Thrifted Find: ’90s Corning Ware Patterns

It seems like every time I come across a Corning Ware pattern that I haven’t seen before, it turns out to be from the 1990s. And I have a theory about that: The¬†’90s were probably a period of decline for Corning Ware in general. I certainly wasn’t aware of pyroceram cookware then — I wasn’t going to buy it for my first apartment or put it on my wedding registry. And if no one else was doing that either, it’s no surprise that Corning sold off the Corning Ware brand to World Kitchen at the end of the decade.

World Kitchen promptly killed off pyroceram production and switched to stoneware — cheaper to manufacture but a highly inferior product, in my opinion. So the¬†’90s patterns are the last of a dying breed.

I’ve found myself with a little collection of¬†’90s Corning Ware patterns, mostly scored at Goodwill and Savers — occasional finds in the sea of Blue Cornflower and Spice O’ Life that’s out there. They are by no means the only patterns from that era, but they have been fun to discover and add to my collection.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left:

  • Shadow Iris¬†(1985-1995)
  • Callaway (1998-2000)
  • Garden Harvest¬†(1994-1996)
  • Country Cornflower¬†(1988-1993)
  • Fruit Basket¬†(1997-1998)
  • Delicious (1992)
  • Fresh Cut¬†(1997-1998)
  • Rosemarie¬†(1995-1997)
  • Blue Dusk¬†(1994-1997)

Also worth noting: The Corning Ware 411 blog is a terrific source for pattern identification, as well as interesting info about specific models, history, etc.

Creamy Broccoli, Kale and Potato Soup

This recipe started as a desire to recreate the homemade cream of broccoli soup I had growing up. These days, all you ever see is broccoli cheddar soup — but the soup I know and love is pure broccoli and cream, no cheese required.

So when I picked up a copy of The Frugal Gourmet at Hope Thrift recently, I was delighted to find that Jeff Smith’s recipe for cream of broccoli soup is the one I remember (in fact, I’m pretty sure my parents had the same book in their kitchen). Of course, I can’t help but tweak things, and I found myself wondering how green the soup would turn out with the addition of some kale, among other changes. The answer is … very green!

I recommend serving with garlic bread or a nice crusty baguette.

Serves 6

img_2515

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb kale (about 1 bunch), stemmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 lb broccoli, finely chopped (including peeled stems and any leaves)
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
salt
pepper
optional garnishes: fresh parsley, croutons

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute onions and celery in the butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Stir in the kale a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the broccoli, potato, chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the kale, potatoes and broccoli are very tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until your desired level of smoothness.

Return to low heat and stir in the cream, cooking until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or croutons.

Pictured: Corning Ware Fresh Cut P-43-B Petite Pan (x2), Corning Ware Blue Cornflower P-41-B Petite Pan, Pyrex 508 Measuring Cup

 

Chicken, Sausage and Rice Gumbo with Collard Greens

I hesitate to call this dish gumbo because the term is so loaded with a specific food culture. My version is probably not “authentic” — but it’s delicious and hey, I can make gumbo however I want! I think of it sort of as a gumbo soup — hearty but not too thick in the broth department, full of Cajun flavors and with rice and greens mixed right in.

The spice level here is medium to hot — to me that’s zesty but not mouth-on-fire hot. You could cut the red pepper flakes to go milder, or add cayenne to go hotter. Also, if you prefer a thicker stew, you could double the butter and flour.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 1/2-oz cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 10-oz bags cleaned and cut collard greens
4 cups cooked brown rice
2 tsp ground gumbo file
salt to taste

In a large dutch oven, saute the sausage over medium heat until browned and the fat begins to render. Remove the sausage and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Lower the heat slightly, add the butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a whisk until incorporated. Continue stirring constantly and cook until caramel in color, about 15-20 minutes (actual time can vary quite a bit; let the roux get as dark as you want, being careful not to burn).

Add the onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery and garlic and stir until coated in the roux. Add the diced tomatoes and deglaze, scraping up and stirring in the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth, thyme, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and lower to a simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and shred or chop into small pieces, set aside.

Add the collard greens and stir until wilted. Cover and simmer until the greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Add the gumbo file, sausage, chicken, rice and salt and simmer for a minute, then serve.

Pictured: Pyrex Spring Blossom 443 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Corning Ware Floral Bouquet Third Edition P-43-B Petite Pan, Corning Ware Wildflower P-43-B Petite Pan, Corning Ware Fresh Cut P-43-B Petite Pan, Corning Ware Fruit Basket P-43-B Petite Pan