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We don’t seem to eat a lot of spaghetti, anymore. We both love it but Nonna no longer cares for long noodles. Our pasta dishes have become more rigatoni and penne – and less linguine and vermicelli.

But, every now and again, the stars align and spaghetti ends up in the pot. Today was one of those alignments.

I had to work a bit late, so Nonna was fed early. That meant we could have anything we wanted – at whatever time we wanted!

Spaghetti with Anchovies, Porcini Mushrooms, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes!

A really simple throw-together of garlic, olive oil, anchovies, reconstituted porcini mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, freshly-grated parmesan, and fresh basil.

The kind of meal that can make a grown man weep – it was so good. I ate that whole plate – and then sopped up the oil in the bottom of the plate with french bread.

The plate – the pasta bowl – is another thing that doesn’t come out often enough. It’s a part of our dinnerware we had made in Florence. That really does sound pretentious, doesn’t it?!? But… pretentious or no, even with shipping, it was less expensive than china we have seen registered for a few weddings… and we got to meet the people who actually made it! I can’t even begin to describe how cool it was to sit down and talk about the sizes, the shapes, and the patterns for each of the pieces.

It sits on the sideboard and we see it every day – we just don’t use it, enough.

The Franciscan Desert Rose has pretty much taken over as our everyday china – with the Cost Plus china coming in second, the Sur la Table plates coming in third, and the various other sets following. We have a plate fetish – seriously. Not long ago – after getting the Desert Rose – I bought a set of Anchor Hocking Royal Ruby Red glass dinnerware. It was exactly the stuff my grandmother had – as was the Desert Rose.

We have a complete set of Mikasa Fruit Panorama. And I do mean complete. Cups, bowls, plates, footed bowls, trays, platters…

And Aunt Dolores’ china…

And my grandmother’s china…

And Victor’s Mom’s china…


And our everyday stuff…

And the square glass stuff…

And the pressed glass Christmas service for 36…

And don’t even get me started on platters and serving pieces… there are so many handmade bowls and platters we could open an art gallery. And every bit of it has a story – the platter we bought in Rome, the cake plate we bought in Caltagirone – and broke in our luggage and Victor put back together. The huge bowl and platter we bought in Little Italy in New York and carried back on the train.

One of these days we’re going to have to seriously sit down and figure this stuff out. There is glassware and stemware that we’ll never use. Plates downstairs in the basement that just collect dust. But where to even begin at this point? So much fun. So many meals. So many memories.

And so much dust.

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