Re: Glass vs. Plastic drinking cups, dishes
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 12:43:57 -0700 (MST)
Having taught preschool for 8 years, besides my cohousing experience, I 
can speak for the durability of Duralex glasses and Corelle dishes. 

Yes, they can break. But even the concrete floors at our preschool saw 
some drops that didn't break. Duralex are the glasses used in most 
European cafes. Short tumblers, typically. Corelle is easily accumulated 
via donations from homes, plus garage sales and thrift shops. There are 
also Corning outlets. Full price, they cost more than you need to pay. 

Corelle is very lightweight and stacks compactly. Our little Rubbermaid 
rolling cart, on its top shelf, easily holds enough large plates, small 
plates, soup bowls, and little bowls, to serve 40. Silverware, in 3 tubs 
knife-fork-spoon, is stored on the cart shelf below the dishes. The cart 
rolls in by the dish area to get reloaded with clean dishes. Then it goes 
back at the beginning of the serving line. The silverware tubs get placed 
on the counter for serving. 

Miscellaneous footnote: most all Corelle plates, regardless of pattern, 
stack compatibly. Likewise the bowls. The small plates, however, come in 
two different sizes, and need to be sorted and stacked separately, which 
is a minor nuisance. 

We currently have additional back-up china stored in a kitchen cupboard. 
Eventually I hope we'll have more Corelle up there instead. 

We are using cheap drinking glasses from IKEA. There are also bright 
plastic cups for children, but they are in fact very wide for their 
little hands, and don't work well in the dishwasher either, where they 
are too lightweight and want to flip. Stemware also needs to be 
handwashed, rather than run through our otherwise magnificent commercial 
countertop dishwashing set up. We have a set of donated coffee cups which 
match and fit into the square slots of our dishwasher trays. (Some more 
typical cups do not fit in those slots: check before you buy a lot of 
cups or glasses that they'll work with your dishwasher if you use 
restaurant type trays in the DW.)

Indoors, our floors are very forgiving, with oak in the dining room, and 
Marmoleum (which almost bounces it) in the kitchen and pantry. We'll see 
what happens when we get our stucco-walled "outdoor room" finished 
outside the dining room, which will allow us to try eating outdoors, 
despite the typical wind here: the paving is concrete. 

Kitchen footnote: We make regular use of a big Hamilton oval crockpot for 
serving soup. It holds 24 cups. When the first batch is getting low, we 
refill it from the soup pot on the stove. There's an outlet on our 
serving counter (design-phase folks take note!), so it keeps hot. (design 
phase also note that we use the outlet on our prep island, for the 
blender, mixer, and Cuisinart).  

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) (very active peace movement here- see our 
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