This white casserole dish, manufactured around 1965, features CorningWare®’s signature blue cornflower design composed of three flowers with stems and leaves The square dish has two rectangular nub handles and a glass lid with a knob handle.
Originally developed for military applications in World War II, CorningWare®’s Pyroceram® also proved effective for bakeware in the home after the war. This glass-ceramic, non-porous material was capable of withstanding sudden temperature changes and was resistant to stains and odors. The same dish could be used for cooking, freezing, and serving food, a boon to cooks looking for kitchen shortcuts. In the 1990s, the company transitioned to ceramic stoneware to accommodate the growing demand for a wider variety of colors and designs, but the original glass-ceramic cookware was reintroduced in 2009 due to popular demand.
This casserole dish was donated to the museum by Mrs. Anne L. Bernat, who received a set of CorningWare® dishes as a wedding present in 1967. At the time of the donation, in 2011, she still used her dishes to heat, serve, and store casseroles and other foods. Over the years she developed a system for using them efficiently: when making casseroles for future use, she first lined the CorningWare® dishes with plastic wrap, poured in the raw mixture, and placed the dishes in the freezer. Once the mixtures were frozen, she popped the wrapped, un-cooked casseroles out of the dishes and left them in the freezer, freeing up the dishes to be used again and not wasting freezer space. Whenever she wanted to serve a casserole, she unwrapped one of the frozen squares and placed it back into the same-sized CorningWare® dish for heating. Mrs. Bernat also took her casseroles on the road: for visits to family members, she packed the frozen, pre-made casserole squares into coolers and delivered them to her children and grandchildren.
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