Pyr-O-Rey (aka Dynaware) was made by a Mexican company called Vitrocrisa (later known as Crisa), which was acquired by Libbey in 2006. It’s hard to find information on Pyr-O-Rey in general, and I’ve only ever seen it in this Brown Daisy pattern. Most collectors seem to regard it as a Pyrex/Fire King knockoff, judging from the name especially. Still, I think it’s charming and I couldn’t pass up this piece at Hope Thrift the other day. Hey, it’s the perfect dish for some Pickle & Cheese Party Spread!
Straight out of 1973, the Salton Cosmopolitan Casserole was the product of a collaboration between Salton Inc. and Corning Glass Works. The dish was sometimes stamped Salton and sometimes Pyrex (mine, which I scored from Goodwill online, says Salton), but it’s clearly made from a Pyrex mold — the 475 Cinderella Round Casserole. There are some interesting details about the history of Salton and Pyrex on the Corning Museum of Glass Pyrex Potluck site here.
The casserole was originally sold as a set with a square electric hot plate — you can see a photo from the Corning Museum of Glass collection here. In fact, the Salton company was primarily known for its hot plates, food warmers and other small appliances. My research into the subject brought back a childhood memory of a Salton electric bun warmer my parents used to bring out for keeping muffins and biscuits hot at the breakfast table. It was a sort of rectangular box with curved sides and a cloth-covered, hinged lid. It seems that various versions of it can be had on eBay for about $30, but I will hold out for the brown polka dot design I remember.
In addition to the bun warmer discovery, I came across a charming 1975 New York Times article about company founder Lewis Salton:
And wouldn’t you have it, the Salton peanut butter machine is available on eBay too! Luckily for my sanity and cabinet space, I’m not into collecting appliances. But if I see that bun warmer in a thrift store someday, I’m not making any promises.
The clean lines … the stylish knob … the black-and-white design … how could I resist this little dish that looks like it’s straight out of Mad Men? The Corning Ware Buffet Servers were made in the ’60s, notable for their round shape, pyroceram lid and bakelite knob. Just like all Corning Ware, they can go from freezer to oven, over a flame, etc., but with more pizzazz! I snagged this 2 1/2 quart model at Savers — the lid in particular is in great condition, making it a lucky find.
Incidentally this dish also goes with the P-201-HG handles I wrote about last month. I love putting all the pieces together! More information about Buffet Servers is available on the Corning Ware 411 blog here and here.
Corning Ware’s personal-sized casserole dishes, called Petite Pans, are one of my favorite things to collect. I see them pretty often at the thrift stores I frequent (Goodwill, Savers, Hope Thrift), and I’ve splurged on a couple harder-to-find patterns on eBay. The P-43-B is the best size in my opinion (22 ounces), perfect for pot pies, french onion soup, individual lasagnas and more. I love the variety of patterns, and it’s handy that the pans nest easily and don’t take up much space.
There is also a 12-oz size, the P-41-B, which is really cute (I’ve only ever found it in the Blue Cornflower pattern):
The Petite Pans can morph from casserole to mini skillet with their own special detachable handle:
They have glass lids too, but I haven’t managed to get my hands on one yet. There are also plastic lids for fridge/freezer storage — perfect for freezing single-serving leftovers. Which brings me to one of the biggest reasons Corning Ware is so amazing: It can cook on the stove top, in the oven and under the broiler, then go into the freezer, then go straight from freezer to stove/oven again. And the microwave, for that matter. Try that with any other ceramic or glass dish, and you’ll be left with a pile of shards and a big mess!
There’s something about Glasbake — the patterns are so cheery and bright, yet mysterious, as they often don’t have a name. I see it a lot in thrift stores, but only buy the patterns that strike my fancy. These two seem to go by generic descriptions: blue (or teal or turquoise) fruit and yellow daisy (or possibly daisy days). I believe both designs came in other colors too. They were quite the find at Goodwill, near-mint condition with lids.
These tiny pans from Corning Ware’s Menuette line are so cute, especially in two of my favorite patterns: Wildflower (on top in the above photo) and Floral Bouquet Third Edition (bottom). I found the P-82-B saucepan at Goodwill and the P-83-B skillet at Savers, and couldn’t pass them up even though I tend to prefer models with detachable handles.
The skillet is just the right size to fry an egg, something I’ve been meaning to try in my Corning Ware. Since cooking with pyroceram is fairly new to me, it’s been really fun to get a feel for it. The egg ended up with nice brown crispy bits on the bottom and a slightly runny yolk, just the way I like it. Using plenty of butter was a good idea.
The pans originally came in sets of three with tiny lids, so that gives me a few things to hunt for…. There’s more info about the Menuette line over at the Corning Ware 411 site.
Pyrex divided dishes are especially fun to collect, due to the sheer variety of limited-release patterns out there. My favorite is Dandelion Duet (pictured above), which came out in 1959, advertised for its ability to hold two separate packages of frozen foods in one dish. (The Corning Museum of Glass has a great ad from the era in its library collection here.)
After a flurry of bidding on the Goodwill auction website, I’ve found myself with quite a few dishes (is this what obsession looks like?):
Clockwise from top right: Verde, Snowflake (x2), Pink Daisy, Opal, Royal Wheat, Golden Acorn, Town and Country, Dandelion Duet, Butterfly Gold.
Since shopping Goodwill online is sort of like cheating, I also took a picture of the pieces I actually scored in real-world thrift stores (Savers and Hope Thrift). Finding lids is always a particular treat.
So what can divided dishes be used for? Chips and dip, cheese and crackers, soup and salad, chicken and waffles, spicy and mild, two different sides, different flavors of jello, individual pies with one crust … the possibilities are endless. I’ve also heard of people using them as dinner plates.
It’s worth noting that other manufacturers also made divided dishes. I frequently see Glasbake models in thrift stores, and Fire King seems to have some too.