by Steve Labinski
After years of eating on ordinary, dreary plates, bland, colorless bowls, and other junky dishes, I decided to change my life and liven up my at-home food experience. When looking to make a major, positive impact on your own life, look no farther than the kitchen. This is the place where meals are made.
It all began last Christmas when I received several 5-piece place settings of Fiesta ware. Each place setting was a different color - cobalt blue, sea mist, persimmon and sunflower yellow. After unboxing them and arranging them on the shelf, I could see that they certainly looked pretty. The key moment arrived when I chose to start using them for day-to-day use. From then on, my other dishes virtually disappeared before my very eyes. Fiesta ware was such a noticable improvement. The bright colors and classic shapes made even my modest culinary efforts look good and, therefore, taste better. Maybe it was psychological, but who cares when dinner is tastier.
My new dishes were so versatile and much more useful than my old stuff. I was eating beef dinners off the plates, spooning cereal out of the bowls, and drinking coffee from the cups and mugs. This was no delicate china fit only for gathering dust in a cabinet. Suddenly I had some dishes that made me enthusiastic about cooking and eating, and that I was proud to show others. I found myself adding more dishes in more colors. Fiesta ware is surprisingly inexpensive - place settings are under $25.
Fiesta ware is made in the USA by the Homer Laughlin China Co. They began production on this modern-styled line in 1936 and, over the years, have produced different colors and serving pieces. There are Fiesta ware lovers all over the world collecting "vintage" pieces, snapping up retired colors, and buying and maintaining the collection that they eat from every day. Fiesta ware really is china -- vitreous china -- that can be used every day. Today Homer Laughlin produces Fiesta ware in cobalt blue, turquoise, periwinkle blue, sea mist green, cinnabar, sunflower yellow, plum, shamrock green and tangerine. There is also white and black, and in 2004 the company unveiled a deep red color officially dubbed scarlet.
I have discovered many great uses for the dishes. Like to serve zesty Tex-Mex meals? The best way to dish out enchiladas, rice and beans are on the Fiesta ware oval platters, like in the shamrock green and persimmon (pictured right). My tangerine medium pie bakers make wonderful oversized dessert bowls. I serve heaping helpings of banana pudding, as well as ice cream in them.
On Texas Cooking, we talk about chili all the time. Serve it right! The 18-ounce chili bowls are perfect serving pieces for a hot, steaming bowl of Texas red. I'm also partial to sunflower yellow and shamrock green. Then there are the little fruit bowls and the much larger presentation bowl. No one makes more useful and interesting serving bowls than Fiesta ware.
Serve any of the hundreds of recipes presented on Texas Cooking on this colorful china. You and your friends will enjoy the food in high style.
To browse Fiesta ware by color, just click here.
Homer Laughlin also produces a line of beautiful vases in the Fiesta ware colors.
Pictured are the 6-inch sea-mist bud vase, sunflower yellow royalty vase, cobalt blue monarch vase, the periwinkle small vase and the persimmon medium vase.
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The Fiesta ware utensil crock measures 4 1/4" by 6 3/4". It holds lots of kitchen tools right on top of the counter. People also use this piece to hold pencils, and also as a covered jar using the trivet as the lid.
All materials, including Grandma's Cookbook and its contents are
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