The Evil Blue Pyrex Dish

I discovered as I cleaned out my parents’ house that there was a memory in every drawer and cupboard. The memories would surprise me—I had no warning of when one would strike.

20150306_065935 - CroppedOne afternoon when I was alone in the house I looked through kitchen cabinets, trying to decide if there was anything I wanted to salvage. I came upon my mother’s sixty-year-old blue Pyrex dish. At least I think it is sixty years old, because I’m pretty sure she received it as a wedding present. I remember it from my earliest days. At one point, she had similar Pyrex dishes of various sizes and other colors, but this blue one was the only one that has survived. And it’s the one I remember most vividly.

Why this dish? It was the source of many bad childhood experiences.

Every Monday night my mother made glazed cooked carrots in the blue Pyrex. Cooked carrots that I detested, but that she thought made the perfect accompaniment to Monday night’s meatloaf. I don’t remember her ever making anything else in that dish, so it is associated in my mind only with glazed cooked carrots.

“How can you hate cooked carrots?” she asked me. “They’re so sweet.”

Well, I don’t know how I could. I just knew I DID hate them. With a passion. They made me gag. Every Monday night. I liked carrots raw, but despised them cooked. I hated them so much that I’ve already written about them twice on this blog (see here and here).

The rule in our family at that time—the rule was relaxed by the time my sister was around to argue with our mother over peas—was that if we didn’t eat all our dinner, we didn’t get dessert. I desperately wanted dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth, so Monday nights were a dreadful time. I sat at the table choking on one small piece of carrot at a time for an hour after everyone else had left the table. I was usually in tears, pleading with my mother to relax the rule.

Of course, she didn’t.

Of course, the carrots got worse as they got colder.

Some nights I managed to get the carrots down, other evenings I couldn’t do it and left the table.

20150306_065923And this is the blue Pyrex dish that survived when all the other dishes in the set have vanished.

It is smaller than I remember, my unhappy childhood associations making it loom larger in my mind than it is. But when I saw it in the cupboard, immediately I was seven again. I could taste the carrots on my tongue.

I decided not to keep that Pyrex dish. But I did take these pictures.

What old household objects have brought back memories for you?

Posted in Family, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Wow Theresa I wish my memories were vivid like yours. I love that dish and your wonderful story. I have a memory of a meal, not so much the bowl it came in but it was a Tuna Casserole, I hated anything to do with fish but one day my mother came up with a brilliant idea she put crinkle cut chips on top, in the hope we might eat it. I still remember trying to salvage the chips but they were soggy and I know I went to bed without a meal every time we ate that wretched casserole. Thanks for bringing a memory back for me. I think I need to start plucking them out and writing them down, at fifty my child days are hazy, which is awful to me, so its time to start a memory diary me thinks.

    • We ate that tuna casserole with the potato chips, too! I actually didn’t mind tuna casserole. But I can see you picking out the soggy chips, because it is something I would have done had I not liked the casserole.
      Thanks for sharing this memory.

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