Once upon a time every bride could expect to receive at least one glass relish tray - and sometimes many relish trays - and it is a good time to revive this custom. These small dishes make wonderful gifts and a link with your family's memories. It's time to rethink our table service and add a bit of retro class to our dinner tables. During the late Victorian era, elegant homes used a piece shaped like a vase to serve celery. Remember, this was when fresh vegetables would have been available during a short season and were grown locally. Celery requires more work to grow than some vegetables so it was more expensive. The housewife would clean the celery and place it upright in the tumbler instead of horizontally. After about 1920 celery dishes were larger, low oval bowls or dishes, usually without dividers. Smaller sizes were meant for pickles and larger ones, about 10 inches or so, were for celery. Over time the simple oval celery or pickle dish evolved into multi-compartment relish trays. Fostoria and Cambridge both made trays that were about 15 inches long and had 5 or more compartments but the more common styles had three compartments. Often one compartment was longer, running the full width, which was for celery and the smaller ones were for carrots or pickles or olives. It's gotten quite difficult to find attractive quality glass relish trays and with today's emphasis on vegetables and fresh foods, it's a good time to look at vintage trays.
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