Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Dish, Gold Dish, Two Dish, Old Dish

This summer I’ve spent weekends in three different beach condos in three different Florida towns. Interestingly, the kitchens in all three came furnished with the same exact dishes…Correlle brand’s “Butterfly Gold” pattern. I noticed this not because I’m a china pattern aficionado, but because this is the same dish set I grew up with in the 1970s and 1980s. Every meal of every day from birth until adulthood was eaten off Butterfly Gold.

First introduced in 1970, Butterfly Gold’s universal appeal was that it matched the harvest gold appliances and countertops so popular at that time. I dunno, I’m making that up, but our house did have harvest gold everything. And it seemed like everybody had that set. Even now when I visit friends and relatives in other states, most everyone has at least a piece or two of this set stashed in the back of the cabinet.

These dishes refuse to die, they’re utterly unbreakable. Countless times one of us kids dropped a plate while drying dishes, and as we braced for the expected crash, all that resulted was a quick smack sound followed by a spin…like a hula hoop that’s dropped to the ground. They never broke!

To this day I compare every cereal bowl I use to the Correlle cereal bowl, which I dare say is the world’s most perfect cereal bowl. It has the perfect lip, contoured at just the right arc for precision drinking. Generation X kids ate a LOT of cereal while watching Saturday morning cartoons, and when it came time to drink the last of the milk after eating your Honeycomb, with the Correlle bowl you never missed a drop.

Twenty-five years ago my older brother took some pieces of the set with him when he got his first apartment after college; my parents still have a few stragglers from the original set. I figure I’ll inherit what’s left someday. It’s a piece of Gen-X childhood that, while not necessarily the most attractive, still makes any kitchen feel like home.


  1. We had those dishes. Now that you mention it, they were pretty awesome.

  2. A few weeks after I wrote this I caught part of "Back to the Future II" (which takes place in 2015), and would you believe Marty's mother still had these dishes !! Trying to get a screen capture....