Project Amour Eric and Chandra's Journey to Get Married in Paris


Ode a la Crate and Barrel

Ode to Crate and Barrel

Anyone that knows me, even a little, knows how much I love to cook and entertain. For me it's an artistic expression of love and friendship. Growing up and living in the South, food is always the center of any event. Family, friends and good food go hand-in-hand. In the South you don't really need a reason to eat, you just need someone to share it with.

As a small child my mother had what she refers to as a “duke's mixture” (another southern saying meaning mixed bunch or hodge-podge) of serving bowls, plates and platters. Some were solid, others had patterns and all were different in color. When I think of the family dinner table each night recollections of a green, glass, swirl bowl and a yellow, rectangular, divided plate immediately come to mind. Mom always cooked us dinner and I recall several where the “Pièce de résistance” was a steaming pot of oyster stew accompanied by a hefty amount of Saltines (not my favorite but definitely memorable).  Mom is a terrific cook so it's not hard to love even the most un-loved of dishes.  It was at these family dinners that I believe my infatuation for dinnerware really began.

My grandmother Callicutt lived just down the hill from our house when I was growing up. On Sundays I would ride home from church with grandma and grandpa and feast on grandma's cooking for lunch. My grandmother had a selection of serving plates and bowls that were almost entirely solid white. I recall asking her one time why she didn't have “pretty” colors like mom and I still recall just what she said. She told me that collecting just white dishes gave her the clean slate she needed to dress her table any way she wanted. She could use green, blue, red, brown, striped, really didn't matter. Her food would always be the star and she wouldn't have to have so many dishes. I certainly didn't realize it at the time but her logic planted itself inside me and began to grown.

This brings me to present day where I oftentimes cook for friends and sometimes (if I am lucky given long distances) even family. I begin by opening up my cabinets filled with pearly white dishes – all with their own story – just waiting to tell it. I have a growing collection of linens; runners, napkins and placemats. I have a less impressive collection of vases all waiting patiently for their moment to shine. This is why I love Crate and Barrel. They offer a huge collection of white serving pieces, great linens and even better vases. I once contemplated getting a part-time job at C&B just for the employee discount. I was quickly advised by friends that I would merely be feeding a habit and not improving my financials, kind of like an alcoholic working at the ABC store.  My love for Crate and Barrel has finally come full circle. I finally, after 36 years and hundreds of trips by the windows, get to create my very own Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry! Just this experience alone will make me smile from ear to ear for at least a month! Thank you Crate and Barrel - I know my grandmother would have thanked you as well if she were still with us to enjoy!

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