Memory Lane in my Hands


Today, I took some time out to stop at a few small thrift shops while I was out and about. And, look at what I found!

I found some Pyrex bowls. Did you hear my happy sigh? These bowls appeal to my nostalgic, frugal, aesthetic, and practical senses. In the sports world, wouldn’t that be a grand slam or something like that? Whenever I help my mom get ready for family gatherings, I love to dig out her Pyrex bowls, which were my grandmother’s bowls before that. There is just something about these quietly vintage bowls that is appealing. Maybe it is because they are so enduring or iconic or practical. I looked up a little history about them that makes me like the bowls even more. Apparently they came into existence because the Corning Glass Works was doing such a good job making indestructible railroad lanterns. You’ve got to appreciated the days when a company created a quality product for the sake of a quality product. The company didn’t already have its focus on tomorrow’s next “greatest” update that would drive the current product into obsolescence before the packaging from the first one even made it to the second strata of the landfill. Alas, I wax too long on my soapbox, so I’ll stop and say that that plucky engineer’s wife who first decided to bake a cake in one of the lantern parts, thus birthing the idea of Pyrex bowls, is one of my heroes of ingenuity.

Maybe that engineer’s wife would have been proud of my frugality. These bowls can be pretty pricey, but I got the big one for $3 “as is” because of that white streak on the top edge of the bowl. Who am I to judge? We’ve all got our imperfections (let’s just try not to let them make us cheap). And, the little blue bowl was only $5.50. A little rich for my thrift shop blood, but…

As for the bowls appealing to my aesthetic  sense, I’m not sure why they do exactly. After all, the blue one has absolutely no connection to my color scheme in the kitchen or dining room. But, I just like them. Maybe it is, as the linked article suggests, their feel or cool, solid weight. Maybe it is that they can be bright but practical at the same time. Maybe it is the vintage aura automatically associated with them. Let the aesthetic mystery be what it may; I just like these bowls.

And, finally, they are practical. Well, ok, I did just read that to prevent fading I shouldn’t dishwash them, and that’s not very practical. But, I can’t tell you the last time that I bought anything plastic for my kitchen (unless you count the plastic lids for the modern Pyrex bowls that I bought on Black Friday). I do use my plastic cake taker and my plastic leftover containers that all store in a compact carousel on a regular basic, but other than that, I’ve been on a mission to mostly start stocking the kitchen with glass and stainless steel. I don’t worry then about spaghetti stains or melting in the dishwasher. And, if I’m doing anything with icing, the grease definitely rinses out of glass and stainless better than plastic. Plus, I just like glass better even if the stack of plastic bowls weighs ten times what plastic weighs. I tone my arms too when I’m cooking. Bonus!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the deal is with the metal “thing” in front of the bowls. That’s a reindeer cookie cutter. I’ll take metal cookie cutters over plastic ones any day, and when I saw the reindeer at the thrift store, it immediately brought back memories of baking sugar cookies as a kid because my mom has a reindeer shaped just like that. Who knows how many times, I’ve given reindeer a cinnamon hot candy for an eye and some chocolate sprinkles or a heap of colored sugar for fur.

So, while I think we need to be careful in our consumeristic culture not to be fooled into thinking that we can buy back a memory, it is fun to have tangible reminders of them sometimes.

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