They are little, rectangular, white and micro-wave safe, created to be used for single service airplane meals. We bought a stack of them about 30 years ago at the Pfaltzgraff Outlet in Lancaster County. Finally, after many years of incessant use, they are beginning to crack. We use them for both micro-wave and as cat dishes. In fact, if we get pick up one, the cats present themselves with expectation written all over their fuzzy faces. If I put a sandwich on one and take it out onto the back picnic table, Bob will hop up and come over to inspect it, just to be double certain the contents are not meant for him.
After all, sometimes, Fancy Feast© comes on that dish…
There is nothing remarkable about them, but it occurs to me that they are an artifact of a particular time and place, one now receding in our collective memory. By our mega-meal standard, these dishes are small. No supersized anything would fit.
Today, not only is the once flourishing stoneware company Pfaltzgraff defunct, but the reusable nature of the dishes probably represented, to some clever sales person at a disposable tableware company, a great opportunity.
"Convenient! Fast! Just Throw Those Cumbersome Dirty Dishes Away!"
As it was, employees had to pack the plates into dishwashers and someone had to put the frozen-whatever back on them, too, before reloading them all onto the plane for microwaving. The airlines had to pay these folks. So, while they were economizing, they got rid of all that staff--people--who represented wages and retirement.
It’s only recently that we’ve collectively begun to wonder where “away” is. We're discovering that because there truly is no “away,” disposable plastic is not only a false economy--another thing made out of petro-chemicals that will take a thousand years to fall apart--but a burden to our already over-burdened planet.
And, while all this "progress" was transpiring, another whole host of changes occurred, these along the cost cutting line. Now, on economy flights, you better carry on board anything you wish to consume, because most airlines, except for the long haul ones, have dispensed with offering their passengers anything but soda, juice, and a tiny package of nibbles. If you’re lucky.
My handy little Delta Dishes remain, faithfully going in and out of the microwave and dishwasher daily as they have for the last thirty years. They serve as spoon rests when I’m stove top cooking, as slice of pie plates or cookie trays. All this, and, of course, they are just the right size for a dab of cat food or a spot of cream for some importunate kitty.
~~Juliet Waldron ~ All my historicals : http://amzn.to/1UDoLAi
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