Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Indies

Food looks good on plates that are white and blue. Why? Because food usually comes in colors other than white or blue. You want to see what’s on the plate (hence it cannot be too dark), and you don’t want your plate color to clash with, or — heaven forbid — render unappetizing, your food.


This is why dinnerware with a delicate blue pattern on white has always been popular. Think Willow pattern: an ancient love story played out at every setting.

Old British Castles

Johnson Brothers, the venerable English china company, produced iconic dinnerware until being folded into a larger china conglomerate operating out of China. Old British Castles and Devon Cottage will bring back happy memories for many nostalgic for home cooking — but my favorite has always been Indies, a wistfully floral design that screams 1970s. It has long been discontinued, though a thriving market can be found for it at online auction sites.

Devon Cottage

This book, unappetizing in every other way, nevertheless features Indies plates on its cover. Perhaps they served as a small measure of aesthetic comfort for those subjected to the recipes inside.

Such lovely plates might be cold comfort, however, to those fasting; there is an entire chapter in this book dedicated to not eating. There’s even a recipe for raw rice — “particularly for purging intestinal parasites.”

The Brown Rice Cookbook: Delicious Wholesome Macrobiotic Recipes, Craig & Ann Sams, 1983
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