June 16th, 2009

Corelle Dishware

My mother-in-law, as long as I’ve known her, has had an ugly set of dishes. They’re sickly white with seventies-era gold designs etched around the rims. Their lightweight lack-of-heft makes them feel like they could snap to bits if you squeeze them too tightly.

They’re Corelle, she told me once. She got them decades ago.

She lives in a retirement community, which means her cupboard space is limited. And I did, grudgingly, come to admire how they stacked without taking up much room.

Over time, I also began to notice how perfect they were for kids. Small plates and bowls easy for little hands to carry. And the virtue I slowly began to revere most was the virtual unbreakability of the dishes.

Okay, I thought. They’re great for when we visit. But I still think they’re hideous.

Fast forward to a couple summers ago when I went to my friend’s house for a playdate. She’d just gotten adorable new dishes. Colorful. Light. A perfect alternative to the plastic plates and bowls we used for Milo and Belle.

Suspicious, I asked what they were.

“Corelle!” she chirped.

By that night I was browsing Corelle designs online. I called my husband over and we scrolled through pages of options. We ordered two sets.

And that is how I became a Corelle convert.

I love these dishes (triple exclamation points). They are crazy durable–proven one day when Milo threw a plate from our house’s second level. It gashed the banister and spun across our wood floor without suffering a single crack or chip.

They’re a trillion times more attractive than they used to be, with designs that are playful, whimsical and sophisticated.

They’re also extremely affordable. You can buy an entire set for less than $60.

I used to think I loved heavy china, so thick that eight dinner plates would fill an entire, precious cupboard shelf. But the ease with which you can slide Corelle in and out of the dishwasher, the microwave and the cabinet has changed my aesthetically picky mind.

Thin, weightless and enduring is where it’s at when it comes to family dishes.

Now, I just have to convince my husband that we need to invest in another set or three.

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