Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Magic in the Kitchen

from Mum's green crazy daisy spring blossoms Corelle collection

"My mother's a genius. She just kept feeding me art on whatever we had;
paper plates, silver platter, didn't matter."—Jill Scott

Step back in time, into your childhood kitchen and what do you see stacked in the cupboards? Odds are you'll find an assortment of white dinner plates and casserole dishes with the lovely blue cornflowers or green crazy daisy spring blossoms or patterns of snowflake blue, butterfly gold and olde town blue. My mum adored Corningware, Corelle and Pyrex products: they were some of the few material possessions she longed for as a young woman. They were functional and aesthetically pleasing bits of nostalgia disguised as cookware. Both rustic and modern—their groovy 70s vibe easily transitioned into the 80s and beyond.

Mum was an exceptional cook for over seventy years: her creations caused a stir at pot-lucks and dinner parties, inspired panicked mad-dashes to the table (morning, noon and night) and made mouths water and belts snap. And yes, plates were literally licked after some of her meals. A culinary magician, it really didn't matter what she served those meals on but she simply loved presenting her creations in those beautifully designed dish sets which she preserved immaculately for decades (the odd cracks or dramatic breakages were due to butterfingered but well intentioned little fingers). I used to have a toy version of the blue cornflower dining set (my imaginary tea parties were fabulous affairs regularly offering a banquet of scrambled eggs and chocolate milk alongside the teas and coffees) and whenever I used it, I felt mum's comfort come through. The designs may have changed over the years but one constant remains: they scream "home" with every use or passing glance.

And for me home always means my darling mother.

Gasp! What a beautiful sight:

Corelle dinnerware made its debut in the early 1970s.



  1. Wow some collection. We still have ours too. The Blue set with sugar shaker and the gold flowers set. A few Pyrex pans as well. My mom really doesn't like cooking but still does it anyways. She does have a few good dishes, like her crapes, paprikash, her strudels and those really rarely made homemade doughnuts that resemble paczki with out the filling. She lightly dusts those with powdered sugar. Usually makes those for her social buddies. Humph! :(

    But anyhow when we moved to the second house, the original owners had left behind a small stone wear bowl and it has become my favorite to eat snacks from ever since. :)

    1. That Pyrex Museum looks amazing doesn't it? Brings a smile to my face.

      I love reading your memories Tina because you share such lovely detail. The crapes, paprikash, strudels and the homemade doughnuts sound absolutely delicious. The stone bowl sounds so cool too. There's always that one special bowl in every home. Love that. :)


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