5 Pepper Shakers

7:05 sunrise
20:52 sunset

And one salt shaker. Seriously. That’s what I unpacked tonight from 2 of the 8 boxes of my grandma’s china. Why would anyone need 5 pepper shakers? And why only one salt? Add to that 25 saucers – how many people can you have over for dinner? Although I haven’t inventoried it all yet, I think I have full place settings (including things like finger bowls) for 22.

I am finally, 14 years later, adding my grandmother’s china to our home. She died in 1996 and when neither my mom nor my aunt had any interest in acquiring grandma’s dishes, I happily took them home. Well, more accurately, I left them at my mom’s place for a decade. And then, when my mom moved into a smaller place, I stored them at my in-laws’ for another several years. Finally, when Ben and I moved back to Whitehorse and bought a house, it was time for my grandma’s dishes to come home. I even have an appropriate home for them in this 70s sideboard I acquired last year in Victoria. Doing this sort of nesting makes me pretty happy. I am loving our house as it comes together.

Next the research phase will begin. Aside from the pethora of plates, there are several little, odd shaped dishes that are part of the collection. I am certain that each one has a specific function, but I have no idea what these functions would be. My guess is that the plate/dish on the bottom shelf (furthest to the left and at the front) is for nuts? The rectangle-shaped plate behind it was labelled a “relish plate” but I have zero clue as to what the three little units at the front (bottom shelf) are. I would say soya sauce bowl for the square ones in the middle, but I know that’s highly unlikely. And what about the crescent shaped thing? No idea. So dear readers, if you know about these things, please tell me and save me the google research. Thanks.


  1. I would assume they are for preserves (aka Jams) or other spreadable items to be used either at dinner or a Tea. The one in the back could be used for cheese. I will send my Mom a pic and see what she thinks.


  2. Hi Jenn. This is a nice story! The crescent shaped dishes were usually salad plates. My guess would be that the little plates were part of the dessert set – but there don't seem to be enough settings. I'm going with condiments. Fun! Did you google it yet?:)


  3. A salad plate, eh? Okay – thanks! And no, I haven't yet employed my Google skills. I still have 6 boxes to unpack and I am hoping that the number of dishes in each shape might help tell me what they were for?


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