I recently saw an ad posted on a neighborhood online garage sale for Fiesta ware. Not the new Fiesta ware that has names reflect today’s most popular colors, but the old Fiesta ware with the primary colors of red, yellow, cobalt blue, green and ivory. The same Art Deco-inspired bowls in which Rice Krispies were served for breakfast by my grandmother.
Seeing the ad stirred memories of “Banny”, my grandmother. Tennessee-born, Banny had been transplanted to Chicago by my Grandaddy, an auto-worker. Her cooking was inspired by her Southern roots, and Banny commandeered the kitchen of the little bungalow they shared. Rice Krispies may have been a commercial breakfast fare, but all other meals were made with flair and finesse.
Green beans with bacon, pork chops and gravy, buttermilk biscuits dripping with butter. Homemade peach pie and ice cream for dessert. A favorite Sunday dinner served on those memorable Fiesta ware dinner plates.
My Banny may have come from Southern roots with all of the old Southern charm and cooking to go along with them, but her home was far from Old South. The Fiesta ware brightened her kitchen and played the backdrop for her Southern fare. And while we loved the food, we loved her even more.
All of the love she shared through her cooking and her big, bright, and warm personality came back to me, flooding my mind in the vision of Fiesta ware.