New Pretties For the Kitchen

I have to admit that one of the most fun things about visiting the Smithsonian, is that the museum shops rock. Especially the shop at the Sackler.

While I am in a confessional mood, I will also cop to the fact that I like dishes. Tableware. Serving pieces. Plates, bowls, cups, glasses, silverware, you name it–if it goes on a table, I like it.

Now, I have definite tastes when it comes to these sorts of things. I am not much into fussy-fussy china, with silver rims or lacy white-on-white patterns. I don’t care for silverware that is festooned with so much ornate gobbledy-gook that you get bruises on your hands from using it. I like clean, simple lines, bright colors, interesting shapes, and pieces with a lot of heft to them.

So, when people come to eat at our house, they should not be surprised to never sit down to a formal table, with white lacy fussy bone china plates, because, well, we don’t have any of those.

What we do have is a collection of Japanese and Chinese stoneware and pottery, and lots of Fiesta Ware, old and new, as well as a bunch of other eclectic stuff in neat shapes and bright colors which go with the colors in our house, which I like to refer to as “The Crayola Fortress.”

So, while Morganna and Donny were staring blissfully at the gemstones, minerals and dinosaurs in The Museum of Natural History, Zak and I, who have been through that museum probably close to a dozen times, opted for shopping.

And we found some of the coolest bowls ever.

They are called Udon Noodle Bowls, and they are handmade in the US by a company called flavourdesign. (Having found their website, I must admit to also being tempted by their Buddha Bowls.)

As you can see, they are shaped like stylized ginko leaves, and they are meant to be cupped in the palm. They are extremely comfortable; the ergonomic design allows the diner to hold the bowl up close to the mouth so that one can slurp warm, soupy noodles easily from chopsticks. Then, when the noodles are gone, the mug-like bowl is easily tipped so the eater can sip the broth down without making a mess.

A really great idea.

And, as you can see, they came in juicy colors that I absolutely adore, and which coordinate nicely with our existing multi-hued collection of Fiesta Ware. (That purple critter that the tulips are arranged in is the plum carafe.)

We brought home two of them, because that was as many as I could easily carry on the Metro, but I plan on ordering a couple more later. Right now, these two are displayed on the open shelves framing the windows in the kitchen. They look quite spifftastic there amidst our collection of stoneware teacups, our Ganesha sculpture, the tea set Morganna gave me at Yule, and our raku rice bowls.

As for the tulips–those are a gift from Zak. Tulips are not blooming here yet–just some anenomes, forsythia and daffodils.


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  1. Those bowls look amazing!!!!

    Comment by Pamela — March 30, 2006 #

  2. Wow, what great bowls! I really like the design, and such cheerful colors. I might have to splurge on a few myself.

    And I totally agree with you on the heft of a dish or utensil. To me that’s essential.

    Comment by Tea — March 30, 2006 #

  3. These are charming. I like the Buddha Bowls too. They have a cosy quality which to me suggests eating noodles or soup curled up somewhere with a book.

    Comment by lindy — March 30, 2006 #

  4. Tea–I am a big freak about hefty stuff. I think it is because I am built like a big-ole farm girl that I just don’t do the “itty-bitty breakable” stuff.

    I am sure that is part of my attraction for cast iron cookware as well–its heft.

    Lindy–those Buddha bowls really do scream for a comfortable bowl of chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and a comfy nook with a good book or a movie on the TV.

    Pamela–they feel really great, too. I just have to make some ja jiang mein or lo mein soon to try them out. Or some pork noodle soup….

    Comment by Barbara — March 30, 2006 #

  5. I just love the bowls, both the udon and the Buddha ones!

    Comment by Dagmar — March 31, 2006 #

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