I love this silverware.
My parents are a pair of talented trash pickers. I recall moments of driving down the streets of Detroit with Mom as a little girl, rain whipping at the windshield as the wipers swish and swash, when she would swerve to curb, slam on the breaks, and say "Hurry. Grab that chair and throw it in the car." How embarrassing it was, though I appreciate my parents' hunting skills and refinishing know-how now that I'm an adult.
The greatest find of them all came when I was a freshly born babe. My father, as the story is told, was making the trek to work, when he spotted a promising pile of garbage. With a few spare moments on his hands, he stopped, only to find a flat, black box. It was the days when he was an avid chess player (I too would belong the chess club not seven years later. I also collected stamps...), and he so hoped it to be a lovely set. Much to his surprise, it was a rather absurd looking set of flatware.
Family tradition was born that day. Each year at Thanksgiving, the set is taken down from the shelf, its heavy silver polished, and each piece set according to proper etiquette (I earned that badge in the Girl Scouts and can say that I set a mean table. Have I ever mentioned my Super Nerd status?).
This year, as always, the "turkey" silverware was set, and we began to ponder its origins. A little Google searching, and I came across this:
Jezzine Ware Ornate Flatware designed and manufactured by the S & S Haddad Company of Lebanon. The cutlery is so well regarded that it has been presented to dignitaries all over the world, a tradition that began in the 18th century with a gift of Jezzine cutlery to Sultans of Oman. The handles are carved from African buffalo horn in a "Firebird" or "Phoenix" pattern with inlaid stones and metals.What?! Our little trash pickin' set of Thanksgiving flatware is the same as those given to the Sultans of Oman! I don't know who they are, but it surely sounds prestigious. Wouldn't you agree? Why would one just toss this out with the coffee grounds?
How silly some people are.
Meanwhile, we still haven't finalized the dictionary debate.