Saturday, November 29, 2008

Differences Between Arkansas and Massachusetts

This is definitely one big one. I grew up in the Land of Opportunity (now called the Natural State) with mass quantities of this substance. No layperson knows the exact chemical makeup of Cool Whip. Those ingredients written in the tiny print on the side? HAH! A total laugh. Each batch is different. It's mostly sugar and Elmer's Glue, though, I know that much, with some wax and other nutrients thrown in. Cool Whip went on your Jello, it went on your pudding and ice cream, certainly on any pie and/or other dessert item, and that was just as a topping.
Strawberry Jello with Whipped Cream  (Not available in ES) - Image 114172

It was and is an integral ingredient in many recipes, such as my sister-in-law's Four Layer Delight, which can make you stuff yourself until you are sick. Cool Whip is meant to make you sick. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is meant to tell you that life is good and comforting and sugary and smooth, but not without a cost, which in most cases is acute abdominal discomfort and sometimes a headache. It is worth it.

Cool Whip is kept in the freezer like ice cream, though I don't think any harm would ever come from it melting. No Cool Whip container was ever thrown out in my house. They joined each other in paper sacks under the kitchen sink and then between the washer and dryer and then squeezed into the broom closet and on top of the counters and then a few tentative rows out into the dining room before my mother stopped cooking. For a few years the CW containers shared space with the coffee cans, but then the coffee cans retreated under the utility room sink and kept a sullen silence. The Cool Whip bowl parts nested nicely, and oh my, so did the lids. You could probably get a hundred bowl parts in one sack and twice that many lids in another sack. For some reason my parents cut their sacks down so that each one was rather short. You could really see the nested bowls at their maximum efficient best that way, ready to serve at a minute's notice. I always used to joke that someday my parents would move under the sink and when you knocked on the door, a Cool Whip container would answer. That never happened. Those containers knew who was boss and my mother displayed a fine sense of noblesse oblige.

They are great of course for leftovers and don't a lot of people wish they had some right now! My parents put every tiny remaining morsel into a Cool Whip container and my father attached a piece of masking tape to each one and wrote on it in calligraphy:

CHOCOLATE CAKE
BACON
TUNA CASSEROLE (yuck)
screws from lawnmower

When you opened the fridge, a vista of CW containers spread before you, stacked and lined up in an orgy of logic and frugality.

I miss it.

Here in Massachusetts, they buy heavy cream and whip it with a mixer. What fun is that?

Gosh, I didn't even get to the Velveeta. I'll save that for next time. I have to get back rocking on Rosetta Stone.
A bientot, dear reader.
love,
becky

5 Comments:

At 9:24 PM , Blogger Kay said...

HA!! I knew the words Rosetts Stone were familiar (you have referred to thisit before haven't you?) when it cropped up in a Pub Quiz the other night ... the question was: What is Rosettsa Stone named after? We wrote down 'for it s colour' - but the correct answer was 'after a town'. I am none the wiser re Rosetta Stone though ... please enlighten - when you have time and have recovered from ferocious fare-ing!

I LOVE your Dairy Whip treatise! and the descriptions of your parents' 'saving the containers' fetish - it somehow sounds familiar!!! (Not me, I hope. Shades of tho' I guess ... embarrassingly enuff.)

 
At 8:07 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Here's what Wikipedia says about the real Rosetta Stone:


modern understanding of hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text made up of three translations of a single passage: two in Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic) and one in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the French in 1799 at Rashid (a harbour on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt which the French referred to as Rosetta during Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt), and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyph writing in 1822

The Rosetta Stone I am using refers to the software that you can buy that will help you learn a language. Two weeks to go for me. Thanks, Kay.
b

 
At 3:23 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I have a similar stacking phenomenon with yogurt cups in my kitchen -- it seems like such a blight on the earth to trash them, so they stack up as a blight on my kitchen. They're less useful for storing though, with no lids. The only use I've found is that little kids like to play with them, so I got rid of my stacks that way once (but they grew back!).

There might be another use, though: art. The grandmother of those kids sent me this link a couple months ago:
http://www.vimeo.com/1239911

 
At 4:56 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

The video is lovely, sm, but I think your first instinct is correct--THEY'RE A BLIGHT, MAN!!! GET RID OF THEM RIGHT NOW!
your friend, I swear,
b

 
At 11:59 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

[sigh] I'm sure you're right. If only I could say the kitchen was the beginning and the end of it...

(Ooh, cool word verification: "sushist")

 

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