Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Strawberry Jam

We had a mess, and we didn’t even know it! Several times in the past couple of weeks, at the end of the day when we set up, we discovered kitchen chaos. There were scrambled silverware, jumping jello boxes, and crash-landing canned goods when we opened the pantry cupboard in the rear kitchen of our fifth wheel.

We’d not recently had any more broken dishes or tableware since we had begun stacking them with a square of shelf liner between each plate and then packing the stack enclosed tightly in a plastic storage bag. It’s a real pain to get them out if I’m in a hurry to put a meal on the table but it has helped decrease the excitement of exploding plates! We thought we had our breakage problem solved.

However, yesterday at mid-morning snack time, Bruce was checking the bottom shelf – the "extra supplies shelf" – when an ominous sound escaped from his pursed lips, "Oops!" He was searching for the extra jar of apple butter which was hidden away behind the pickle relish. He pulled out the relish jar, and it was artistically adorned with sticky red stuff!

"What was going on?" we wondered together. The applesauce jar he pulled forth next was dripping with the same mysterious juicy mess. Then an ominous memory flashed through my mind. "There’s an extra jar of strawberry jam in there, too," I said with fear and trembling. Bruce pulled out the plastic storage bin, and there it was. The jar of strawberry jam could no longer be referred to in the present tense; it was clearly a "has been." Splinters of glass sparkled in the light and syrupy red goo silently crept across the bottom of the bin. The jar had not only broken, it had exploded!

It was sugar-free jam, but that didn’t make it any less sticky to clean up. As we trashed the remains of the glass jar and scrubbed up its yucky contents, we wondered when the jam jar had met its end. How long had we been carrying that mini-disaster in our pantry?

There had been many bumpy roads and one sudden stop in the previous days. Any of those road hazards could have caused the demise of the strawberry jam jar. We’ll never know when it hit its breaking point but we’re much relieved to be out of our "strawberry jam." In the future, we’ll buy everything we can in plastic containers!


25 Sept 2012 - mshr