12/28/2008

Where I ramble on about family gatherings and vintage dishes

Yesterday was The Great Kortuem Family Christmas Extravaganza. My Dad's brothers and sisters and their families gather, catch up on the past year and inevitably end up telling old stories and laughing until we're sick. There were 50+ people crammed into my Aunt Joanne's house. The noise level was incredible. There were great scuffles over chairs despite the proclamations of "place back." For a while, I even shared a chair with my Aunt Jeanne until I nabbed an empty barstool to sit on.

And the food. Mom was worried about what I would eat, since there would be a ham dinner and I haven't eaten meat since this summer. Not to worry, Mom. The corn casserole, the homemade buns, the pasta salads, the yams, the baked potatoes with sour cream / butter / cheese topping, not to mention the frosted cookies and homemade candy...I was just fine.

Then we exchanged gifts. I'd drawn my Aunt Judy's name. On the hottest day of August, I'd found her a crochet pattern for vintage-style potholders she'd been looking for and couldn't wait to give it to her. She loved it.

As it turns out, Judy had my name, too. On one of the hottest days of summer, she'd found me a Fire King Jadeite chocolate mug and couldn't wait to give it to me. And I love it.

I put it to good use this morning,
with some hot chocolate accompanied
by real potato lefse. Mmmmm....

I've mentioned a few of my obsessions in the course of this blog. Harps and music, of course. Books. Yarn. My cats. My garden. But right up there is my obsession with Fire King Jadeite. I love the milky color, the feel of the old glass, the sheer joy I get from using it. I held my new chocolate mug to the light and said, "Now I'm going to have to hunt for more of these so I have a whole set!"

I have D-handle mugs and teacups, but this is my first chocolate mug. It has such a dainty, flared shape. I have a feeling there will be a good hunt in my future. Every time I call my Mom to tell her about a new Jadeite score, she says, "Amy! You have enough Jadeite to serve lunch to the entire city of Mankato, do you really need any more?" This time was no different. She's exaggerating about the actual amount of Jadeite I own, of course. And it's not about NEEDing more Jadeite. It's about the pure WANT of it. That's what obsessing...I mean collecting...is about, right?

My Aunt Judy knows me well. Last year she had my name, and she found me these adorable Jadeite-base lamps.

I found some saucy vintage lampshades and
put them in my bedroom (because Jadeite
isn't just for kitchens anymore).

And last summer, at a family get-together,
Judy set a bag in front of me and said,
"Are these something you'd want?"

Inside were four Jane Ray salad dishes. "ARE THESE SOMETHING I WANT???" I calmly replied. I'd like to shop at the places Judy shops, but she says she'll keep them secret as long as she manages to draw my name for Christmas.

By the way, in the photo above I have the mug resting on a Jane Ray pattern saucer (I don't know if chocolate mugs came with saucers...) and both of them are resting on a vintage plate I got from Ann. It's part of her grandma's set of dishes. She was going to take them to the thrift store after doing a major house cleaning this fall and asked if I wanted them. "DO I WANT THEM???" I calmly replied.

I think I'm going to need more cupboard space...but don't tell Mom I said that.


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