Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Mom's Kitchen Bowls Hold Memories, Too

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Mom's Kitchen Bowls Hold Memories, Too

Article excerpt

I had no idea I was nostalgic about my mother's kitchen until I spied that first set of Pyrex mixing bowls on the bottom shelf of a dusty Boston antique store a decade ago.

Until then, I'd been content to do my stirring in the stainless- steel bowls from my mixer, and, in the '70s, plastic orange and yellow bowls left over from my husband's former life. But the minute I saw those familiar primary colors ("my mother's bowls!"), there was no doubt they were coming home with me.

I got all four - blue, red, green, and yellow - for $35, and felt as though I'd just snagged an amazing deal on a valuable piece of McGinty culinary history. How, I wondered, could I have been making cookie dough all these years without the yellow bowl? Potato salad without the green one? How could I have been mixing tuna salad in a plain glass dish when that little blue bowl was the perfect size?

When I called my mother to wax enthusiastic over my find, she laughed to think that mixing bowls could inspire such an emotional reaction. But she admitted that "they were really good bowls." When I learned that hers hadn't survived, I became a woman on a mission. I ran across several sets in my travels, and was happy to restore hers in time for Mother's Day.

But when I tried several years later to locate one for my equally kitchen-nostalgic sister, Carol, the search was more challenging.

I scoured secondhand stores and yard sales. Complete sets had become scarce, leading me to believe that I wasn't the only passenger on the Pyrex memory train. But my persistence paid off, and it felt good to know I'd helped two generations in three different kitchens get their bowls in order.

Fast forward to last Christmas. In my growing obsession with any variety of cookware nostalgia, I was determined to fulfill my mother's longtime desire to track down the heavy brown McCoyware mugs she'd used and loved for decades. My dad had liked them because the handle had a big opening. Mom's more-practical-than- emotional reason was the fact that they didn't show stains.

Before beginning my holiday assault on the antique district in Glendale, Ariz. …

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