There’s no question about the beloved place the act of breaking out The Good Silver holds in Southern families, holidays, and traditions. It’s in our soul—the pride and sense of responsibility we get when we’re finally old enough to be trusted to set the table with the fine china is a memory many of us hold, along with being told as long as we can remember that one day it'll be passed down to us. It’s one of the things woven into our inherent knowledge and love of Southern traditions as intricately as the design on one of these sterling silver flatware pieces.
Now, appreciation and respect for The Good Silver is undeniable, but one thing that can still divide us and send pleasant conversation into a tizzy is the debate on which pattern is the best, the most beautiful or the most traditional. It’s a true point of contention for us Southerners. We pride ourselves on immaculate presentation for all occasions, so naturally we have opinions on how to do them right. We learn how to set our tables perfectly and prettily; we inherit the essential recipes for any party or big family dinner; and we practice until we can throw together a masterful Southern celebration as good as our moms and grandmothers.
Amidst our journey to find what our Southern ladies set their table with, we found that there are certainly favorite patterns in Southern households and, as a welcoming surprise, that many don’t just wait until special occasions to break out The Good Silver. Y’all are using it every day, for every occasion. Because why not? Last time we checked, there doesn’t need to be a reason to make every meal feel a little special. Life is short, so use the darn silver.
Here are a few patterns that are tried-and-true favorites for those across the South: