Thursday, February 02, 2012

Guardian Service Ware, Served Everyone Well

Guardian Service Ware - The Best Cookware Ever Made


Here is a wonderful memory, I love tender memories that involve cooking. I have many fond memories of time spent in the kitchen with my granny.

Here is the memory that was shared with me:

Guardian Cookware, fully explained at my blog, Reflections From the Fence
The post was about memories of Christmas cookies, and read in part: I got thinking and remembering about my mother's Christmas cooking siege and my mind wandered around the subject a bit. In that wandering around time, I remembered how my mother stored her cookies. She stored them in Guardian Ware cookware. 
Guardian Ware (or Guardian Service Cookware) was manufactured by the Century Metalcraft Corporation, Los Angeles, California, between 1935 and 1956. The cookware was not sold in stores. An individual would host a party at his or her house, and a salesman would cook the party guests a meal with the cookware. It so happened that Man's father sold the cookware at one time. He would do the shopping for the food, prepare, cook and serve the meal. Man's mother pulled clean up duty. Now, back to the cookies. 
My mother would make those double sugar rolled pecan balls. They have many different names. She would buy whole pecans and grind them up in a meat type grinder that you attached to the counter top. She baked a LOT of these balls. A LOT! She must have started baking right after Thanksgiving. I cannot imagine how many batches she baked. Since they also have butter and crisco in them, and all those pecans, they can spoil. She would fill the Guardian (in fact, several pieces of Guardian) with pecan balls. Between the layers she placed waxed paper, this would keep the powered sugar from clumping together. 
Now, here was the secret to keeping the cookies fresh for several weeks. She would place the Guardian Ware full of those beautiful delicious round pecan balls with two coats of powdered sugar on the stairway to the attic. Unheated attic. In Michigan in December, in the stairwell of an unheated attic, they stayed fresh. 
location: Country state_lived_in: Michigan
Please share your fond cooking memories with us. You can post them in the comments section and I will then transfer them to the main page. If you can link to a photo please do so and I will post that too. 

Found a Treasure Long Ago


Memory Shared: I was working with my father tearing down the "La Fiesta" ballroom in downtown Kansas City. It had sat for several years and served as storage for the owner. I guess the city had maybe condemned it but my dad was hired to tear it down. 
I was probably about 10 years-old a the time and rummaged through 3 stories of the building and probably 50+ yrs. of accumulation. I found several pieces of the red J&G Meakin dinnerware pieces with all the cottages and different scenes that I thought they were so neat. I have since got married and had children and now have them displayed in my china cabinet. Thanks Robert S.

Grandma's Special Homer Laughlin Platter

Memory Shared: I have a meat platter that belonged to my mother. The pattern is the Virginia Rose and the number and letters on the back are A 37 N 8 I love it and everytime I use it I think of her.  
So I came to my computer and looked up about the Home Laughlin Company. I was born in Ohio but now live in Virginia. 

Antique Toy Dishes Just Like Moms'

I am nuts about antique and vintage toy dishes. I would play for hours with my little dishes and my baby dolls so this story really hit home. When I became a Granny I bought a very special set of 'china' dishes for my grandchild to play with when she got older. Now at age 11 she does not play with them very much anymore but we hand countless hours of fun playing tea party, just the two of us and her dolls.

The memory shared:

When I was 5 my grandmother gave me a set of Blue Willow China. This was a child's tea set with the plates, cups, saucers, teapot, sugar and creamer and covered dish.
I treasured this and still have it today. Some pieces have Occupied Japan on them. I played with this but took such good care of it. I now have a 14 year old granddaughter and have unwrapped it and showed it to her. I am passing it on to her.
location: City
state_lived_in: Texas

Never Complain About Mamma's Cooking

Another fun childhood memory that has been shared and a lesson learned.


I was looking over your site and saw the Colonial Homestead china you had listed. Years ago my mother built a set of this china-it was a special offer from the local food chain. You could purchase pieces for something like 25 cents with each $5.00 purchase or something similar. 
At any rate, she worked at it until she had a complete set for eight along with the serving pieces. We used that set for quite a few years-until my father complained about a roast of beef. My mother had a comment to make back to him and he threw the roast on the floor, platter and all. My mother followed it with every dish on the shelves. We had a lovely pile of Colonial Homestead shards in the middle of our kitchen.. 
My sister and I went next door to see what they had for dinner since it did not seem like we were going to get much to eat at home. After that we had to eat off of my great-great grandmother's wedding china until we replaced the "everyday" dishes. 
My Mom and Dad stayed married 63 years and there were quite a few of these types of incidents-they were both very strong-willed and quick-tempered, so it was never boring around the house. I have to say, my Dad never complained about a roast again and we got many a laugh out of this when we had to explain why our "everyday" dishes were 100+ years old. To those who knew my parents well it was not a big surprise. location: 
Small town state_lived_in: Cape Cod, Mass

Your mom sounds like my kind of gal. Love this story.

Please feel free to post your childhood memory stories in any of the comment sections and I will post it as a regular post for all to see. Thank you.

For Love of the Pixie

I have a collection of the red Gilner pixies, handed down to me from my mother. These pixies were treasured by my mother and as a child I looked forward to the day when she would put them out for Christmas. 

When my mother passed away in 2002, I inherited the pixies. I had no idea of their history or 'value'. I would 'show' them off every Christmas!

 I made the mistake of wrapping them in newspaper which caused some of them to slightly stain. I came across some simular gilner pixies at an antique store one day and the owner gave me so much information about the pixies. I looked up the information here on the internet and was astonished! I took my pixies out of storage & now keep them out on display all the time! location:

City state_lived_in: CA

Remember When Dishes Came in Oatmeal Boxes and Detergent Boxes?

This wonderful memory was shared with me and yes I do have a vague memory of dishes being included in detergent boxes, oatmeal boxes and other food product boxes.

When I was first married (to my first hubby) all of our towels came from detergent boxes. They were pretty crappy towels it took two to get you dry after a shower but hey, they did not cost us any extra money.

Here is the memory that was shared;

Gaithersburg, MD 
I have 8 place settings with all (?) I think of the original serving dishes and platters, S&P, etc. of the gold-rimmed Rose dishes with the Triumph, American Limoges, Sebring, Ohio mark. My mother and her younger sister each got a set and combined the 2 sets for big parties/dinners in the 1950's-1970's. Mother put a small piece of adhesive tape on her pieces so that she would'nt get any extra chipped ones back from my aunt! Both have passed on, but family lore has it that they got the pieces in detergent or soap boxes???? Have you heard a similar story for this pattern? Money would have been dear...maybe it's true??? 
location: Small town
I would love to hear your stories of items your family has that were giveaways either in food boxes, the movie theater, gas station, etc.

It Has Been Awhile Since We Last Talked

I have come across quite a few memories that have been emailed to me and it is time to get them online.

Please feel free to leave your memory in the comments section and I will repost it so that everyone can see it. If you have a photo to go with it you can leave me the link with your comment.

Here is a good one to get us restarted.


born: Peoria, ILL

memory: The smell of a fresh rain on the tarred roads in the country.

location: Farm

state_lived_in: Illinois

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Guardian Service Ware Was Great Stuff

My mother had lots of Guardian Service Ware when I was growing up in Indiana. I remember her cooking vegetables from our garden in the triangular pans, soups in the big pots.  
Best of all I remember her making her famous caramels at Christmastime in the big pans. Now all these years later, I make caramels in the very same pans!