We are leaving my parents' house this evening; my son is having his afternoon nap. This morning my mom took my husband and me over to my grandmother's apartment. Whenever there is a death, you have to deal with the person's stuff. My grandmother had recently moved to assisted living so she had sent some of her things to my sister and me while she was still alive.
We considered taking a silver chafing dish, just because chafing dishes are so neat. Of course we mainly entertain on Shabbat so a chafing dish would be impractical...even if it were somehow at all practical by nature, which it isn't.
My mom opened a drawer where my grandmother had some embroidered linen tablecloths and napkins. She started to go through them. We found a "hostess apron." I remembered my grandmother putting it around her waist and doing a kind of silly pantomime of wearing it. There was some fashion for hostesses to wear these gauzy, embroidered half-aprons at fancy parties. In a world where such an item was de rigeur for entertaining, I certainly would never have had a guest! But my grandmother had several such aprons. I never saw her wear one for real.
Sometime maybe I'll put up the one recipe I have from her, for macaroni and cheese casserole. It was actually a really special one that she used to serve to break the fast on Yom Kippur. I hope we will find other ones, but I don't think that was her focus.<> >