An Entertaining Arsenal.
It paints a mental picture of Martha Stewart armed with a bazooka gun that is loaded up with the finest Egyptian cotton linens. Carolyn Roehm throwing fine china like chakrams. Ina Garten dressed like a ninja wielding dangerously sharp cutlery. Famed hostesses clutching their entertaining "weapons of choice". It definitely sounds silly, but if you entertain with frequency you know exactly what I am talking about. Those items that you reach for time and time again. Items you find absolutely critical to hosting a successful gathering.
When my ex husband and I split up after 1 year of
marital bliss marriage, we were able to utilize a mediator instead of attorneys and very amicably split up our joint possessions. In fact, the only thing he requested aside from obviously wanting his personal effects was the set of fancy flatware we had received as a shower gift the year before. I thought it was so odd that he only wanted the flatware. There was luggage, Waterford crystal, a down comforter, china, a house, pots and pans, silver serving pieces, a son and a set of cutlery and all he wanted was the flatware. I figured his mom put him up to it. Or else he was planning to sell it. Either way, I was sad to see it go but not really because I got to keep everything else. Including the mortgage. #winningnotwinning
When I eventually sold the home (because who wants to pay the mortgage and split half the profits down the road?) and bought a new one with my current husband I started to miss that flatware. Mind you, I never once missed my ex. But the flatware, that was another story. I started thinking about all the entertaining I would be doing in this new phase of my life and how using our everyday silverware for a dinner party seemed so "meh". So one day on a whim, I bought an inexpensive service for 8 at Marshall's. It wasn't fancy. It was, in fact, super plain and simple. But it was going to be my entertaining set and that made it feel special.
Fast forward fifteen years and I cannot tell you how many times I have been so thankful for that plain, old set of flatware. Perfectly lined up in a spare drawer, they are always clean and the whole service is ready to go at a moments notice. No stressing over whether someone ran the dishwasher so there will be enough forks. No fear that someone didn't rinse the dishes properly and they have bits of food encrusted to them. If you have kids and/or a husband you know exactly what I mean. I consider having a spare set of silverware part of my "entertaining arsenal". They don't have to be fancy or valuable. They are just the items that I could not live without with all the frequent gatherings we have here.
*Speaking of fancy, right after the holidays this year, I donated the trusty old set to a thrift store. A knife had gone missing which bugged the hell out of me. I had also recently found 2 antique sets of flatware that are remarkably stunning on their own or, when mixed and matched together they create a full service for 12. I cannot bear to sell them in the shop. But I am also trying not to be a hoarder and keep all the things. So adios old flatware and hello vintage beauties!