When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, then they often become items that are tossed or sold – as they have no history or ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and memories so your treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.
Friday Night Family Heirlooms: telling their stories…
The Mixing Bowls
If these bowls of my grandmother, Evelyn Little Bryan could talk… well what would they say? I would learn who gave them to her or did she buy them herself? I’d learn her recipes for biscuits and granddaddys favorite sweet potato cobbler… but since they can’t talk, well you know the answer.
I have no memory of watching grandmama making biscuits, but I do have memories of her making the cobbler – using this bowl. Several years ago in writing Heirloom Recipes, with the help of cousin, Charles Bryan, and a list of ingredients, I worked to reconstruct her recipe. I so remembered the taste, and after many tries, I managed to bring her sweet potato cobbler back to life! If you click on the link above to Heirloom Recipes, you can read my story published in Georgia Backroads and check out the recipe.
Very few of grandmama’s kitchen ware survived after her death, but grandson, Robert Bryan, saved her cooking bowls, and has passed them down to his daughter Regina. She graciously photographed them for my heirloom story and they arrived just in time for Christmas. I bet they saw much use in preparing granddaddy’s favorite dessert and I’m sure they held her famous cream-style corn at Sunday dinner. That’s a very vivid memory I do have – a big bowl of my favorite corn dish was always on her table. As long as she had corn and a dish of homemade biscuits, I never complained.
Both bowls are marked Watt and was made by Watt Pottery of Crooksville, Ohio. They bought the Globe pottery company in 1922 and continued making the mixing bowls and tableware of the same type as Globe had produced. In 1935 they changed their production style to pieces made with freehand decoration, like grandmama’s apple bowl, which was the most popular design; they are marked no. 65 and 63. There are many new pieces of this apple pattern made today, but if you look closely at the old vs the old you will quickly see the differences. I’ll be on the lookout at the flea markets soon to add one of these bowls to my vintage kitchen collection.
Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…
© 2015 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco