It Came From My Cupboard: The Barf Pan

by Robrt L. Pela

I borrowed a baking pan from my mother the other day—one of those square, aluminum Wear-Ever pans made in the 1940s, which is when Mom bought this one. I was making brownies and I don’t like to make them in a rectangular pan. One of my brothers happened to be visiting my parents when I returned it.

“Oh, look, the Barf Pan,” my brother said when I showed Mom that I was returning her bakeware. He was referring to an old metal pan that Mom would position next to our beds when we were sick as kids.

“No, no, no,” I said to him. “This only looks like the Barf Pan. Mom had two of these, and she would never, ever bake in the one we used to puke into when we were little.”

I held up the pan to my mother, whose short-term memory is wrecked, but who can recite the name of every kid in her fourth grade homeroom. “Two of these, right?” I said to her.

“That pan was part of a set your Aunt Mae gave me at my bridal shower in 1946,” she said, glancing up from a game of Solitaire. “There’s only one of them.”

I drove really fast, but it was too late. By the time I got home, Mr. Grossman was just finishing his second brownie.

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