In search of the perfect bowl.

by Dawn Hoff

     Last June, my husband tasked me with finding him the perfect bowl. I completely understand why. All of our utility bowls were too small for his desired daily dose of cereal or  soup. Many days he would stand at the sink and down a small portion, then re-up with a second, then a third, and sometimes even a fourth. You would think I had a growing teen in my home and not the mature adult I have known for 8 years. One day before work he said to me, “Baby, can you get me a big plastic mixing bowl for my cereal, please?” I heard the grating sound of a needle scratch across an LP, in my head! Plastic? Oh, no sir.

     Off to the internet I went, cheerfully, in search of the perfect bowl. One that would make my husband a happy man. He is a happy man, don’t get me wrong. What would be a good pattern for a modern man? What would be an appropriate size for more than just a cereal breakfast or a soup snack? As I scanned internet page after internet page, hundreds if not a thousand different bowls, I have to admit... I really had no clue! I needed to go back to the basics. What was inherently wrong with every bowl that fell short in our house? Why was every single bowl just too small? How can this possibly be? They all looked big enough.

     I decided to do some simple research. Ferret out exactly how much do these darn bowls actually hold anyways? A scale, some water, and 1 representative of every style bowl in the house, and an AH moment later! Results were in. The average bowl in my cupboards only held 10.5 ounces. Just way too small to meet the minimum requirements my husband was expecting. 

     I needed a starting point. I gathered that he had been eating four servings of the small red and white bowls we had inherited from his mother’s estate. And, that he had been eating three servings from the Spode bowls I had inherited from my Grandparents. By doing simple math, I thought we needed 31.5 ounce bowls.  But, just to be sure, I did order 2 different size bowls. Guys like choice, right? The bowls that I got for him to try were: a 9” in diameter bowl in a very masculine pattern and a 7” in diameter bowl with a dark floral pattern on a black and neon background which held 32 ounces. So, I may have been a tad bit grandiose with the 9” bowl. What can I say? It does hold 99 ounces to the brim. However, I felt that he needed to see I was trying to get him exactly what he asked for. He did, after all say, “a big mixing bowl.” Plus, there was that choice thing nagging at me too. I wanted him to feel like this choice was his, as it clearly was. Bowls had not gotten on my radar yet.

      The day that Fedex dropped the box on our doorstep was a very happy day. My husband was so surprised that I had bought him, not 1 but 2, fancy Polish pottery bowls and that he got to make the final choice as to which bowl would be “the ones.” His winner is: the 7 inch by 3 inch, 32 ounce bowl. Now, I have seen him use the 9 inch bowl, upon an occasion, on a weekend, when an entire box of cereal is called for. But by and far, we use the 32 ounce bowls nearly every day, for much more than cereal. Our collection of perfect bowls now includes a total of eight. 

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