Sunday, February 1, 2015

"The proof of the pudding

is in the eating.”    
                                    Miguel de Cervantes,   Don Quixote de la Mancha

Across America today the Super Bowl is the entertainment focal point in the neighborhood.  It is the second biggest day for food consumption in the U.S. - first is Thanksgiving.  An average of 5000 hot dogs are sold in the stadium, and, across the country, 1.23 billion chicken wings are eaten (a lot of chickens sacrificed their lives!).  50 million cases of beer are sold to go with 8 million pounds of guacamole and 14,500 tons of taco chips and 4000 tons of popcorn.  4 million pizzas are ordered, 14 billion hamburgers, 11 million pounds of potato chips, 4 million pounds of pretzels, and a mere 2.5 million pounds of nuts consumed.

Now that you are stuffed just reading those numbers, consider a dessert dish from the early 20th century when we did not eat huge portions of food, even snacking - which has replaced regular meals for many even - was not a common activity.  These small custard dishes which hold 1/2 cup illustrate the change in portion size.  Anyone going to be satisfied with one of these for dessert?  Snack size, right?  These are Glasbake custards.
"Glassbake" was originally referred to as "Glasbak Ware" An early product brochure advertises "Glasbak" as "A Sanitary Baking Ware and Serving Ware Combined" which is made of glass.

In 1917 the McKee Glass Company introduced "Glasbake Ovenware" to compete with Pyrex ovenware which was made by Corning Glass Works.

Glasbak was the original spelling for McKee's ovenware, but was changed to Glasbake in 1951-1961.  McKee was sold to Jeannette Glass, and they produced the line from 1961-1983.
The beauty of "Glasbake" was that it was designed to be able to be used for cooking, serving and storing. More and more, returning to the use of glass in today's kitchen is becoming popular on environmentally conscious homeowners.
Glasbake made by Jeanette after 1961 usually have a J prefix followed by a number...the photo above shows the pre-Jeannette glass mark and below is the Jeannette mark.

I also have some Hazel Atlas custards that are similar in style.  When I looked at the photos, I thought they resembled candle votive holders!  Have to think about how an early 20th century dessert cup as morphed into a candle holder!

But as Erma Bombeck wrote, "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." 

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