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Banana Slush

2 cups sugar
3 cups water
3 ripe bananas mashed
3 cups pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2 T lemon juice
32 oz (4 cups) lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, chilled.

Combine sugar  and water.  Bring to boil.  Boil 5 minutes and cool.

In large non-metal container combine mashed bananas, juices, and sugar mixture.  Mix well and freeze.  Two hours before serving remove frozen mixture from freezer.  Just before serving stir in carbonated beverage.  Serve immediately.  Makes 20 1/2 cup servings.  Calories per serving: 150.

Collecting Crystal

Garage sales, flea markets and resale shops provide a fun way to collect specialty items.  Since our female counterparts of yesteryear did not work outside the home they took special pride in owning specialty items not typically found today.  A plethora of mystery items remain to be found by modern day collectors.  "Many the time I have been heard to say, "I love it, I want it, what is it?" 

Unlocking the Mystery of Stemware

Yesterday I spied four stems in Gold Lenox Antique.  If you know the pattern frequently the Replacements web is the place to go to help identify your piece. Specialty glass books on Heisey, Cambridge, Fostoria, Independence, etc. are another great resources.  In this case my stems are yet to be positively identified.  Yet clues dues to size and shape can often help in the identification process.  These stems are 4 3/4'' high and hold precisely 1/2 cup or four fluid ounces.

Stems and Table Arrangement

When setting a formal table the water tumbler is placed above and slightly to right of the knives. The position of the tumbler anchors the positions of the other stemware. As a general rule of thumb, shorter stems are placed in front of the taller.  In a formal dinner or banquet the tumbler for water is placed above or above and slightly to the right of the knives.  The champagne glass is placed a slight distance to the right of the water tumbler.  In front and between the water tumbler and champagne is the claret or tall stem for white wine. The stem for white wine is usually longer than stem for red wine and generally holds couple of ounces more. Since white wine is served chilled the purpose of the longer stem is to keep the heat from the hand from warming the wine.  The sherry is generally placed in front and the burgundy in back behind the water and champagne.

Champagne stems are either flutes or the shallow bowled.  The shallow bowled variety are sometimes sold as champagne/sherbets.

Most jewelers currently stock only the waters, iced teas or footed beverage, champagne/sherbet, and wines. 


Sherry:  Typically this is the first wine served at dinner in a small V-shaped stem.  Sherry should be served at room temperature.

White Wine: White wine is always served chilled. The stem for white wine is longer than for claret and the bowl holds approximately two ounces more than the bowl for a claret.  White wines are usually served with fish and fowl.

Red wine:  Red wine is served at room temperature with meat.

Burgandy:  Burgandy is stronger than claret.  It is served at room temperature with duck and game.

Champagne:  If no other wines are served at a formal dinner, champagne is served with the meat course.  If other wines are served, it is served as soon as first course has begun.  Champagne is served chilled.

Whisky:  Whisky is not served at a formal dinner.  At an informal dinner it may be served to the gentlemen in lieu of champagne.  It is served with a piece of ice in tall glass suitable for iced tea.

Liquers:  Liquers are served to both sexes in very small stems.

Caring for Crystal

Antique crystal is a work of art. Many pieces are hand blown, hand cut, and hand polished.  It is cost prohibitive for current manufacturers to produce a similar quality today.  Waterford continues to produce hand blown, hand cut crystal but even they are using acid polishing techniques.  As a work of art it needs to be treated lovingly.  Under no circumstances should crystal be washed in a dishwasher.  The phosphates in the dishwashing detergent permanently etches the crystal making it cloudy. 


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