Indeed it is! A crock, I mean. For all of my growing up years, stoneware was just a part of life. Pickling crocks, jugs, animal feeding bowls, bean pots, the list goes on and on. It wasn’t until I was older that I learned that these were considered stoneware. So what is stoneware?
According to Wikipedia, stoneware is a broad term for pottery and other ceramics fired at high temperatures. Stoneware has been made since people found that pottery and fire came together to make some great vessels for most any purpose. Crock ovens were buried when an oven wasn’t yet invented. Crocks stored salt and foods that were fermented. Sauerkraut was made in crocks.
The Loxley girls grew up with stoneware in that house back the lane, but, truly, we never paid much attention to it. We had big crocks for brining, little crocks for the rabbit feeding bowls, bean pots with nifty little stoneware lids and somewhere along the way, I’m sure there was a butter churner in my grandparent’s home. Crocks were just part of a way of life similar to having canning jars in the pantry.
I was excited a few years ago when we went to Arcanum Hardware where I found a medium-sized crock. I found an old stoneware jug in our farmhouse barn not long after I was married. And when I moved out here, I walked into an estate sale where the living room was full of crocks ranging from small to gigantic. Yep, one went home with me. A stoneware bean pot was a wedding gift. Over time, I have accumulated a stoneware pie plate, a second bean pot and a casserole dish accompanied by two little matching ramekins. Hm. Perhaps my children grew up with stoneware, too. My crocks are now a part of our home decor. One holds a plant and has in the past been an umbrella stand. Stoneware bowls hold the dog food.
There is this old friendship with crocks that reminds me of aprons, baked beans (and Cousin Betty), bunnies in the rabbit hutch and maybe even moonshine. Indeed, this is story is a crock. A crock of memories.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.