Corning Ware’s personal-sized casserole dishes, called Petite Pans, are one of my favorite things to collect. I see them pretty often at the thrift stores I frequent (Goodwill, Savers, Hope Thrift), and I’ve splurged on a couple harder-to-find patterns on eBay. The P-43-B is the best size in my opinion (22 ounces), perfect for pot pies, french onion soup, individual lasagnas and more. I love the variety of patterns, and it’s handy that the pans nest easily and don’t take up much space.
There is also a 12-oz size, the P-41-B, which is really cute (I’ve only ever found it in the Blue Cornflower pattern):
The Petite Pans can morph from casserole to mini skillet with their own special detachable handle:
They have glass lids too, but I haven’t managed to get my hands on one yet. There are also plastic lids for fridge/freezer storage — perfect for freezing single-serving leftovers. Which brings me to one of the biggest reasons Corning Ware is so amazing: It can cook on the stove top, in the oven and under the broiler, then go into the freezer, then go straight from freezer to stove/oven again. And the microwave, for that matter. Try that with any other ceramic or glass dish, and you’ll be left with a pile of shards and a big mess!
There’s something about Glasbake — the patterns are so cheery and bright, yet mysterious, as they often don’t have a name. I see it a lot in thrift stores, but only buy the patterns that strike my fancy. These two seem to go by generic descriptions: blue (or teal or turquoise) fruit and yellow daisy (or possibly daisy days). I believe both designs came in other colors too. They were quite the find at Goodwill, near-mint condition with lids.
These tiny pans from Corning Ware’s Menuette line are so cute, especially in two of my favorite patterns: Wildflower (on top in the above photo) and Floral Bouquet Third Edition (bottom). I found the P-82-B saucepan at Goodwill and the P-83-B skillet at Savers, and couldn’t pass them up even though I tend to prefer models with detachable handles.
The skillet is just the right size to fry an egg, something I’ve been meaning to try in my Corning Ware. Since cooking with pyroceram is fairly new to me, it’s been really fun to get a feel for it. The egg ended up with nice brown crispy bits on the bottom and a slightly runny yolk, just the way I like it. Using plenty of butter was a good idea.
The pans originally came in sets of three with tiny lids, so that gives me a few things to hunt for…. There’s more info about the Menuette line over at the Corning Ware 411 site.
Pyrex divided dishes are especially fun to collect, due to the sheer variety of limited-release patterns out there. My favorite is Dandelion Duet (pictured above), which came out in 1959, advertised for its ability to hold two separate packages of frozen foods in one dish. (The Corning Museum of Glass has a great ad from the era in its library collection here.)
After a flurry of bidding on the Goodwill auction website, I’ve found myself with quite a few dishes (is this what obsession looks like?):
Clockwise from top right: Verde, Snowflake (x2), Pink Daisy, Opal, Royal Wheat, Golden Acorn, Town and Country, Dandelion Duet, Butterfly Gold.
Since shopping Goodwill online is sort of like cheating, I also took a picture of the pieces I actually scored in real-world thrift stores (Savers and Hope Thrift). Finding lids is always a particular treat.
So what can divided dishes be used for? Chips and dip, cheese and crackers, soup and salad, chicken and waffles, spicy and mild, two different sides, different flavors of jello, individual pies with one crust … the possibilities are endless. I’ve also heard of people using them as dinner plates.
It’s worth noting that other manufacturers also made divided dishes. I frequently see Glasbake models in thrift stores, and Fire King seems to have some too.
I have a soft spot for these utilitarian bowls made for vintage stand mixers. Various glass companies produced them for various mixer brands, usually in two-bowl sets. The bowls in the back of the photo were my first purchases when I started looking for vintage kitchenware in thrift stores: Fire King on the left (found the two-bowl set at Hope Thrift, and was bummed to discover today that the smaller bowl was cracked) and Glasbake on the right (found at Goodwill). Both were designed for Sunbeam mixers. The GE beehive bowl in the front of the photo is my most recent find, snagged at Hope Thrift. I’d been eyeing it on the shelf for a few weeks, and finally caved when it was marked 50 percent off.
The large bowls make great salad bowls, and the small ones are handy for storing leftover soup and such in the fridge. Now I’ll be on the hunt for a replacement bowl to complete the Fire King set.
I’ve seen this piece sans lid a few times in different thrift stores, but when I found one with a lid at Savers I had to buy it. Corning Ware browning skillets are pretty interesting because they have a special coating that makes the bottom of the pan heat up in the microwave:
That means it can sear steak, sizzle burgers, saute onions, fry eggs, make a grilled cheese sandwich and more, all in the microwave!
Essentially you nuke the empty pan in the microwave to heat it up, then add food and nuke some more. The pan has raised “feet” on the corners to keep the hot surface from damaging the floor of the microwave.
I’m looking forward to trying it out. Fried eggs sound like fun, or at the very least it seems like a handy way to heat up chicken nuggets or fish sticks for the kids!
I got interested in Arcopal because I heard it referred to as French Pyrex. And while it’s pretty similar to vintage Pyrex — milk glass, oven safe, cute patterns, etc. — the only real connection is that the manufacturer, Arc International, was licensed to sell Pyrex in Europe for a time. Arcopal is a separate brand introduced by the company in 1958.
I haven’t been able to find any pattern references for Arcopal, but most people seem to call this design French Hen. I got this casserole dish from Goodwill’s online auction site, which is full of temptations for the impatient thrifter. Word to the wise: Beware of shipping charges when shopping there (or on eBay for that matter), as they can be exorbitant.
I’ve been keeping an eye out for Corning Ware detachable handles without much luck, so I was really excited to find these the other day at Hope Thrift. The P-201-HG handles were designed for round P-series and B-series pieces, as I learned from this excellent blog post at Corning Ware 411.
That means it fits my Merry Mushroom B-1-B (another Hope Thrift find) — my favorite piece and the one that got me started on collecting Corning Ware:
And here’s another example of the handle on a P-710-B skillet (this one is Avocado Green, though you can’t tell from the photo angle):
These handles are going to make it a lot easier to start cooking with my skillets!
Glasbake patterns are notoriously difficult to identify, but after a lot of Googling I’m pretty confident that this is Blue Onion. I found this divided casserole dish at Goodwill and couldn’t resist it!
The best Glasbake information I’ve found is on a couple of blogs about vintage kitchenware and collectibles: They Call This America and The Kitschy Collector.