My Mother’s Green Bowl

2-green-bowlsI have two green Pyrex mixing bowls. Both are old, but one is new. One is green on the outside, but the other is green in spirit. The formerly green bowl belonged to my mother, which has made all the difference.

My mother’s green bowl is no longer green, except for a slight sliver of color barely visible underneath the rim. She got the bowl when she was a young bride in the 1950s. Then jade green, it was part of the Pyrex primary colored mixing bowl set — bowl #403, 2.5 quarts, and made in the U.S.A. This green bowl was her “go to” bowl, the one she called upon when mixing countless cake and brownie batters, fruit salad, or Jello.

Our family’s automatic dishwasher was not kind to the bowl’s jade finish, wearing away the green paint bit by bit with each washing. I’ve forgotten how long it’s been since the bowl really was green. But I’ve always liked it and I’ve always referred to it as the green bowl. Years ago I told my mother that when she moved to the nursing home, I wanted the green bowl. She said I didn’t have to wait that long and gave the bowl to me. (I think she was planning to upgrade her mixing bowls anyway.) Since I’m not much of a cook, I’m not sure why I wanted this no-longer-green bowl. But want it I did, so I accepted her gift. I think I liked the idea of the green bowl and what it represents — home, family, and comfort food made with love. I still like that idea and I still use that bowl.

A few months ago my husband and I bought a “new” old jade green Pyrex bowl #403, 2.5 quarts, along with the rest of the four primary colored mixing bowl set made in the U.S.A. According to the Pyrex price guides, we got a good deal on the set, which we purchased at a garage sale. We don’t put these bowls in the dishwasher, so this new green bowl will remain green. It’s nice, but it’s just the other green bowl. My mother’s green bowl will always be the real green bowl to me.

Laura Sternweis


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