?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The weird granularities of tableware - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

The weird granularities of tableware [Aug. 14th, 2015|02:35 pm]
Zoethe
The food is cooked, the plates are filled. Everything smells delicious. Smiling, Ferrett hands me a fork. I smile back, but apologetically.

"Um, thank you. But can you get me a big one?"

It completely baffles him, but I hate eating dinner with a salad fork. For him, it's an instrument of delivery for food. For me, it's part of the food experience. The weight of the fork, the size of the bites, the balance in my hand, they all have a direct impact on how much I enjoy my food.

What I've never confessed to him (until now, obviously) is that since we've gotten a new set of flatware I often reject the dinner fork of one of the patterns for the dinner fork of the other pattern. This is not a matter of preferring one pattern over the other. No, I actually choose different ones on different days because that one is going to feel better eating this particular meal.

I know it's silly. I've actually been so embarrassed by this at times that I accept the proffered fork from Ferrett, and then sneak back into the kitchen to switch them out. But eating is more than just flavor. It's an experience for all the senses, and my sense of touch comes into play with the weight of that fork in my hand. Thin, flimsy silverware at a restaurant actually distresses me--but then again so does the stuff that's overly heavy. Each spoon doesn't need to weigh a quarter pound. I just don't want to feel like I can tie it in a knot, either.

Let's not even discuss bent fork tines [shudder].

Anyone else have odd aversions, ones that don't relate to the actual food? Or is it just me?
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: channonyarrow
2015-08-14 06:59 pm (UTC)
I dislike plates. I eat off them, obviously, and own a number, but I prefer food in bowls. I don't know why, if it's just that things I really particularly like come in bowls or if it's something else, but I took a pottery class where we were supposed to make plates, and I told the instructor I wanted to keep making bowls.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-14 07:05 pm (UTC)
I can see that. I prefer bowls, for the most part. We have shallow pasta bowls and I use them for most things I eat.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bunny42
2015-08-14 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, I definitely have a silverware thing, and I often re-sort the slots for each type of utensil. I have a handful of one pattern that I use exclusively for preparing, not eating. And there are two different patterns of eating utensils. I prefer the sturdy, weighty forks for the same reason you do. Sean doesn't appear to care, one way or the other. I have refrained from pointing this out. I just re-sort the slots. Ya can't nag about everything, right? But I totally empathize with your preference, here.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-14 07:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, definitely can't nag about everything. At least not out loud!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: coeli
2015-08-14 08:01 pm (UTC)
I, too, dislike eating dinner with a salad fork. And we recently got a package of extra forks of a different pattern, and I hate them. They feel cheap, with roughly finished edges. I'll eat with one if somebody else sets them out (though not without a mental grumble), but given a chance I always grab one of the others.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 12:49 am (UTC)
I'm not that polite. I'll go fish myself out a proper fork.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: yshaloo
2015-08-14 08:44 pm (UTC)
With our silverware set the dinner forks have 3 tines and Sparks refuses to use them because of the number of tines. He, instead, insists on using the salad forks because "they have the proper number of tines." But to me, those are salad forks.

So, in the drawer they've turned into his forks and my forks.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 12:49 am (UTC)
I've seen sets where the salad fork had three tines and the dinner forks four, but never the other way around.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: simulated_knave
2015-08-15 05:19 pm (UTC)
My parents have such a set. Gorgeous pieces, actually. So it does happen, though it's uncommon.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kudilu
2015-08-15 04:12 pm (UTC)
my in-laws have this. the three-tines bother me, but not enough to fuss about.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rustymarble
2015-08-14 09:30 pm (UTC)

Spoons!

I grew up in Texas and we always had "Iced Tea Spoons" which are longer stemmed and with a much smaller bowl. I associate them with sweet things like dessert (but have been known to eat mugs of pixie stick powder with them as well...I won't go into that).
When I moved to PA, I felt the loss of those spoons, not realizing how precious they are up here in the wild north. After being here around 10 years, I lamented to my husband my desire for those spoons and he made it his duty to steal them anytime we came across them in the wild. So now I have a collection of long-stemmed, small-bowled spoons with which to eat sweets (and stir my coffee in my tall travel mug). Apparently up here they're called Sundae spoons and are available when you get a sundae in a resaurant.

