Corningware Ambition

Just like the roaches that lurk in the crevices and cupboards of our homes that have survived millions of years before - and after - the dinosaurs extinct, so has Corningware - from the 70's to this day, the white multipurpose cookware still serves as a staple in every household. *Pardon the lame comparison; but I can still kick some sense that a dish ware is no where worthy of being compared to a bunch of dirty creepy crawlies!*

If it isn't passed down to a daughter from a mother, Corningware must have entered your lives in some kind of form. Like in my case, the first set ever bestowed upon me was in a wedding present box, five years ago. It was a limited edition 4-piece, named Callaway, with the sides of the bowls adorned with patterns of green leaves on vines. Some of us may have not seen this rare design, for it dates quite back to the dinosaur realm of the Corningware species. In some instances, a particular design may last umpteen years, so no wonder if some of us know it. I only got acquainted with Callaway when the husband and I started a kitchen in our own little establishment called home. Then on, the non-exhaustive list of my wifely duties aka self-proclaimed chef simmered away with sidekick Corningware by my side.

To me, my Corningware serves as tangible proof that the endless purpose of this piece of cook ware is a testament to the foresight of its accidental innovators. Yup, ironic as this may sound, but Corningware is a lab catastrophe gone hot collectible - in the 70's, a chemist dropped a 900-degree-Celsius heat resistant white glass and it didn't break. The rest is history.

Before Callaway served a major duty in my kitchen, I only collected IKEA-style dining and cutlery sets; cookware collection was my only notion of typical Asian women must-haves and I strictly wanted to stay clear of it. However deep in denial I might’ve been, the DNA of Corningware is woven into the fabric of my life via upbringing and inevitable in-laws influences.

Leave Brangelina and the number of children they keep artificially adding - aside - for I personally felt that after five years, the time was ripe for me, like other women too - to add to the number of my own cookware collection. Callaway needed siblings to play with. One of my many evil schemes while on a family vacation in Langkawi was to hover over as many department stores with billboards that scream Corelle, Visions or Corningware. The main aim was to score the best Corningware deal offered. Nobody leaves Langkawi empty-handed. Besides, it’s a duty-free island, you can get more with less, and no expensive in vitro process involved!

To my surprise, on the flight to Langkawi – first time on a budget airline - the uncommon fact worthy of attention is that 'low cost airline' and 'low civic' are separated by a mere mathematical fraction when you find that an uncivilized idiotic passenger's chewed gum is glued to the sole of your shoe and without you realizing it, later ends up on your sling bag and t-shirt. Plus, you suddenly find yourself reduced to joining the intolerably mad shovel through the free-seating local airline all for the sake of securing everyone’s desired seat – by the window. I was then cured from all these madness after rounds of scouting for the best package of a Corningware set. I finally conquered my own anxiety of paying an astronomical amount of the husband’s money to get my European Herbs triplets!

A month into putting my favourite type of collectible to multi use (one that can be taken straight out of a refrigerator and onto the stove), my brand new 10-year warranty, 5-litre jumbo Europen Herbs pot cracked in two during its maiden service!

I was silent through washing the now literally two-piece pot - minus the lid – hurt beyond anything, emotional and physical alike – cut my thumb with the sharp edge of the crack along the way. And thinking this wasn’t the kind of beginning – or ending – I had looked for.

I have reluctantly made peace with the fact that five-year-old Callaway has better longevity than one-month-old baby European Herbs. By now I’m sure you’ve got my point on the uncanny roaches versus dinosaurs’ theory. There’s no providential recovery to my remorse over the tragic Europen Herbs mishap.

I keep my hopes afloat that I can redeem my 10-year-warranty replacement for my short-lived bliss some day. Now, where’s that shopping receipt. Langkawi, anyone?


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September 8, 2014 at 4:45 PM  

I am sorry for your loss of the new European Herb dish. I realize that I am reading this 5 years after the fact, but I hope you were able to receive a new one under the warranty. I should warn you, as a Cornign Ware collector myself, the new stuff being produced in France (vitroceram) is not nearly as strong as the old stuff that was actually made by Corning in the U.S. (pyroceram).....

That being said, there seems to be a misunderstanding of just how old Vintage Corning Ware is. While your Callaway pattern ran from 1997 to 2000 before World Kitchen bought Corning Consumer Products division. The original Blue Cornflower pattern hit the market in 1958... Stookey dropped the glass on the floor back in 1953... and the material began being used on Missile nose cones years before any cookware was made out of it. So your analogy may be more correct than you think. :)

Have a great day!

September 19, 2014 at 1:35 AM  

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