When my husband and I moved into our first apartment, I wanted to do a little shopping. I asked him what I should buy for our kitchen and he suggested buying soy sauce dishes. It sounded like a good idea to me.
I went to a little glass and china shop near my old apartment and looked around. I hemmed and hawed and finally decided on some little dishes. They were small, with a gold detail, and weren’t very expensive. Nice enough for guests to use and plain enough that we wouldn’t get tired of them.
I picked up five dishes and took them to the counter. I paid and the man wrapped them up in newspaper for me and I took them with me.
When I saw my husband that night I presented him with the package and he unwrapped them. “Oh, you bought pickle plates,” he said. I disagreed, I said they were for soy sauce. He corrected me and said that we could use them for soy sauce, but actually they were for putting takuan out for each guest. I was rather crestfallen, but decided that I’d use them as I wanted.
Over time, we have used my little “pickle” plates so much. They really are the handiest little dishes. We have used them very occasionally for takuan, but more often for holding dipping sauces, pre-measured amounts of spices for recipes, used teabags, and yes, even for soy sauce. There are only four left out of my original five, and the shop where I bought them has gone out of business, but those little dishes have paid for themselves over and over again. I think it is fair to say that we use those little sara all the time and have adapted to having them in our kitchen, whether they hold soy sauce or pickles or something we haven’t even thought of yet.