Thursday, June 23, 2011

Condensing the Kitchen, Part 3 – Glasses

It is kind of funny to think about some of the "necessities" Eric and I purchased in our early 20s. I'm talking about real grown-up necessities, like martini glasses. Ever person I know owns martini glasses, yet I have never been offered a martini by any one of my friends. Not once. I guess I can't complain--I have never offered to make a martini for any of my friends. Not surprisingly, both Eric and I brought into our relationship a set of fancy martini glasses. Also not surprising is that neither one of us drinks martinis. But we each owned a set. In addition to his martini glasses, Eric also had daiquiri/margarita glasses, beer mugs, pint glasses, shot glasses, wine glasses (white & red), and rocks glasses. Eric was justified in having such a vast collection of drinking glasses, though, because unlike myself, he had a bar complete with alcohol! One must overlook the fact that all of his alcohol bottles were covered in dust, and focus on the fact that at least in theory he had something to put in his glasses, whereas I just had the glasses and nothing to drink from them.

Much like our mugs, our collection of glasses was larger than what the two of us actually needed. Specialty glasses aside, both Eric and I entered into our relationship with our own set of everyday water glasses (30 in total).

Even before making the decision to live on a boat, we knew we wouldn’t be keeping all of our glasses, but choosing which ones to keep was difficult. We liked both sets of our water glasses and, even though we didn't use them, we were equally attached to our various cocktail glasses (so pretty to look at). We finally decided to give our cocktail glasses away to the few people we know who actually drink cocktails (I wonder if they use them...).

When it came to our water glasses, we decided to let fate decide which set we'd keep. Since both glass sets were fragile and prone to breaking (Eric’s were extremely tall and narrow and mine were thin and wide), we figured we were bound to have a few causalities prior to moving to Miami. We settled on keeping whichever set was most intact by the time we moved. Midway through our year in KY, my glasses were winning the race; however, once we made up our minds to live on a boat, we realized that neither set would work. In addition to both being fragile, much like our former mugs, they didn’t stack.

To solve our glass dilemma, Eric suggested we get rid of both sets and go with plastic cups. While plastic is certainly durable and boat-friendly, at the end of the day, I don't want to drink from plastic all of the time. So, we scoured the internet looking for sturdy, stackable glasses.

Eric and I have begun to notice that most space-savers seem to come from European countries. I suppose that, unlike the United States, which has an abundance of space, European countries are much more densely populated, and as such, they make a lot of practical space-savers.

Our new "juice" glasses (which will be used for alcohol far more frequently than for fruit juice) are made in France and our water glasses are made in Italy. Sounds fancy, but both can be found on Amazon. The juice glasses are tempered, which means they are resistant to breakage. They are also incredibly thick, which means we can use them for holding hot beverages (like tea) or beverages we want to keep at a consistent temperature (like wine). At almost 8 ounces, they are the perfect size for juice, milk, alcohol, etc.

Here they are neatly stacked:

Our water glasses remind me of something you’d see in a pub. They are tall but, like the juice glasses, are tempered, so they, too, should be sturdy enough for a boat. Here they are stacked:

The only downside to the water glasses is they don’t stack as compactly as our new juice glasses or mugs. As a result, they require a cabinet with a tall interior. Here are both sets in our current kitchen cabinet:

I was worried that the tempered glass would feel cheap and artificial, but I was pleasantly surprised by their quality. Both sets of glasses couldn't be nicer (unless they were crystal, then they would be much nicer). So far, we are pleased with our new purchase and look forward to testing their seaworthiness in the coming months on our boat.

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