Oh and I always eat frijoles (refried beans with cheese) with them. Not sure what that's from though.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 12:47 am (UTC)

Re: Spoons!

My friend Kat has a large collection of iced tea spoons, which she uses for coffee in tall mugs.

The beans thing is a bit odd, I have to say!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2015-08-16 02:12 am (UTC)

Re: Spoons!

i have the long handled tea spoons, too. when mama bought new flatware, she gave me half of hers! so i have 4 iced tea spoons and that makes me happy. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: naath
2015-08-14 09:58 pm (UTC)
Soup. Requires. Soup. Spoons. Of which I own exactly one, because I'm too darn cheap to buy cutlery...

I mind the general feel much more than the "this is the salad fork" thing, but alas *cheap* cutlery all just feels far too light and flimsy, whilst pricey cutlery costs way too much. Spoiled by my parents' silver I guess (just keep remembering the polishing I tell myself...)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bunny42
2015-08-14 11:43 pm (UTC)
When we go out for Chinese noodles, they bring me one of those porcelain "spoons" which I cannot use. I hate 'em. My broth dribbles down my chin and I can't deal with the noodles at all. Maybe it takes practice or something. I can't do chopsticks, either. I always have to ask for a real spoon. They usually bring me one of their serving spoons, which is huge, but I can at least eat with it. I know, you can't take me anywhere! 8-D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 12:48 am (UTC)
I've gotten decent weight cutlery at reasonable prices at Costco, but you do have to be cautious.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: betawriter
2015-08-14 11:53 pm (UTC)
I only eat lunch with salad forks and I will only eat dinner with the, uh, dinner forks. That is how it goes.

My father, growing up, refused to ever eat with the 'little forks' at all, so we always had to make sure he had a 'big fork'. Even for lunch, which is when we used the 'little forks'.

As for what's served to me with what outside of this house? I don't care at all.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 12:50 am (UTC)
An interesting distinction!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sparkfrost
2015-08-15 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm a stickler about the big forks too. I just think they're the utensil that is appropriate for dinner! My husband thinks its funny, he doesn't care either way. But he will ask which fork or spoon I want before grabbing utensils for dinner.

Cereal, on the other hand, can be eaten with a small spoon. I don't know why. That's just how it is. I've eaten cereal with a big spoon, and it felt wrong. So, little spoon it is!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 02:29 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought about the cereal thing, but I think you're right; cereal is a small spoon food, while soup is a big spoon food.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: delosd
2015-08-15 01:57 am (UTC)
Well, I *will* talk about bent tines! If I'm out to eat and the restaurant gives me a fork with bent tines, I will carefully straighten them all up myself before using the fork. And that is the case no matter whether the tines are bend up and down, or side to side. Until just this moment, I've never actually considered just asking for a new fork, because that would just be pushing the "problem" off on another unsuspecting diner. Which would be inconsiderate and improper.

And if the spoon comes out with a bent handle, which is extremely common at "family" restaurants with cheap silverware, that handle must be (pardon the expression) manhandled into a graceful curve again. I've gotten quite accomplished at "eyeballing" a nice smooth curve and forcing the metal back into shape.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 02:30 am (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like you. Me, I will just get another fork.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: anonymousalex
2015-08-15 04:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm all about unbending the tines. It's not just you.

-Alex
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: anonymousalex
2015-08-15 04:15 am (UTC)
Oh, do not give me the wrong spoon for the job. I loathe eating, for example, ice cream with a soup spoon. Dessert is eaten with teaspoons (if one is, like me, not fancy enough to have dessert spoons).

I'm sort of with you on the big & little fork thing, though if I'm having a salad for dinner, as I did tonight, then a salad fork is just fine.

I haven't gotten to the point of insisting yet, but I prefer chopsticks with a square cross-section. (Well, a rounded square, but not a circle.)

