This whole pickle jar thing began when our local recycling facility stopped, for some reason, accepting glass. This is exceedingly frustrating for me because, A) the environmental impact, meaning that I must now only purchase goods in containers that can be recycled, and B) because I just can’t drink beer out of a can, people – it tastes different – and if they even make wine in plastic bottles, I don’t want to know about it. It’s like thinking about your parents having relations – who wants to even go there?
So when Paul came home from grocery shopping with a giant glass jar of pickles, I nearly fell over.
“Why, why, why?” I wailed, both palms pressed against my cheeks like the original promotional poster for “Home Alone.”
“Because you said you wanted something crunchy to snack on when we watched TV so you wouldn’t be tempted to graze on fattening stuff,” he said, taken aback. “And these giant ones were on sale.”
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We’re talking a silo of pickles, here. We’re talking 80 fluid ounces of giant dills; 2.5 quarts, and for you readers who live in any other country besides America, 2.36 liters.
“It’s not the pickles!” I cried, “I love those big pickles, it’s the jar! Look at the size of it. We can’t recycle it and there is no way I’m throwing that thing into the landfill. So after we eat all the pickles, we’re going to have to reuse it and fill it with other things.”
This suited Paul and after we ate all the pickles in two days (because when you haven’t eaten something you really like in a long time, you tend to eat too much of it), I, feeling slightly sick, washed and rinsed the giant jar and gave it pride of place on the counter top, both the toaster and blender left cowering at the far edge.
At first, it was rather fun thinking of different uses for the jar. We filled it with almonds and walnuts, purchased in bulk, but even they didn’t quite fill it. Then those dark chocolate expresso beans you see at Trader Joe’s. After a week of no sleep, we ditched the expresso beans and filled it with granola.
“I’m so sick of this granola,” I groaned, after day 23.
This led to another problem: constantly having to buy in bulk, because when we failed to buy food by bulk, or, given the size of the jar, by shipping container, the pickle jar sat empty, sullen, hulking and taking up too much room.
“A lamp?” Paul suggested, unhelpfully, as we strained to find another use for it.
“Oh, yes, a lamp,” I agreed with mock enthusiasm. “That will go wonderfully well with the Edwardian china cabinet. Or the Delft collection. Just stick that big ol’ jar between them and make sure you increase the homeowner’s insurance in case someone steals it.”
“Well, do you have a better idea?” he shot back.
“I don’t know. It looks like an AMC Pacer. Can we turn it into a car? Or a terrarium? Or a place to store umbrellas?”
In the end we decided it would house all our loose change. After a couple of weeks the daily coins we toss inside have only barely covered the bottom of the jar. But the way I figure it, when that sucker’s finally full, we can afford to buy our town its own glass treatment plant.
Reach Pam Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.