Today’s Giveaway Item:


Shards of shattered Pottery Barn dreams

When we registered for our wedding, I put these plate chargers on our registry, with the romantic notion we’d use them for all the newly married couple type dinner parties we’d throw.  I actually have used them a couple of times, but have come to understand that fancy, Pottery Barn type items like plate chargers are meant for people who have nice, spacious dining rooms with large tables.   Not people like us, who have tiny breakfast nooks for even tinier kitchen tables, where the chargers take up nearly all the available elbow room.  We actually entertain a lot, but we rarely set an elaborate table with cloth napkins, plate chargers and the good china – we lean towards having large groups over for summer barbecues in the backyard and resort to paper plates in the name of laziness.  It’s just who we are.  I noticed the plate chargers leaning sadly in the back of a high cabinet while trying to dig out the griddle the other day, and decided to release them to the type of refined home they were meant to serve.  I don’t really have any friends that seem to be “plate charger” type of people either, so I’m putting these in the Goodwill bin.  (However, friends reading this – or anyone willing to cover mailing costs if you’re not local to Portland–if you ARE a plate charger type of person, let me know and they are yours!)

Today’s Throwaway Item:

Mystery pickles

Mystery pickles

These are a bit of a mystery, but what I do remember is someone gave us these pickled peppers or beans or whatever they are as a gift.  They look like they might even be homemade.  I LOVE all things brined and pickled, but I’ve never really been able to tell what these are, and I’m suspicious of food I can’t readily identify.  Have you ever had someone hold out a spoonful or forkful of something to you and say, “Try this,” and you ask, “What is it?” and they say “Just try it”?  That does not work with me.  If you can’t–or won’t–tell me what it is, I am not putting it in my mouth.  For all I know you secretly hate me and are trying to poison me, so…no.  This jar has been in the fridge so long it was stuck to the shelf, and I had to pry it off to get it out.  I’m don’t consider myself an expert, but I’d guess that is not a good sign of freshness.  It looks like they’ve been opened, so Ron or I may have even tried them, but I have no memory of it and can’t find an expiration date, so at this point I wouldn’t give them away in case they’ve gone bad and would make someone sick.  Not to mention, I would have to offer them by saying, “I have no idea what these are – but try them!  Just try them!”