-Alex
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 03:18 pm (UTC)
Good to know I'm not alone!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: wilhelmina_d
2015-08-15 04:52 am (UTC)
I *hate* the taste of metal. If it's at all possible I use plastic cutlery. Himself actually found me some sturdy plasticware that lasts more than a couple of runs through the dishwasher. I will use metal silverware in public, but I find it makes everything taste slightly off to me.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 03:18 pm (UTC)
Huh. That's one I had not heard before.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: diatryma
2015-08-15 05:21 am (UTC)
My siblings and I used to argue over the special fork-- three tines, longer, elegant. My sister still likes the bamboo-patterned silverware. I like hefty silverware-- friends in high school called my parents' stuff paperweights, and I don't want to spend money on anything lighter.

Tiny forks are for... I don't know, when all the good ones are dirty. Big spoons for soup and the big chocolate milk glasses; small spoons for ice cream and the small glasses.

My roommate considers food to be better in a bowl.

So, no, you're not the only one.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-15 03:20 pm (UTC)
My brother and I used to fight over a certain spoon when we were kids, but that was because it had Dennis the Menace at the end of the handle!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2015-08-16 02:08 am (UTC)
it is NOT just you. i have a certain spoon that i prefer to eat from, to the point that i hand wash it and hide it from TheEngineer. (of course, he also "puts away" the flatware after washing by just sticking it in one of the slots, instead of the CORRECT one, so i have to re-sort it EVERY time to keep me from being more insane than i am normally...)

i generally prefer salad forks to dinner forks. *but* since i bought the new flatware (because over half of the teaspoons were missing...and that set had 16 teaspoons) i have to use the dinner forks because this set is so damn flimsy.

PS...at my grandmother's house, you did not get to have a dinner fork until you were over the age of 19. she had settings for 20+. but when you have 9 children, once you got into spouses and grandchildren, you give children a small fork and "adults" got big forks, no matter how many people were actually at the table. :)

oh, and i always eat pears and apples with teaspoons because it's a weirdness issue about how it feels to bite through the skin. i turn the spoon till i get a cone shaped piece to come out of the piece of fruit. :D

Edited at 2015-08-16 02:18 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-16 03:13 am (UTC)
I like that idea for the apples!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: serakit
2015-08-16 04:22 am (UTC)
I hate soup spoons even for soup. Big spoons are the fiber spoons, the very big spoon is for stirring cooking things only, and small spoons are for actually eating stuff. The soup spoons actually mostly just sit there and don't get used at all unless I haven't done dishes lately.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-16 02:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, So different than how I do things.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2015-08-16 04:22 am (UTC)
It's obviously not just you. I need a certain heft and balance in my silverware. Plastic forks are awful, for so many reasons. Yet my son won't use metal silverware since breaking his teeth on a metal playground toy as a young kid. Plastic only for him.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-16 02:46 pm (UTC)
I can' t imagine preferring to eat with plastic, but it's clear that some people do.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: teaa
2015-08-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'm exactly the same way about cutlery and have forced poor Scott to learn my preferences so that one of us isn't always having to go switch out what he's handed me.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-16 08:49 pm (UTC)
Good man, that!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: atreic
2015-08-17 01:34 pm (UTC)
I'm just like that. I was having dinner with my parents and my mum had laid round spoons for the pudding, and I got teased for asking to swap for a pointier spoon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-17 04:29 pm (UTC)
I can completely relate.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pachamama
2015-08-19 02:53 pm (UTC)
Oh the right fork is essential! For me it's also about the ratio of tine length to body width -- I like long tines proportionately as well as absolutely. And I dislike using the round soup spoons, preferring the large oval tablespoons instead. And I like my teaspoons with thin, almost sharp, bowl edges -- comes from using them to section halved grapefruit as I eat it, I guess. I'm also picky about my mugs, but that's a less consistent defineable thing -- more about a combination of how it feels in my hand and how it looks. The preferred mugs get their own mug tree, and I have been known to exchange mugs between tree and cupboard when someone else empties the dishwasher and gets it "wrong".
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-19 03:02 pm (UTC)
I don't like round soup spoons, but I like the larger tablespoons rather than tea spoons.

We have eliminated most mugs that didn't come with our dinner dishes, because we don't have cupboard room for them. But I understand about favorites. The only mug I drink out of (I don't drink hot beverages very often) is my favorite for the way it looks much more than the way it feels:
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/9F0AAOSwe-FU~lGQ/$_1.JPG
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pachamama
2015-08-19 03:09 pm (UTC)
That's adorable!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)