Learning As I Chop


Posted in Tips by R @ Learning As I Chop on December 9, 2010

When I first started this blog, I wrote, ” I wanted H and I to create that kind of family. Not only would we do it together, but we’d invite friends over, and set the table with pretty napkins and interesting dishes.Through home cooking, we’d create a home.” Yet somehow, besides my ode to my dutchoven, I haven’t discussed the topic of servingware. So since I am knee-deep in finals, and haven’t been doing much cooking, I thought I would take this moment to talk about linens and things.

Here are some of the items that have recently graced our table.


Plates by Johnson Bros. These plates, which are very affordable, can be used on a daily basis and still add a bit of interesting flair to your servingware. I especially like them because they add a country-antique feeling, but aren’t too precious (they are easily replaceable) to fear using. I found mine on websites, such as Ideeli.com, and in outlet malls. For around $6-$10 a plate,  you can’t really go wrong. Maybe even break a few for fun, a la a Greek celebration.

Cloth napkins from Pottery Barn. The ones above are their “heirloom napkins,” and were a wedding gift. They are my special holiday napkins and I love them because although there are 6 in a set, each napkin is slightly different. I just think they are equally elegant and interesting. Isn’t that what we all strive to be?

We mostly use cloth napkins for everyday meals as well, and as one random shopper once told me, “nothing washes and dries like a Pottery Barn napkin.” LAIC readers, she’s wasn’t kidding.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I wash and dry any other napkin, they turn-out wonky. These fold back to their original shape and still feel soft. Using cloth napkins is another easy way to spruce-up your table, and it’s good for the environment to boot!


I received these Pottery Barn chargers for my Bridal Shower and use them whenever we have company. They look chic and formalize a table without the use of tablecloth. I also like the color – very versatile and goes with anything.

For everyday dining, I suggest Williams Sonoma’s hard placemats. Using a proper placemat makes your meal feel like an event, and you’ll probably savor it more. But everyday dining can also incur mess, and hard placemats are perfect for that predicament. These are super easy to clean and rarely run the risk of staining. We don’t have the ones pictured above (ours have a rooster theme), but you get the idea.

Lastly, I really recommend Fishes Eddy.  We recently ran low on forks (where the heck do they go?) so I stopped there and picked up for 4 forks for $4. Can you beat that? Plus, the forks were pretty and possessed a nice weight and sturdiness that is often difficult to find with inexpensive flatware. Besides flatware, you can also find cheap water glasses (I only buy my water glasses there now), cake stands, mugs and all kinds of novelty serving ware. Definitely a NYC gem. (Here’s the part where I thank H for first introducing me to this store early in our relationship.)

So that’s it from the LAIC household. Hopefully these tips will help spruce up your daily dinnertable, or maybe you just liked looking at some pretty pictures. Either way. enjoy!


One Response

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  1. Marcus Neiman said, on December 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I want to come over for supper! Fishes Eddy is great, and I love those plates! Where did you get them?

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