Re: buying dishes
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 11:02:37 -0700 (MST)
We got Corelle from a Corning-Revere outlet.  By asking about special sales
and volume discounts, we ended up paying $16 a box, each with four place
settings of dinner plate, b&b plate, cereal bowl, and mug, plus a serving
bowl -- about $50 list, and got a couple of pie plates thrown in free.
(Most retailers don't have ten boxes of the same pattern in stock, so that's
another advantage of an outlet.)

A couple of people spoke up for plain white, but the committee decided not,
so people would recognize common house dishes and (hopefully) return them.
We decided (with community encouragement) to avoid the commonest patterns
like Butterfly Gold or Old Town Blue.

Originally we got 40 place settings, not quite equal to our population,
calculating that would be more than enough for common meals (true) and
plenty for most parties (oops).  We discovered that parties expand to fill
the space available, and we also need dishes for friends, in-laws,
ex-residents, prospective residents, out-of-state cohousers, neighbors,
students, coworkers, international refugees being sponsored as a service
project, and people running for political office.  Not to mention Bulgarian
folk dancers (that particular party is going down in community folklore).

One cook likes to serve meals lasting all evening and using a new plate for
each course. Running the dishwasher between courses didn't provide quite the
right ambience.

The result of scavenging for additional dishes is that we've ended up with a
mishmash anyway.  In hindsight, although the most common patterns have the
disadvantage that one or more households may also own it, on the other hand
you increase the odds of matching pieces being donated or found at thrift
stores (the going price around here is $1 for a dinner plate).

Corelle bowls don't survive being dropped as well as the plates do.  About
half of ours are gone, and they are rare at thrift stores.  Buy extras.

Two additional items you might consider are (1) the shape called a "soup
plate," about 10" across and 1-1/2" deep, with a wide rim -- very versatile,
acting as either a bowl or a plate, easy to carry to the table without
scalded fingers, and outstanding for semi-liquids like stew, curry,
casseroles, or spaghetti; and (2) small bowls, for kids, desserts, or
potluck soups.  I've observed that people frequently want just a sample of
each dish at a potluck, and a full-size bowl is too much.

Wasatch Commons
Salt Lake City, Utah
argyle  at
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

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