For special guests.

I finished my time at Colby College in February of 1996. I had a job lined up starting that summer, but spent the spring living at home with my parents. I had Tuesdays off from work and thought that it would be nice to cook them dinner during this busy time of year at their garden center.

Three weeks in, I had discovered my love of cooking and was spending 8 -10 hours each Tuesday reading recipes, shopping for ingredients I often couldn’t pronounce and had no idea where in the grocery store to begin looking for, and cooking. I also started working my way through Mom and Dad’s China cabinet. I seemed so logical that each meal deserved the perfect set of dishes and table linens to frame it.

The China cabinets in many homes are like formal living rooms: reserved for special guests. Who else than the three of us, I thought, was more special? It’s a belief my family has espoused ever since. We take time to set the table, plan the menu, arrange flowers and break out the silver for simple family meals together. My husband Jason and I will use our wedding China and flatware on a Tuesday night. We use cloth napkins for every meal, even takeout eaten in front of the TV.

The most special guests, it turns out, have been joining us for dinner all along.

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