Know what this is? Oh, I guess I just told you in the title!
This dough bowl has been passed down through the generations on my mother's side of the family, and now I am its caretaker.
This thing is old, old, old. It was already an antique when Mom got it back in the '60s. I remember she kept it tucked away on the top shelf of her sewing room closet amidst her fabric stash. It was out of the reach of we curious children there, where it wouldn't get further damaged or broken.
It's had that split in it as long as I can remember, and there are some other discolorations and wear. It shows a lot of character, I think. This bowl was obviously well used and loved. It's quite large, measuring 23 x 14 inches.
So what in the world is a dough bowl? Well, generally, it was used to knead and raise bread and other dough. My Southern great-grandmother would have made a lot of biscuits in this bowl, I imagine.
Although I don't know whose bowl it originally was. If Mom did tell me way back when, it didn't stick in my mind. I was a kid and those things, unfortunately, tended to go in one ear and out the other. Now she's gone, and Dad doesn't remember either.
At any rate, it's hand carved. I wonder by whom? That rough patch on the underside of the bowl seems to be a naturally-occurring part of the wood it was carved from.
I found some fascinating information about the history of dough bowls, sometimes called trenchers, at BetterBaking.com, in an article about dough bowl carver Leon Neal of North Carolina, who said:
Interesting, huh? Fortunately, I don't think there was any family friction over this dough bowl. That kind of thing I think I would have remembered!
In my grandmother's time...the family dough bowl was a critical part of the family food preparation, highly used and highly treasured by the best cooks. It was not uncommon for a future husband to carve a wooden dough bowl for his bride as a wedding present. It was also common for a young female to desire a carved wooden dough bowl for her "hope chest" so that when she married, she would have a very desirable kitchen tool (other "hope chest" items were things like handmade quilts and other family heirlooms). A mother's dough bowl was usually one of the items in an estate that was most sought after--typically left to the oldest daughter--and there have been more than a few siblings who have stopped talking because of a mutual desire for the same dough bowl.
Finally, Dolly the mannequin was tired of hanging out in the basement on such a nice sunny day and wanted to model the vintage crocheted apron I found at the thrift store recently. How could I resist?
Thanks for visiting, and happy Vintage Thingie Thursday, friends! Be sure to make the rounds to all the VTT participants and Suzanne at Colorado Lady!