With some things there's never been a moment's hesitation; I always loved this relish dish. It was a wedding present to my parents from someone who must have known how much my mother loved Lilly-of-the-Valley. When I was growing up it was my job to arrange the cornichons, olives and crudité on this plate for special occasions.
I've had this plate now for more than ten years but during that time it was still, to my mind, my mother's plate. It's one of those funny, unexpected little shifts in the universe that happens when someone dies but only now does it feel like it's my plate.
The question remains what to do with it. I don't see the point in having such things just to stick them in a cupboard somewhere to be brought out for the increasingly rare, more formal dinner party and I don't have a breakfront where these things can be displayed.
I do have a lot of table top that I prefer to keep free of clutter but I've decided that I'm going to change that and keep at least one 'heirloom' on the dining room table or the sideboard, changing it every so often.
For the time being, the relish plate sits on the sideboard.