Easy Entertaining with Hand-crafted Pottery

Pots from Ruby's 2010 sidewalk saleA well-stuffed prop closet is one of the secrets to easy entertaining.

Instead of slaving away in the kitchen, let hand-crafted, affordable pottery do the work for you. Even the simplest foods can wow  your guests and make entertaining easy when presented on fabulous dishware, platters, and bowls.

But these can be expensive and when you live in earthquake country, you might be leery of spending big bucks on breakables. I owned one piece of art pottery until the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. Thinking to spare my feelings, my roommates had swept up all but two of the shards and disposed of them. Those last two were already lost when I saw the latest pots from the same potter—all of them mosaics.

Then, too, children and pets can be hard on precious items. Zoey, my cat, used to jump onto the fireplace mantle from which perch she could contemplate how best to leap into my lap. Also on the mantle was an antique, Chinese, blue-and-white pottery cachepot that had belonged to my mother. You know what happened to it.

Happily, I live just blocks from Ruby’s Clay Studio (552A Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94114). There, beginning the last Sunday of July, the studio holds its annual sidewalk sale. You have until this coming Tuesday, 3 August, to take advantage of deep discounts on the work of over 30 potters.

Last year G and I needed the car to cart home our loot—more than 25 bowls of various colors, shapes, and sizes by many different potters. Most of them were about $3 per. When I broke one, I stayed calm in the knowledge that soon I’d be able to indulge in more. This year, afraid that G would buy more bowls than we can fit into our cabinets, I went alone and fell for a celadon-blue bowl that I think will show off green salad wonderfully and an egg-shaped vase, perfect for the dried weeds I carted home from Sonoma.

If you can’t make the sale this year, don’t despair. Just mark your calendar now for the last Sunday in July when the 8th annual sale will begin.



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-Diane Loeb

About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

Contact Penni Wisner