Everything’s going stale, except the vodka

With three boys, it’s a challenge keeping foods fresh in their original packaging. Little boys can’t read the instructions on packaging. Older boys can, but reading is a chore reserved for schoolwork, not to be mingled with the pleasures of gluttony. You’d swear our victuals were opened with a sledge-hammer.

The impatience of hungry children leads to bags and boxes ripped beyond recognition, incapable of keeping contents fresh until the next feeding frenzy.  This serves the little piglets right, and would be a great lesson, except sometimes Daddy seeks an edible morsel from the pantry.

We have lots of random foods sealed in storage containers.

Sometimes you can’t blame the kids. Some foods have been packaged to combat freshness.

Exhibit A


embrace the stale

Defuse this time bomb.

Saltines, in their waxy, rectangular sleeves, have vexed me since my first bowl of Lipton Noodle Soup.  I learned how to mix the soup powder in water 45 years ago. I’ve still not figured out how to open a sleeve of saltines.

I feel like a bomb disposal recruit trying to defuse the end of a saltine packet, gingerly tugging at the corners, visualizing the package blossoming into a neat square opening. In spite of my great care, I will send a gash halfway down the sleeve.

Even when opened perfectly, there is no good way to close up a sleeve of saltines for later. After the first use of saltines, I might as well throw the remainder of the sleeve away.

Exhibit B

I consider the 1/3 portion that will be wasted as tribute paid to the Universal Baking Mix Gods.

The bag inside a box of Bisquick is recycled from old bullet-proof vests. You have to be a strongman competition winner to open it with your bare hands, and if you do, you’ll find yourself lightly breaded. You can cut it open with scissors, if you have scissors tough enough to pierce Kevlar.

Bisquick does not deteriorate like saltines, but I find myself spilling a good portion of it, pouring it from the bag I mangled during the “attack with sharp objects” step of my baking recipe. When the bag is empty, I can get three more pancakes from the loose mix accumulated at the bottom of the box.

Exhibit C

Do they still even make the triangular hole punch can opener anymore?

Dole makes delicious pineapple juice, but was it packaged in 1918? A sealed can of juice? I suppose that makes it easier to ship to our troops fighting Kaiser Wilhelm.

As it happens, pineapple juice is a great mixer for vodka. When you’ve made vodka your summertime choice for that after-getting-the-kids-in-bed relaxer (because it’s much cheaper than scotch and goes good over the rocks with pineapple juice), you’ll want a supply of pineapple juice that will keep in the fridge. No matter how you manage to open it, a metal can is hard to close up again.

That liquid in mason jars in my fridge isn’t liquor. It’s pineapple juice, which I happen to mix with my liquor, which, by the way, comes in a bottle, with a cap, that I can put back onto the bottle to keep its contents safe and civilized. Now that’s packaging!


22 comments on “Everything’s going stale, except the vodka

  1. Just Joan says:

    Love this post, Snoozin! Seems those with that tricky XY combo of chromosomes cannot open anything without mangling it, although your examples prove that manufacturers are partially to blame. I bought a 36-piece set of Rubbermaid containers and thought I had won, but no. Nobody looks for crackers or Bisquick in the cupboard, in an air-tight container. They go straight to the pantry and open another sleeve/box/bag of whatever. I’ve never used a can of pineapple juice that size for anything other than making punch, but then again, I didn’t know how well it mixed with vodka. Thanks for the tip. You know those plastic lids you can pop on a half-eaten can of cat or dog food? I’m going to invent a huge one just for pineapple juice cans. Woo-hoo, I’m gonna be rich! 🙂

    • Did the xy combo ever do anything good? There is not enough Rubbermaid in the world to compensate for our path of destruction. But I think you are on to something. Our salvation may lie in the intensive study of wet dog food. Bring on the Alpo!

  2. Aunt Jemina mix just comes loose in the box…no bag, which seems gross but is actually handy. Some Malibu splashed in your vodka pineapple is lovely.

  3. Lisa V says:

    Chip clips are my friend. I use them on the pancake mix bag inside the box and to hold the saltine bag closed. Chip Clips – they’re not just for chips. LOL As for the pineapple juice and vodka…haven’t tried that. Sounds refreshing.

  4. Tom W says:

    I don’t remember this (of course), but it’s a story my parents loved to tell. When I was about 2, I got into a lower kitchen cupboard and pealed all the labels off the canned goods. A dozen or so cans and no way to know what was inside. I guess they had some interesting meals. And, from then on the cans were stored on a higher shelf.

  5. Gibber says:

    Wait until the kids get old enough to know what vodka is…

  6. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about packaging. Grrrrrr ….. I’m passing on to you and yours what we do. Saltines … no way will that package ever be opened right. So, the remaining crackers go in a plastic zip lock bag. As for things like cereal and Bisquick, cut open with scissors SHARP! and then reclose with a wooden close-pin. Yep, you heard me right. All of our opened bags have close-pins on them. Could your boys handle that??? I KNOW what outright pigs my brothers used to be (sorry if that offends) even to the point of ripping open a box of Lucky Charms and eating ALL the marshmallows! I understand to the the T what living with boys is like!! GOOD LUCK! As for the pineapple juice …. really??? Good call on that one, though, Scott! LOL

  7. Timelesslady says:

    You made me laugh…I so agree…Bisquik, why, oh why is that pouch so tough? I use clothespins to shut so many wrappers in my kitchen. They aren’t pretty, but they work.

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