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This past winter I invested in a rainbow collection of Mepra forks, knives, and spoons — and it seriously changed my life. I say “invested” because, well, they’re not cheap. I saw the flatware at a local flower shop here on Martha’s Vineyard, and it sparked something inside me: One look at the gorgeous display whisked me away to daydreams of feasting with friends on delicious food around a cheery table teeming with bounty. I needed that fanciful, little trip in February’s bleak and lonely COVID-19 reality.
But how could I justify spending $15 per fork or spoon (and $25 per knife!) at a time when I needed to practice creative budgeting and thriftiness? I couldn’t possibly spend more than $300 on five sets of silverware! I also understood the power of splurgy, self-care retail therapy, though. My mom, who passed right at the start of the pandemic, used to drop nuggets of wisdom on us like daily calisthenics. One mantra she repeated particularly frequently was, “You absolutely need to have fun every day.”
With this commandment echoing in my ear, I turned my flatware investment into a game. Every time I needed a pick-me-up (and believe me, I needed many this past year), I drove down to Morrice Florist and got a dose of beauty by wandering through their houseplant- and flower-draped shop. Each visit, I treated myself to one piece of Mepra. I bought one pink spoon the day I met a deadline, a blue knife a week later to reward myself for exercising (for the first time all year!), an orange fork two weeks after that because I needed a boost, and so on. Now, I have a full set and I giggle with joy every time I sit down to eat.
Because, really, dining is an experience for all of our senses. Sure, we feed our bodies with food, but mealtime is also about delighting in aromas and textures, creating some beauty for the eyes to feast upon, and taking that break from the daily routine to enjoy a few moments at the table. Yes, I wish the people I love could always be in the chairs next to me, but sometimes, as we all know, that’s not possible. So, you find celebration in other ways. Eating my meal with an artfully designed, well-crafted, cheerful fork tickles that joyful chord at each meal.
Because this flatware is WAY too pretty to hide away in a drawer, I keep my Italian Fantasia forks, knives, and spoons on display in the middle of my dining table. It’s fitting that I bought them from a florist because my collection has very much taken the place of a bouquet — only it’s one that’ll last for years and years to come.
Do you have favorite flatware? Tell us about it in the comments!