Cooking with Betsy: The Tupperware

At K2.0, we usually use glass or stainless steel for food storage, because it doesn’t absorb food odors, and cleans easily. We stay away from plastic, because we grew up in the Tupperware generation. Betsy loved Tupperware. That’s an understatement. Betsy ADORED her Tupperware. When cleaning out her cupboards after her passing, there was more Tupperware in that small apartment than I thought humanly possible.

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The Onion Tupperware

Behold, in the bottom left of the photograph: the circular onion Tupperware. Betsy was ahead of her time when it came to eating what we now call “power foods.” Betsy diced a whole yellow onion every afternoon to enjoy on her salad at dinner. That onion supplied Betsy with all kinds of antioxidants. Onions are particularly high in vitamin C, which regulate immune health, collagen production, tissue repair and iron absorption. Onions are also rich in B vitamins, including folate and pyridoxine, which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production and nerve function.

Ted, however, failed to appreciate the onion’s positive qualities. If you research different types of onions, you’ll discover that yellow onions are considered “assertive” when raw, which is just how Betsy preferred them. Betsy would keep her diced onion in the small Tupperware bowl, pictured bottom left. And there it festered, the lid burped to press out air, increasing the potency of The Onion like a fine wine. In those few short hours stored in the fridge, The Onion took on a new life, increasing its fetid, mephitic odor. At 7:00pm, it was time to release The Onion from it’s plastic domicile and top her salad. Ted was always given a few pieces, but nothing in comparison to the magnificent mound of onion on Betsy’s salad.

And then … he smelled them. And it would begin.

“What do you DO to those onions?” Ted would say. “WHY are they so strong?” And Betsy would say she hadn’t done anything to the onions, and Ted would insist they were yesterday’s onions and that’s why they were so strong. They’d go around and around a few times, with no conclusion except to move on to a different topic of conversation. My teenage opinion, (which I never dared share,) was that the Tupperware had absorbed 16 years of onion aroma, and it did, in fact, increase the essence of said onions by a factor of 10.

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The Storage of the Tupperware.

There were several cupboards devoted singularly to the storage of Betsy’s Tupperware. Every size container was meticulously stacked by size and function. Small ones in the front, and large containers in the back. Betsy’s Tupperware was organized with the precision of the public library’s Dewey Decimal System. The lids presented Betsy (and the rest of us) with the greatest challenge, however. Stacked lids often toppled, which resulted in a cascade of clear plastic disks flowing out of the upper cabinet like an avalanche of Biblical proportions. We could only hope to quickly stuff them back into the cupboard before Betsy noticed, and hopefully we were out of the house when she did!

I still have a couple of Betsy’s Tupperware containers, like the jello mold pictured above. Will I make Jello in it? Not likely. Will I ever get rid of it?


Now that she’s gone, Betsy’s Tupperware is precious to me. It’s a piece of who she was: a wife, homemaker and mom.

I have to admit, though, I didn’t keep the bowls that smelled like onions.

One thought

  1. Love this story! I saved and still use some of my mother’s Tupperware. We have the same jello mold too and I never use it either- but I really should because I think the children would get a kick out of it. A surprise after dinner dessert!

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