Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Too much air for comfort.

Why decant into bottles?

Just think if you had 16 ounces of milk left in a 32 ounce container.  The carton is taking up space in the fridge.  A half-gallon milk carton gobbles about 25 square inches of space in your refrigerator door, while a tall, slim bottle may take up only 9 square inches (approximately).  Let's not even talk about cubic inches although they do relate to "airspace."

Here are some bottles which I have collected over the years for decanting (photo #1).  Each of these bottles is good for the container-addicted because they wash easily in the dishwasher and the cap sizes are very standard.  The tall, slim one on the right once held V-8 juice.  This goes back to when most products were still sold in glass containers (you can't find this bottle anywhere these days, and I "hoard" my three very jealously)!  These are perfect for milk containers, and I pour into these when my milk carton is down about a pint.  One V-8 bottle plus one pint bottle holds the remaining milk and makes storage in the fridge much easier.  My son actually loved this routine because he could grab one of the pint bottles and drink right out of it without getting into trouble (he usually just finished it and put it into the dishwasher, not back into the fridge).
Photo #1. 
Photo #2
Next over is a one-pint health drink bottle.  I think it's quite Smooth and Elegant!  It takes a regular screw-top lid which has a little gasket to make it liquid-tight.(Note the "Synergy" drink bottle in Photo #2.  This was my source for the Smooth Elegant bottle.  Once one of us downs that we'll have another pint bottle I will hang onto and use!)  This bottle is currently holding one delicious pint of cream.  The remaining 6-8 ounces from the quart cream carton went into the little juice bottle, far left in photo #1.  As you can see, I've almost used all of that, and we have an air-space problem again.  Put this back into the fridge this way and the half & half dries inside the bottle, making it harder to wash, even in the dishwasher.

Reader shrinks in horror . . . she can't be planning, she wouldn't possibly . . .  (If my mother were here she would be saying -- "Don't bother doing that!  That's fine the way it is!  Just DRINK that cream!" My mother was known to put a 5 quart casserole back into the fridge containing 1/2 cup of tuna surprise.  We never did see things eye-to-eye.)  Yes, I would possibly . . . .  see photo #3.
Photo #3

I've poured that dab of cream into one of those tiny catsup bottles you get from room service at nice hotels.  Yes, I have a collection of these!  It's just the right size for cream for one or two cups of coffee for me.  I've taken cream in my ice-chest for camping before in these little bottles, and have also packed single-serve maple syrup if I'm going to do a camp breakfast up hearty.  These little bottles are quite charming, and I note that visitors are enchanted if I serve them coffee and their own little cream bottle.  Maybe we all have a deep-seated desire to play house?

Photo #4
Back to my liquid decanter section.  The jar on the left in photo #4 is a salsa jar, but I've discovered they are great for pint use also, as well as for storing little dry goods like nuts or M&M's.  I tend to use these pints for milk, and the other Smooth Elegant and small juice jars for the cream.  No particular reason, I just like to do this.

The tall V-8 jar is also excellent for juice.  Our favorite juice is the unsweetened Cran-Raspberry from Costco which comes in a huge plastic jug.  I decant it ASAP into several different jars and stash them around the fridge.  This is also more convenient because my hands and wrists sometimes ache, and lifting a huge jug is painful.  I also decant liquids for my 91 year-old mother in her little retirement apartment.  She has osteo-arthritis and osteoporosis.  EVERYTHING is heavy for her these days, and she no longer complains about me decanting -- she appreciates it!


Jennifer @ Bleu Pom said...

Okay, mom, I admit it...I do LIKE these little jars!

Judy Morton said...

Please everyone, we're trying to take up a collection for this woman so she can just get a bigger refrigerater. Help her please! Free her from this need for air space! Oh, by the way, we are keeping the money in a cookie jar, a really ugly cookie jar in the shape of a fat hen so she won't go hoarding that jar also!
Judy M

Pamela said...

Ah Judy, Judy, Judy. You so completely miss the point! This is not about a bigger refrigerator. This is about cramming more things into the one I have!

It's also about doing something I enjoy. Why do I enjoy spaces, finding spaces, fitting things into spaces? I don't know. I don't think this condition is described in any psychology text as an illness.

So far as I know there is no program on television dedicated to this addiction ("Buried Alive: Addicted to Containers and Spaces" -- Woman discovered buried under shiny jars and orderly baskets; coroner states he could find no wasted space anywhere. . . )

But Judy, I'm very concerned about this ugly cookie jar. This just doesn't sound right. Unless it is already full of money, I'm sure there is wasted space in there. Give me your address and I will come and assess immediately!


Judy Morton said...

There were "Jar people" discovered in ancient ruins in the Syrian mountains 6 thousand years ago. An unusual amount of pottery fragments found in all of the cooking areas. Some individuals were buried with 3 or 4 jars in their tombs. What the jars contained is still a mistery, though there is evidence to conclude that the jars may have contained more jars! No one knows what happened to this race of people.

Pamela said...

Judy, you have given me hope.

I have always heard that you "can't take it with you," but your report of the jar discovery in the Syrian mountains makes it clear that you CAN.

I'm going out right now to buy some jars!

(Also, put your latch string out and tie up the dog, I'm coming up to inspect your pantry!)

Love, Addicted

Gayle said...

Okay. Now I understand the Cheshire Cat grin on your face the day we shopped in the container store in San Francisco. I wondered how you already knew where that store was located!

Pamela said...

Dear Gayle,
My only regret is that there is no Container Store north of San Francisco (at least, not in California). How will I feed my addiction without a 3 hour drive plus return trip?
My daughter is longing for a trip to Ikea (as am I) and wants to visit SF in January. However, I'm well aware that my specific addiction cannot tolerate two intensive shopping/decision making experiences in one weekend. Any suggestions for me?
Remaining your friend with the best of hopes,

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