Pyrex: Pretty in Pink

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.

Pink Pyrex!

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.





Filed under A Couple of Bucks, Born in Chicago, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Food, History, Home, Into the Mystic

4 responses to “Pyrex: Pretty in Pink

  1. kim shook

    Oh, I am green with envy! I adore Pyrex and PINK!!! They are just for show for me now, alas. I use almost nothing but metal nowadays. The Pyrex and gorgeous ironstone is just too heavy for my stupid hands. I think that hands must have been born 30 years before the rest of me and spent those decades doing heavy work! But those bowls are lovely!

  2. OH, I so love that!! Just to walk in and see the gleam of the pink of the generations—that’s a history and a legacy, fragile as glass. How lovely.

    There’s something about the colorful outsides of the Pyrex of the day which must have spoken cheer to the housewives and the cooks. Consider the dark of some kitchens, the remove from the living of the house, the almost-furtive concealment of cooking odors and the guts of the operation—those cooks were brightened by any color or light, I’m sure. Stirring something in a pretty bowl may have been the only gratifying moment of the meal.

    My own first-love of a kitchen was in a magazine of the Fifties—pink and black, it was, with even a mixer in the coveted pale shade, and the harlequin floor tiles in the two colors jumped from the page with every word read, every eye-motion, to dizzy me further into the trance of longing.

    I’ve put away a lot of my glassware, wrapped in bags and paper, and just yesterday, I felt the edges of my YELLOW set, just like yours, and set it aside to bring to light again—it will Bright me through all the preparations for the holidays.

    Pink. And handed down. Wonderful. Wish I could join you three inestimable women around your counter— I’d bring my yellow bowl.

  3. Patty

    Soaking up some extra warm memories…

  4. Colored Pyrex, especially those from the day — yellow, pink, turquoise: time to bring them back

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