have any gifts - wedding or otherwise - that have really stood the test of time?
Last reminder -- please let me know by today at 5pm Eastern time if you're interested in this month's stash giveaway.