Granny, Grace and Fiestaware

I wanted to share the pork tenderloin recipe, that just happens to be one of Boo’s favorites, so I needed to get a picture quick.  She was home from work and smelled the deliciousness as she drove into the garage.  No time to put the meal on a fancy plate for it’s “close-up”.  I needed to get it onto a plate and ready to eating!  That’s why it’s on my everyday black Fiestaware plate.  Fiestaware reminds me of my beloved Granny, Isabelle (or Izzy).

Granny was an amazing woman who, although she was Scottish, I am sure somewhere back in time one of her ancestors must have made a trip over to Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone.  That woman was quite the storyteller and poet.  I remember going to her house, sitting at her kitchen table with a hot cup of tea.  I felt so fancy sitting there will Granny and whatever visitor showed up.  There was always someone at Granny house.  She had such a welcoming manner and always made you feel special.  Granny would fix me a cup of hot tea in her turquoise Fiestaware cup.  Boy, did I feel grown-up sitting there with the adults!  In my child’s mind I just knew that she truly was someone special, just by how everyone was treating her and being so respectful of her.  I had no idea that they were just reflecting back to her what she was giving to them.  Respect and love.

Granny would write poems and one day had them self-published (and by self-published I mean she copied, cut and stapled them together in a booklet herself) and sold at a local store.  Since my older sister, Rose, and I were the first grandchildren we had our very own poem and they were in her book.  I was even more honored, as she had also written a poem about my beloved daughter, Megan.  It was all I could do to stop myself from gluing the other pages together, so that the only pages you could read were the ones about me and Boo.  In reading through her book I found a wonderful story about her Fiestaware dishes.  She told the story of how she came to own the eight place setting of the dishes.  She must have really sweet talked the sales person into some kind of deal!  I was just sure that the sales person just put together the set by taking one colored pieces from one set and then another colored piece from another set and so on and so on.  I could not have been more wrong!  Not only did I learn a new story about my grandparents, but I learned a valuable lesson on how to be the most gracious person you can possible be.

When Granny and Grandpa married they, like so many others, were poor and had to furnish their home with cast-aways from family and friends.  Granny’s dishes were a hodge podge of different patterns.  Today decorators will tell you that it is quite fashionable to mix your patterns, as long as they are in the same “color family”.  Not only were Granny’s not in the same “color family”, I am guessing that some of them were perhaps “first cousins who married and produced genetically” one ugly color!  One year for Christmas Grandpa, with a huge beaming face, presented Granny with a huge box and the story of how he and the children had saved their pennies all year just to be able to buy her the one gift she had always dreamed of having.  Granny just knew that it was a set of matching dishes, so she could hardly contain herself as she tore open the box!  Here is where the lesson of being gracious comes in.  With tears streaming down her face she smiled and told them all how happy she was with her gift, how proud she will be to serve meals not only to her family, but to friends on her beautiful set of matching Fiestaware.  That is my definition of “grace”.  Doing all that you can to make the other person feel as comfortable as possible.

During the 1950’s Fiestaware came in four colors – orange red, yellow ivory, green, and turquoise.  You could purchase a four-place setting of any of those four colors or you could purchase a four-place setting with one color of each place setting.  Can you guess which one Grandpa picked out?  You guessed it – the box with a place setting of each color.  Granny still did not have the dishes she wanted, the matched set.  However, what she got that Christmas was something even better.  Granny loved these dishes for what they represented to her – a tangible symbol of the love she had from her beloved husband and children.  And isn’t that what we all want?  To know that we are loved.  Grandpa and Granny had the best marriage.  They loved each other until the day she died, thirty some years after Grandpa died.

So, in my married life I did get what Granny thought she wanted.  I had a matched set of dishes.  I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to find that kind of love with a husband.  However, the love she found in her children I did find in my Boo.  She is one of the kindest, gentlest, compassionate people I know.  Boo also has the “grace” gene from Granny.  At work there is a gentleman who comes in who is deaf.  Boo found several books on Sign Language and is working at basic signing so that she will be able to help this guest at her place of business feel more comfortable.  Grace in action.  And, she is a good little eater – Joy Rising!



Serves  6 – 8

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees      Prep Time  15  minutes      Bake  Time  1 ½- 1 ¾  Hour


2# Pork Tenderloin

¾ tsp Dry Thyme   (if you use fresh Thyme  you will need  1 ½ tsp)

¼  tsp Salt

¼  tsp Pepper

2/3 Cup Peach Preserves

4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

½ tsp Ground Ginger  (if you use fresh Ginger  you will need 1 tsp)


  1. In a small bowl mix together all ingredients, except for the tenderloin.
  2. Place tenderloin into small baking dish; cover with ingredients in the bowl.
  3. Place into oven and roast until thermometer reaches  160 degrees.
  4. Take out of oven and cover with foil.



2 T Butter

2 T Flour

2 C Liquid  (you can use milk or chicken stock or mixture of both.  I use equal portions)

Drippings from Baking Dish


  1. In saucepan on low heat melt butter;  add flour.  Stir together and cook for about 2-3 minutes to allow the “raw” flour taste to cook out.
  2. Add in the drippings; stir together.  Cook for another 2- 3 mintues.

Add in the rest of the liquids; stir together.  Allow to cook until desired thickness.  This will take about another 2-3 mintues.