Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Tupperware Lady

Disposable gladware is another thing that gets hidden in the basement when the folks visit, alongside the brand-name foods.

GladWare's not an affront to their environmental consciousness (they don't have any), as it is among some of my friends. As usual, they'd be offended by the extravagant profligacy, but more than that, I was raised in a Tupperware house. It was -- and is -- the Gold Standard for preserving leftover food -- or serving Watergate Salad at a church picnic (the ubiquitous green/pistachio/jell-O "salad" served throughout the South. Though my friend Lori tells me it goes by Cool Cool Salad" in Western Kentucky. In both regions, it is not uncommon to find marshmellows and crushed pineapples combined and referred to as "salad."

(I had some of it on Mother's Day, and to be honest, it was fabulous. Tastes like...Childhood.)

This was all brought up this morning when I read that friend MissKristina was going to a Tupperware shower for her sister.

I didn't know they still existed, and was immediately stricken by jealousy.

And said as much.

Then I began to worry about Tupperware. What has become of its market share in the GladWare era? Will it survive?

Kristina advocated the GladWare for the exact same reason I use it: if you leave food in the fridge too long, the GladWare can just be thrown away guilt-free. You don't even have to open it, to confirm what you definitely already know. You could -- theoretically -- throw away Tupperware, in some dire, penicillin-ish situation, but if you did, somewhere, a Mom would die.

I can still remember the commercial, "The Tupperware Lady has the freshes ideas, for locking in [seal burps] Fresh. Ness."

Yeah. We had to learn how to "burp" the Tupperware -- a culinary rite of passage in the South.

And no one would EVER forget to apply masking tape with one's family name on the bottom of anyone's Tupperware receptacle if it had to be abandoned for some reason at say, a wake, or the home of a sick relative. Maybe white trash would drop off their offerings in Blue Bonnet butter bowls, but WE were better than that. We were raised right -- TRYING not to look down on the Rubbermaid households of our community (maybe they just didn't know any better?) But you know: Kids can be cruel.

And that masking tape was INVIOLABLE -- even families caught in the grip of cancer, death, or unimaginable grief thoroughly comprehended that they had a limited window to wash that Tupperware and return it to its rightful owner -- even if it meant dumping the contents into a Blue Bonnet butter bowl, for later, quiet, contemplative consumption..


  1. I was raised on Tupperware sippy cups. Cute little colors and those lids with the little spout. It's true that in my extended family back in Oklahoma there were a couple folks who became millionaires as Tupperware distributors.

  2. Ahh the memories of Tupperware parties of days gone by...this is soo true!

    I tried to pass off my coconut pineapple fruit salad as dessert at the last night's choir party, and now have a half ton of it leftover in my refrigerator :)