Grandma’s Pyrex Mixing Bowls

Think of one small object in your house to which you are emotionally attached, something that you love for some intangible reason, something that would seem not valuable and ordinary to most any one else. Can you identify and describe why that object is important to you? Why did you save it in the first place, and what keeps you from tossing it with the next yard sale or round of spring cleaning? If you are like me, you have many objects that fall into that category.

I’m not a packrat. I don’t like clutter or a messy house and I have periodic cleaning, recycling, give-away episodes; but, I’ll just say it: I like my stuff. Of course, by “stuff” I refer to sentimental objects, furniture hand-me-downs from family members, picture frames, books, blankets, dinnerware. I could never be someone who lives in a minimalist or tiny house with barely any belongings to her name. These objects – this stuff – holds memories and plays a role in making a house a home. I’m a sentimental fool when it comes to random objects, particularly those given to me by grandparents.

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Grandma's three Pyrex bowls passed on to me.

My grandmother was not so much a fan of stuff, sentimental or otherwise, and she saved little. She never stopped moving forward, but occasionally I’d be lucky enough to hear a memory. I could never completely understand her logic for saving what she did, but with the stories I knew, I could piece together the objects around the house. I know that what I have of my grandmother’s was significant to her, even if I don’t know the reason. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have kept it. What I have of my grandmother’s is important to me. I can feel a connection to those family heirlooms that I love, especially those that I can incorporate into in my everyday life and my home.

Cooking is not my forte, but I do love to bake and experiment with baking (within reason). Kitchenware has always been a favorite household category of mine, particularly mixing bowls. Needless to say, when my mom gave me three Pyrex mixing bowls from Grandma’s house, I was thrilled. These three bowls are in great condition and feel worn, loved and used from decades of baking. Oddly enough, I can’t remember Grandma using these bowls when I was around, but she loved baking oatmeal raisin cookies for me when I was in college. Who wouldn’t love to receive a tin of homemade cookies from Grandma? Delicious. Maybe she didn’t use these bowls to make the cookies for me, but I have a hunch that at some point, they held cookie dough.

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Sitting pretty on my (non-functioning) ca. 1930 Hardwick stove.

There is something about Pyrex that makes me happy while I’m baking.
Did you know that Pyrex is in vogue? Before researching the date on these bowls, I had no idea how much people love Pyrex. There are entire websites dedicated to the patterns, dates, collections, buying and selling of Pyrex bowls. Based on my research, these bowls are 1940s Pyrex mixing bowls, noted as from the solid color set. However, I have a feeling that the bowls are mismatched from more than one set.

If they are from the 1940s, perhaps these bowls were a wedding shower gift to my grandmother or something she purchased as a newlywed. That is my guess as to why she saved them.

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An alternative view of their shape.

I prefer to use a wooden spoon with my Pyrex bowls. As I bake, I remember Grandma fondly. These Pyrex bowls are comforting to me. Grandma kept these for a reason, and I intend to keep them and bake with them for as long as I am able – perhaps with my own grandchildren someday.

For what reasons do you save stuff? What inconsequential objects do you love?

30 thoughts on “Grandma’s Pyrex Mixing Bowls

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh, I have a set of those bowls too! Same colors, even, though on different bowls (yellow is my largest one). Mine used to have a fourth bowl – red – that was the second-largest, but it got broken. I know mine were my mom’s before they were mine, but I wonder if they were her mom’s before that… I’ll have to ask!

    • Ellen says:

      I love to bake and I also love dishes! Your Pyrex bowls are beautiful! I have an old yellow ware bowl that is one of my most treasured possessions, but the best of all is my mom’s rolling pin. She recently passed away and every time I use the rolling pin I can feel her love.

      • Kaitlin says:

        thanks, Erin.

        Ellen, I have my grandmother’s rolling pin and my mom has another. Both of my grandmothers had the same one: wood with green wood handles. I love it, too.

  2. bigsmileu1 says:

    I have some really old Pyrex bowls, they are golden and they nest beautifully. They were made before microwaving and have a gold design on them that sparks if I put them in the microwave. I love those bowls, nevertheless, and wouldn’t give them away for less than a million dollars. LOL!

    • Kaitlin says:

      I think I’ve been walking around the everyday house ware sections of stores since middle school, just pretending to decorate my houses. It’s so nice to be old enough to actually do so!

  3. Emma says:

    I feel the same way about inherited stuff too! Especially the things you can use. I don’t have any Pyrex bowls, but my family does have a beautiful buffet cabinet that belonged to my great grandmother. It is currently painted a hideous pistachio color thanks to my grandfather and the color schemes of the 1960’s (over mahogany! Gasp!) But I can’t wait until I have the time to refinish it in all its glory. I also inherited her beautiful bone china from her wedding since we share the same first name and I use it whenever I have an excuse to be fancy.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Sounds lovely! I have my great-grandmother’s china, too.. but haven’t used it yet. Perhaps when the house is more put together! Good luck with your cabinet!

  4. K.L.Richardson says:

    I have an old pitcher and bowl that my former mother-in-law was bathed in as a baby. I imagine is it very old, as she is 93 yrs old. It is one thing I kept after my divorce, my ex had no use for it and my 23 yr old grand daughter loves that kind of thing.

  5. laurendahl88 says:

    I actually have my moms pyrex bowls that I am super attached to. They are the ugly orange colored ones. A couple years ago I wanted to research the bowls and like you said in your article, there are TONS of sites devoted to pyrex love!

    • Kaitlin says:

      Crazy, right? I had no idea. I think I’m going to keep my eyes open for a red bowl that would have matched this set. I love the farming patterns (wheat I think they are called).

  6. ravensmarch says:

    I wonder if it’s the reinforcement of delicious food that cements these associations? I’ve got a similar attachment to a blender from my grandmother’s house, and I know that years of helping my mother make cookies is what renders a shallow-sided stainless steel bowl the “correct” one for such pursuits today.

  7. goodoldgirl says:

    I have an old pot with the lid from my Grandmother’s set of Club Aluminum. It is the only pan I can use to make perfect fudge and I use it every Christmas season. I love that pan.

    • Kaitlin says:

      I love the “butterprint” pattern. I think I’ll start looking in thrift stores and antique stores for one. Really… I love mixing bowls too much.

  8. Miss.Funes says:

    Hello I love your post, so much I added your post to my blog post!! I’m a rookie pyrex girl..BUT I HAVE A GOOD COLLECTION! i find mine in thrift stores and flea markets..i have 2 posts dedicated to pyrex..and maybe a 3rd:) It’s funny how I used the same exact words to describe the feeling i get from my mixing bowls.lol…wow amazing…that these lovely kitchen bowls bring a smile to our faces:) i have pink, yellow, blues, green, red, and patterns…check my posts..let me know what you think..and If you find new pyrex..i mean vintage but new to us 🙂
    Xoxoxo
    Crystabel

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