Old plate party time


We’re throwing a wee party this weekend. Maybe 20 or 25 people are going to be milling around our yard, stepping in and out of the creek and enjoying general merriment.

Of course there will be food. Therefore, there must be something to eat from, and something to eat with, and something to put the drinks in. We do not own 25 complete table settings, so we find ourselves in a situation familiar to many a summertime host: Do we buy plastic stuff? Or not?

We opted to find compostable or recycled forks, knives and cups. And it turned out to be a lot harder than we expected. We did eventually find cutlery made from some kind of plant-based plastic, so that was good.

As for plates, we have a solution I’m quite fond of. When we got married, we had about 100 people and we spent the prior summer collecting plates from Salvation Army and Goodwill. Many cost 25 cents, 50 cents, or a buck. We assembled what I thought was a charming collection of vintage china, in all kinds of patterns. They made our tables more interesting than they would have been with plain rented plates, and a lot more classy than they would have been with styrofoam.

What’s even better is that we still have the plates! We can bring them out for all kinds of gatherings, including our party this weekend. They’re useful and meaningful.

Yeah, I know: They have to be washed. But c’mon, people. Washing plates isn’t hard; it’s not like washing 25 chili pots. Just put on the radio and get it done.

What do you serve party food on?