Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Plates

Back near the end of December Jane over at Hard Work Homestead wrote a post on how the size of coffee cups or mugs has been changing over the years.

Just like so many other things, our cups and mugs have been being progressively super-sized. They've gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. Jane illustrated her point by showing two coffee cups made by the same manufacturer, in the same style, but put out a couple of decades apart.

We've gone from a standard 6 ounce cup to ones that now hold no less than 12 ounces. (Kinda makes sense that a purchased cup of coffee today costs one heckuva lot more than it used to. Even discounting the cost in the rise of products and inflation, you're getting twice as much coffee poured into your cup!)

A couple of years ago I got it into my head that I'd like to have a set of plain white dishes. My brother-in-law, who owned a ceramics company at the time, sent me a set of white Bauer dishes. (Yeah, he is a very nice guy.)

The dinner plates to this set are a huge 11" across. Biggest dinner plates I've ever seen. They look like turkey platters.

The other plates (either salad plates or dessert plates, I'm not sure of the correct name for them) are 8-1/2" across.

The official "dinner" plates have always seemed so overly large to me that I started using (and still do) the smaller plates for our meals.

I read somewhere that if you're trying to lose weight, you should serve your meal on a smaller sized plate, thereby effectively limiting the size of your portions. (Doesn't seem like it's helped us, does it? But we won't get back on the attempt-to-lose-weight kick again here. I promise.)

Now what I'm wondering, as I'm stopping to think about it, are all dinner plates in sets being manufactured these days super-sized . . . much like coffee cups and mugs are?


Jenyfer Matthews said...

I haven't measured my plates but the mugs that came with the set seem puny at only 6oz (give or take)! But yes, I could see how using bigger plates would lead you to serving bigger servings, to fill up all that space.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Oh yes! My MIL got me a set for Christmas and I was worried they wouldn't fit in my cabinet! They are HUGE and they have a very deep 'well'. So now, not only are they larger, you can pile more in them like a bowl even!

I eat from the saucer too. Saucer size by no means 'small'.

Kelly said...

My dinner plates are good sized, but there is a rim that is couple of inches wide, the actual depression where the food goes seems an appropriate size. I often need to serve salad on the side even with these plates depending on the meal being served, or mostly the variety of foods being served I guess.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Here is one that was a real eye opener. How about the size of beds now and 70 years ago! It was very common for a couple to have a 3/4 bed. Not even a full sized bed. I removed 4 of these beds when I moved into my house. Now you have a king sized bed big enough to land a plane on. What is that saying about us now?

Erin said...

I always buy my dishes at IKEA simply because I like the colors and cheap price, but I notice they are much smaller compared to "American" dinnerware... my hubby always comments when he gets home from overseas how LARGE American portions are compared to the rest of the world LOL....But what would I do without those American size coffee cups?!!

Okay, so your comment yesterday about no garden has me intrigued and a bit worried... you must fill us in!

Erin said...

I just saw Jane's comment and it made me laugh since hubby and I were contemplating going DOWN in size from a queen to a double so we could have a bit more space in the bedroom since it has to double as my sewing space.... we were left wondering where to buy such a mattress anymore! I remember this used to be the standard size!

growmyown said...

My husband and I still sleep in a 3/4 bed. People think we are crazy. Most of them have at least a queen if not a king. We like cozy!

Susan said...

Absolutely! I use the small salad/dessert plates most of the time. My favorite dinnerware (Bennington Pottery) is more reasonably sized - just not more reasonably priced!

mtnchild said...

With your larger plates, you get more food and consequently more body! We, the people are being super sized too!!

I think the super size goes for just about everything now a days. Cars were huge until the gas prices went crazy; a large houses use to be 1200-1400 sq ft, now they are well over 2500+; even clothing ... what use to be a 14 is now labeled a 12 ...

I guess I live in a tiny house at only 960 sq ft, but I can still only be in one room at a time. Yes I do wish I had more room, but I do just fine.

Susan said...

What do you mean, you are not gardening next year??? That can.not. be true!!!

Mama Pea said...

Jen - The cups with this white set are still 6 ounce-ers. Go figure.

APG - Um, I don't think I would like the style of your new plates . . . does everything kinda "run" to the middle?

Kelly - Yep, I do get complaints from my hubby on certain meals served on our smaller plates. I still think it keeps him from taking bigger servings though. ;o)

Jane - I know! When you go thru a museum or "re-enactment" type village, not only are the beds for a couple so narrow, they're SHORT, too!

Erin - Don't get your knickers in a twist re my comment about not gardening this year. I WILL explain closer to spring time. Nuthin' to worry about. :o) It's a good thing, as Martha says.

You're thinking of down-sizing to a standard size bed??! But you've got a big husband! With long legs!

Mama Pea said...

growmyown - My hubby is always willing to cuddle for a while . . . but he can NOT fall asleep that way so we have to have a big enough bed for me to "go to my corner!"

Susan - Just goes to show ya bigger is not always better!

