Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

20.12.11

Moral issue raised by old plates.

Now the old plates are turning up in mosaic-ed numbers for houses as Christmas gifts for relatives, an 'office' sign for the kindergarten, and some other projects.

"But why not bone china?" I had asked, continuing a somewhat convoluted conversation of a week or so ago. It does not fracture or chip easily, is the answer. And when it does, its shards are uneven and very, very sharp. Bone china is hard because it is manufactured using bones. I have tested knowledge of this fact on a small research group, and it was not universally known. In fact, there was some surprise expressed.

Which raises a question. If you have friends over for dinner, and they are vegetarians, and you cook up some wonderful vegetarian food, and you serve it on your best crockery, which is bone china; should you admit to your friends the awful truth that they are eating their vegetarian meals off plates made from the ground-up bones of dead cows? Or not?

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The oldest bone china item I have is a bread and butter plate from the set given to my maternal grandfather and grandmother at their wedding in 1925. It is the last piece of the set remaining, as far as I know. 


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