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: TheĀ ’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 theĀ ’90s patterns are the last of a dying breed.

I’ve found myself with a little collection ofĀ ’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 IrisĀ (1985-1995)
  • Callaway (1998-2000)
  • Garden HarvestĀ (1994-1996)
  • Country CornflowerĀ (1988-1993)
  • Fruit BasketĀ (1997-1998)
  • Delicious (1992)
  • Fresh CutĀ (1997-1998)
  • RosemarieĀ (1995-1997)
  • Blue DuskĀ (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.

Hearty Kielbasa and Brussels Sprout Soup

Our family loves brussels sprouts. We eat them at almost every holiday meal, and at plenty of regular meals too. I’m thinking my daughter is the only kid in her class who is happy to see brussels sprouts in her lunch bag at school.

This year we happened to have them for dinner on both Christmas Eve (sauteed) and Christmas Day (roasted). And then a few days later, we accidentally ordered 2 lbs more in our Imperfect Produce delivery. So naturally I was looking for a different way to prepare a whole lot of brussels sprouts, and settled on soup.

Kielbasa is commonly paired with cabbage in soups, so why not use brussels sprouts instead? They bring a lot of flavor and texture to the dish, complemented by the subtle smokiness of the kielbasa and smoked paprika. Add some garlic bread and you’ve got the perfect antidote to chilly winter evenings.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb kielbasa, sliced into thin rounds
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp smoked paprika
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 lbs brussels sprouts, sliced thin
salt
pepper

In a large pot over medium-high heat, saute the kielbasa in olive oil until lightly browned. Remove the kielbasa and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pot.

Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pot and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add bay leaves, smoked paprika, chicken broth and potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the reserved kielbasa. Simmer for another minute or so until the kielbasa is hot, then serve.

Pictured: Corning Ware Country Festival P-43-B Petite Pan, Corning Ware Fruit Basket P-43-B Petite PanĀ 

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
2Ā 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 PanĀ