Why are tureens obsolete? When did that happen? Was it before I was born? I mean, I’ve been around the block a few times. I know how to use a payphone and I’ve eaten at a Ground Round (Homecoming ‘79). Yet I have no recollection of seeing a host or hostess use a tureen. EVER. That includes my friend Wendy who is a Daughter of the American Revolution and owns finger bowls.
Last month at a small dinner, my friend Susan set her table with her mother’s china and sterling silver, and then ladled her delicious vichyssoise out of a Tupperware from the fridge. So burping plastic survived the leap to Y2K but not the elegant and functional tureen?
I get it. Tureens are unwieldy. Difficult to wash. A pain to store. And even tureens shaped charmingly like animals still give off that distinct odor of pretension. I guess when the dining room died, the tureen died with it. Much more homey to crowd into the kitchen and serve pot roast out of Le Creuset than Spode ironstone.
It is for this reason that tureens go for a pittance at resale shops. Which, of course, entrapped me in my early days of antiquing. It seemed shocking that such a nice big cock would go unwanted.
Did I write cock? Silly me. I get typing so quickly and forget my ‘r’s. Crock. Anyway, I am the proud caretaker of many tureens and together, we are waiting out their banishment until society stops twerking around and appreciates them, which should happen any day now that Trump’s in office.
And because I’m a pragmatic Persian, I like using tureens for something other than soup. You can see in the photo above I arranged flowers and greens in a tureen for a party I threw this week.
Not that long ago, I used to hide mini cans of Diet Coke in a rooster tureen in my kitchen from my thieving soda-addicted youngest son. It worked for a while until a handyman needed to check some basement wiring and discovered a few hundred empty soda cans stashed above the ceiling tiles.
Apparently when we cut him off, he walked across the driveway and helped himself to our neighbor Stacey’s soda supply kept refreshingly chilled in her garage fridge.
Which was bad for everyone. My hide-the-soda strategy was a way of kicking the can down the road, as it were. Instead of dealing with my son’s underlying problem, I adapted to it with what I called “the tureen technique.”
Do you have a tureen issue too? I suspect you might. Who doesn’t? We all hide things away, closing the lid on bad habits. If you had the perfect hiding spot, shaped like a colorful waterfowl, what would you put in it?
Mildred, the church organist, hid a little something-something in the ice bucket I bought at her estate sale. Read that story here.