Yvette - I read something once that has always stuck with me: You can live comfortably in a very small space, if you have adequate storage area. Hmmm . . . ?

Susan - Holey moley, I had no idea anybody would CARE if I didn't garden this year! If you all start a campaign against my decision, I may be in big trouble!

Chicken Mama said...

I can compromise on a LOT, but NOT bed size!!! When the ex and I were building the new house, I remember asking him across our then-queen-sized bed, "Ummmm, honey? Don't take this the wrong way, but what would you think about us getting a king-sized bed for the new house?"

Fortunately, he was all for it, and that's what I sleep in now. It is HEAVEN, and the ex still talks about how comfortable that bed is.

But then, I am a person who can't have anyone TOUCH her when she gets ready to sleep. That's MY time! MY space! I remember that, even when we had the queen-size bed, all either of us wanted at night were toes touching. If that.

'Course, the ex always had Fred in the bed with us, and I prefer to sleep pretty much spread-eagle! So, we each needed lots of room.

(Due to his skinny body makeup and particularly bony knees, the ex always slept with a full-size pillow between his knees. Because the pillow took up so much room, I dubbed him 'Fred'.)

Then, as we women age, hot flashes come into the mix. If I'm near any other human heat source at night, it instantly flares up!

Erin said...

yeesh, I thought the length of the bed would be the same, guess I need to get creative with my space again!

mtnchild - yay! another person with less than 1000 sq ft! Me too! I refer to mine as a "sailboat" because of the way I store things, but I have to as we have 4 of us plus 2 dogs. I like it though, and you are right - you can only be in one room at a time!

Erin said...

Also, I'm all for "me space" in the bed... hubby has that darned c-pap machine, ugh! But I don't mind if the dogs are touching me, just not the snoring husband. BUT, y'all have to remember, mine is deployed for 8 months out of every 2 years, and when he's here often he works nights, so I really only need a bed big enough for me & the neurotic herding dogs!

Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Sounds to me like we could all do a "requirements for our bed and sleeping habits" blog post! I know the guy I share a bed with and I could never live happily ever after if we had to give up our king size bed!

Erin - Um, can I ask what is a c-pap machine??

Erin said...

Hubby has always looked and acted so tired that I made him go to the Dr. about it a few years ago. He had to do several sleep studies and they found out he has pretty severe sleep apnea. He "wakes up" roughly 3-4 times per minute all night long, of course he never knew this, but it was very disturbing to me! The CPap machine "forces" a constant stream of air into his nose to keep the passageways open. It's kind of like a quiet little humming air compressor that is attached to a mask he wears that looks like a hospital oxygen mask. He kind of looks like a science experiment at night LOL. It helps immensely though, WHEN he uses it!

Sparkless said...

I would have bought a double bed but the husband insisted in us getting a queen. Now you can barely get around the bed in our room. Plus the new bed is so high I feel like a kid climbing up into it at night!

I have both big mugs and small ones. The husband like the bit ones but I'm fine with a smaller mug or plate. Who fills up those huge dinner plates anyway?!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Thanks for the education. Not a great thing to have that sleep apnea! Good they've got something that gives him relief.

Sparkless - We've had a king size bed forever . . . because of Daddy Long Legs . . . and arms! We've also had it in bedrooms where it was wall to wall bed!

Dirt Lover said...

We have old plates that are fairly small, compared to new ones, but they have "bumpers" on them. Funny thing is, the mugs that we use from that same set are huge!! Nothing quite like a really big cup of tea, though, especially in the cold. As for the bed, we have a queen and it seems a little too big for us. I really don't like Kings, and when we stay at a hotel, hubby knows to request a queen instead. Didn't know the length got smaller on the smaller beds. Good to know, as I was thinking it would be nice to get a smaller bed. Oh well.

Mama Pea said...

Lori - Doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason in regard to big plates, small mugs or small plates, big mugs, does there?

And, boy, we sure all seem to have our preferences as to the size of our beddie-byes!!

Marty said...

I can see the problem with your plates - you need the new Bauer Luncheon Plates! They are about 10 1/4" diameter. I like them much better. We'll see, since you've both been good all year maybe Santa will bring you some as a late Christmas gift!!!

MaineCelt said...

All our plates are seconds from Monroe Salt Works, a local pottery. The dinner plates are very durable--they survived two boys from infancy to young adulthood--but they're big (11" across) AND heavy. Now that the boys are out of the house, we happily eat most of our meals on MSW "dessert" plates (7 1/2" across). The portions feel much more reasonable.
It's not just plates, bowls, and mugs that have jumped in size. We bought new silverware a few years ago and the so-called "soup spoons" looked big enough to ladle oatmeal to a workhouse full of orphans. The regular forks seem a bit large to me too. The salad fork feels just right!

Mama Pea said...

Marty - OMIGOSH! Really?? How exciting! (I just knew being good would pay off!)

MaineCelt - SILVERWARE is not being super-sized, too? Good grief. Where will it all end??