14 June, 2021
Crockery happens to have pride of place in many families. In a few families, expensive or exquisite crockery is handed down from generations. Many of us bring out the crockery on special occasions, like celebrating something special or when guests come. Crockery lends elegance to the dining table and adds to the fine dining experience.
But, there is a reason why many people avoid using it daily and stick to the steel or melamine cutlery. Crockery needs care and is usually made of high-quality clay or porcelain. There is a way to use, clean and store them, and this care ensures their durability and, of course, the handing down to the next generation. Perhaps, this care is not easy, especially in today’s fast-paced life, when more families rely either on a maid or a dishwasher for cleaning them after use. But dirty or ill-maintained crockery is a put-off that needs to be avoided, not just while displaying them in your kitchen or dining cupboard, but while serving too.
If you feel good using your crockery daily and can manage the cleaning and storing, then, by all means, you should do so. However, it may be good to keep some sets separate to be used only for special occasions. Typically, crockery is used only for serving and not for cooking. This means you should carefully transfer all food into the serving bowls with matching spoons, plates and ladles, etc., after you have finished the cooking.
One aspect to be kept in mind is that if you need to reheat some dishes after transferring them into the crockery bowls, you need to be sure they are microwave safe. Most are and come with instructions about it on the label. If not sure, please ensure that any crockery with gold linings or other metallic designs are not used in the microwave.
They should always be handled gently while serving or passing around on the table. If they are heated up in a microwave, then it’s best to use them with gloves to avoid dropping by mistake.
Crockery should be washed immediately after use, to the extent possible. It is preferred to hand wash them to ensure maximum care. But many dishwashers also allow for crockery wash. No scrubs should be used for washing crockery, and it is better to sponge wash them. Only mild detergents should be used to preserve the design and the durability of the crockery. Using sponges instead of scrubs will ensure that they remain scratch-free also. These should then be placed in dish trays to dry off naturally, or you may gently wipe them dry with a towel and put them back in storage.
It would be best if you did not wash them together with other metal utensils, especially spoons and forks. Soak them in water for a while. If stains are there, then sponge, rinse and dry as mentioned above. If using a dishwasher, check the dishwasher setting to ensure that you use the most optimum temperature and cycle. Crockery should not be stacked too close, and the detergent used should be mild.
One of those first things that we notice when we visit others may well be the beautifully set up crockery cupboard. This is not just a beauty requirement but also a need to ensure the longevity of the crockery. They should be stored carefully, with minimum disturbance. Use only closed cabinets to avoid build-up of dust.
Stack plates of similar size together to avoid confusion and ease of picking and storage space optimization. One common mistake most people make is to store cups inverted. This may result in the rims getting damaged and should be avoided. Even hanging cups is not a good idea as, over time, the handles may weaken. It is a good idea to first place some soft cloth towels or tissues in the rack before arranging your crockery. These could be periodically changed to ensure cleanliness and safety. Never put away wet crockery into the cupboard.
If you have antique or exquisite crockery, pay more attention to its use, wash and storage. They may need to be stored as individual pieces and cannot be stacked; this makes for a good display.
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