In my mothers kitchen she had many different sized bowls, stainless steel bowls for baking, a small crockery bowl for making icing, a medium sized bowl for storing old fat (nice! She always made my dad empty it in the garden coz it made her "heave" - begs the question - "why were you keeping it in the first place, what were you planning on doing with it???"), umm a large bowl my dad would get carrots, peas etc in from the garden and an assortment of plastic tupperwear bowls. Posts about my mum almost deserve a whole new blog, there is simply too much material. My nana had even more bowls.
Where am I going with this I hear you asking.
Social anthropolgy observation - with each generation, the number of bowls and general kitchen stuff seems to shrink and consolidate. At least in my family it seems to. We make do with less. Maybe it's because we don't have "glory boxes" or maybe we just don't bake or cook as much (or at all) or maybe we're just lazy and at 42, just haven't got around to it yet, or for some of us, maybe when we left the marital home with our bags packed and tails in between our legs, there just wasn't room for extra bowls and it may have seemed a little cruel to have raided the kitchen cupboards before dividing up the wedding presents.
But I do have one large stainless steel bowl - a champion of multi tasking. It can be used for baking, for mixing large salads in, for washing the car with (hose restrictions in Sydney!) or even for washing out paintbrushes in (small mistake I know - based on the Antique White USA, speckles on the side of it).
Now you'll all nod at this one.
Every family has a "sick" bowl. The bowl that you grab as you hear the tell tale coughs and you're running down the hall yelling "Mum's coming" in the vain hope that will divert puking action long enough to get there with the "sick" bowl. For some it may be a favoured pot, or in my case when growing up it was sometimes a bucket or more often than not - the toilet, we were too scared of the implications of puking anywhere else. Like I say, I have a lot of material.
So this week has been that kind of week in my family. Rafe has had bad diaharrea (you try and spell it then!) and Will has bad asthma (which manifests as puking - far more prefered option than not breathing) and as I ran down the hall, crying "Mum's coming", grabbing the stainless steel baking/salad/paintbrush/sick bowl, I had two revelations - (1) every family has a "sick" vessel and more urgently, (2) I need to increase my collection of bowls so at least I have a dedicated bowl for just this occasion.