|Hallie gave Nellie disposable bootees for Christmas|
In the ‘50s, some foods, like cottage cheese, came in waxed cardboard containers, but as we moved toward the ‘60s, the container became plastic with a snap-on lid, perhaps less sturdy that today’s model. I remember a year when one cottage cheese manufacturer decorated the containers for use as Easter baskets.
I think pre-Tupperware, some folks re-used cottage cheese containers for food storage. An elderly friend still does. “Don’t you?” she pointedly asked me one day. “No,” I admitted, “it confuses me.” I could tell by the look on her face that she saw me as extravagant, but I stand my ground on this. A refrigerator full of re-used product containers is confusing, though I do keep a few on hand as expendables.
In my childhood, the milkman (Jack Delaney) delivered milk, cottage cheese, and other products from the local dairy. When the dairy closed, probably by 1960, it was the end of an era. Then we bought milk in cartons, and after that the plastic “bottles.”
|Beautiful winter sunset|
My dad bought cream in pint jars directly from a farmer. We returned the jars to the cream lady and also saved pint salad dressing jars for her. We bought farm-fresh eggs from the same lady, likewise returning the cartons and saving others for her that came our way. By the way, in my girlhood world, I knew nothing of sour cream and its uses. “Sour cream” meant my dad’s cream had spoiled. And yogurt was a specialty item mentioned occasionally on television.
Shortening and coffee came in tin cans, and we re-used the can for all sorts of purposes, though I don’t remember using them for food storage. When we cleaned out the family home in 1991, we discovered a treasure trove of coffee cans in the basement. My dad had kept them because he knew coffee cans would one day be a thing of the past. I kept one or two of the older ones – out went the rest.
|Finally making progress after multiple starts|
Many products came in glass bottles or jars – ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc. And as Chris mentioned, cheese spreads came in jars which we then repurposed as juice glasses. Like the feed/flour sacks of yesteryear, the manufacturer (Kraft?) anticipated the re-use and made the jar pretty. Some designs were floral and others appealed to children. I remember Mother looking through the jars in an effort to match those she already had. Eventually the style of the jar was changed – probably for better sealing – so that the cap fitted over a lip, and the appeal as a juice glass disappeared. Consumers were disappointed.
I think peanut butter also came in re-usable glass, didn’t it? And I sorta remember that Welch’s grape jelly came in decorated jars, too, though my family made jelly and didn’t buy it. KW