On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on February 13, 2018:

Redneck Tupperware 2The first time I remember hearing the term Redneck Tupperware was at Home Group. Every Friday night a group from our church meets for dinner, fellowship, and Bible study. Everyone brings a dish or two, and there’s usually quite a bit leftover which we share with anyone who wants to take some home. Most of us don’t have the foresight to bring our own to-go containers, but our hostess is very generous. The night I first heard the term, she pointed to a cabinet under the island where we serve the food and said, “There’s lots of Redneck Tupperware in there. Help yourself.” I smiled when I saw a large collection of empty plastic tubs that had once held whipped topping, butter spread, lunch meat, and other foods stacked in a fabric cube storage bin.

As it turns out, I have a rather large assortment Redneck Tupperware in my own kitchen – I just didn’t know it had a fancy name. My Aunt Fay has an even bigger collection in her kitchen. Most holidays include a big family meal at her house, and like our Home Group dinners, there is always plenty of food left and plenty of containers for taking some home.

These reusable containers are very useful, but they have some very irritating Redneck Tupperware 1characteristics. First, like wire coat hangers, they seem to multiply on their own, taking over the space where they’re stored. In addition, either the top or the bottom of some of the containers have a tendency to disappear along with the socks that go missing in the laundry.

I was very aware of both these characteristics this past week when I did a little reorganizing in my kitchen. We live in a single-wide mobile home that is plenty big enough for the three of us (David, Kitty, and me), but the kitchen is a little short on storage space. Our son and daughter-in-law gave us an Instant Pot for Christmas, and since there was no empty space in the cabinets, it has been sitting on the counter since then.

Redneck Tupperware 3My intention was to go through my cookbooks, and since I find most of my recipes on Google, pack up all except a few favorites for the Good Samaritan Thrift Store. Unfortunately, once the space was cleared it wasn’t tall enough for the new appliance. Reluctantly, I moved on to my stash of plastic ware that was spilling over into the space I had just emptied. I managed to bring some semblance of order by putting all the lids in an old bread saver, stacking all the containers, and trashing a few odd containers that didn’t play well with the others.

Next, I moved on to the cabinets under the island where, I hate to admit, I had another tangle of plastic. Using the same method of separating containers and lids, stacking, and trashing, I finished organizing the plastic and found a spot for the Instant Pot. I’m pretty sure I have more lids than containers, but matching them in order to eliminate the extras is a project for another day.

By the way, just out of curiosity, I did a little bit of research. Redneck Tupperware is an actual term as defined in the Urban Dictionary. Webster is probably rolling over in his grave.




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