Going Tiny

A perfect serving of key lime cheesecake.

A perfect serving of key lime cheesecake.

A year or two ago, my spouse (our social and entertainment director) came across a documentary about tiny houses, which totally fascinated both of us. Fast forward to a month or so ago when Michael happened upon Tiny House Hunters on HGTV. We searched and found other tiny house shows as well, and we’re totally hooked on them. The thing I love about the concept is the simplicity, organization, and satisfaction of only using how much space you really need.

During my lifestyle change, I realized that using the smallest plate possible for what I was eating felt like I was getting more–and that was really important at a time I was learning portion sizes. Plus, a while back, I bought a new set of plates to replace our sad mish-mash that sorely needed to be retired. The first time I put food on what was designated as the dinner plate, my portioned out serving was lost in the sea of creamy ceramic, appearing as if I was eating a light appetizer instead of a full meal. So out went the dinner plates that we now only use for holidays, and in came the “side” plates, along with the hearty-size soup bowl for our starter salads. (Ever notice flat ware sets are the same way, with enormous dinner forks? We have only ever used the ones for salad.)

The original tiny bowl.

The original tiny bowl. It holds one serving of pretzels.

Enter Tiny Ware
It was when I was traveling in Turkey a few years ago that I came across the best thing yet: tiny bowls. They were meant to serve olives, which we love, so I bought five. Three broke in transit, which was a huge bummer, especially because we started using these bowls every day, and not just for olives. When I looked for tiny bowls here at home, I didn’t have much luck finding anything that wasn’t just a plastic condiment server. (Did I mention I hate shopping?)

This tiny bowl holds a one-ounce serving of smoked almonds.

This tiny bowl holds a one-ounce serving of smoked almonds.

Both bowls have a one-ounce serving of sunflower seeds.

Both of these bowls have a one-ounce serving of sunflower seeds.

A few years later, I found more tiny bowls in Thailand, buying the four I found at the night market in Chiang Mai. But it was when I was in Italy last summer that I hit the mother lode of perfect-sized tiny bowls, where I bought five really decorative ones and the only two slightly less tiny bowls they had. (Yes, the only time I shop is when I’m traveling.) I badgered the clerk to super wrap them for me, babied them the rest of the trip, and they made it home in intact. The newest and coolest addition to our tiny collection was the tiny plates I found last year when we visited Nashville.

The mother lode of tiny bowls.

The mother lode of tiny bowls.

The reason I’m so hip on these tiny bowls and plates is that they’re perfect for small portions that would otherwise seem like insignificant servings. Every morning I’m home, I eat nuts from a tiny bowls. Every night, I eat three squares of chocolate from a tiny bowl. When I decide to have dessert, I almost always eat it on a tiny plate. I know that no matter how hard I try, I cannot cram more than a 1-oz. serving of potato chips into a less-tiny bowl, which is much more satisfying than how piddley it looks in a regular snack bowl.

Sometimes a tiny piece is all you need.

Sometimes a tiny piece is all you need. The cake on the tiny plate is about half the size of that on the bigger plate.

If I could throw pottery, I’d totally take up tiny bowl and plate design. Everyone should have them! Start looking to add tiny ware to your own collection and if you’re lucky, you won’t even have to leave the country to find them. And if you do find something you love, please let me know where you found it : )



2 thoughts on “Going Tiny

  1. Coyote says:

    What a cool idea! My wife is about to take a pottery class that starts next week. I showed her this post and she’s going to make some because it’s a perfect way to try different glazes. Also who doesn’t love tiny bowls??

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