Yesterday I looked at the butter plate on my counter and - whoa! There was mold growing on there! I've never, ever seen mold growing on butter before, never mind mold that appears suddenly, because it definitely wasn't there 18 hours before.
When I got over the shock I thought, huh, get that butter into the bin and put the dish in the dishwasher.
Crisis: the dish came out looking like this:
The mold had somehow gotten under the glaze and discoloured it, which I am pretty sure makes it no longer food safe.
And this is a problem because - cue violins - it's one of the special plates.
I used to have this thing about collecting vintage plates and using them as my regular dishes, but I had to stop when I realized I got really crabby if the yellow plaid plate was dirty when I wanted to use it for toast, or the one with the teal and brown stripes around the rim was unavailable for cake, or the deep blue one with the ivory underside that I bought at a boot sale in England was busy under somebody else's salad when I had set my heart on it for a sandwich.
I packed them up until I could be rational (they're still there, in case you were wondering), and bought myself a plain white set, which looks really, really peaceful in my kitchen cupboard.
But when I found a stack of 9 of these plates in a second hand store for 10 cents apiece I thought, ummm, okay! because they would at least match, and there were 9, and they are an unusual size (about 6" across) which is perfect for little desserts.
That is how they became the special plates, in daily use for tea parties and desserts and little treats and, of course, butter.
And I've already broken one, so I can't really afford to lose this, which was one of the really perfect still-white no-crazing ones.
I was leaning over it and considering my options (vinegar? baking soda?) when suddenly the best one occurred to me (eBay!) and I tracked down not one but two located at a vendor near me.
Phew. Desserty crisis averted. But you better believe I didn't pay 10 cents apiece this time!