Cleaning out my father-in-law’s pantry while we were in the Upper Peninsula this spring was moldy, musty, melancholy work. I can’t remember the oldest expiration date on the cans, though 1987 rings a bell. We drove home with some newish pasta and tinned tomatoes, but mostly it was toss toss toss. In retrospect, I applaud the integrity of the house’s construction: even after a long cold snowy winter we didn’t find any mouse raisins in the corners.
When we opened the pantry door my eyes went to these sweet lovelies as the eyes of a fifteen year old boy’s to the cover of Maxim. In that crowded, gloomy pantry they shone with cheerfulness.
Of course I own plain ole Pyrex: the pie plates, the loaf pan and a couple of “vintage” casseroles I inherited from my mother-in-law. These two bowls were hers, of course — thanks, dear Pat. I’m guessing they’re 50s vintage, but they’ve hung on to their good looks and good health. The smaller one is quart sized, the other twice as big. I’m sure there was another one, probably smaller. What was its fate, I wonder? Pyrex is hard to break. Did it go home with a long gone family member, filled with Thanksgiving leftovers?
Since I brought them home I’ve used no other other bowl to whip eggs in. I’ve moved the coeur a la creme mold to the back of the open shelf, the better to show off their wholesome rosy prettiness. The larger bowl is the size of the clear Pyrex bowl my mother used when she made Scotch Omelet of Aileen’s Pudding, a cakey pudding bathed in Lyle’s Syrup — hey I have that recipe somewhere! That pud was a dessert highlight of my youth, sweet syrupy and spongy . Talk about cheap and cheerful.
Pat’s pretty pink Pyrex bowl, my mother’s pudding recipe. I like that. I can unite around the kitchen counter with two magnificent women, and eat dessert too.