The King Pickle

So here it is – the post you have all been waiting for, the post you can’t wait to read – the post about my sugar jar!

As long as I can remember, my Mom has kept her sugar in a gallon-sized glass jar with a yellow lid. It is a cute shape, but much more functional than flourishy. She has mostly kept it in cupboards, or on the bottom slider in her pantry (which is where it is right now), but that jar has just been part of the kitchen life at Mom’s for so long, that it has actually gotten itself all tied up in a lot of fun memories.

I know that I learned to bake with that jar on the counter – I still remember the feeling of trying to shake some sugar out into a measuring cup and having one of those huge sugar landslides come out on the counter, caused by some invisible sugar clod, and I am sure that I used it when I made my incredible orange zest angel-food cake. I don’t know how old I was then, but I had been perusing some cookbook (habits can start pretty young), and landed on what I thought would be a very dreamy cake. As I recall, we did not have all the ingredients, and I asked Mom to get me some of the needed items.

Remarkably, she invested in that scheme of mine – she has always been kind that way. I am not sure why I was let alone in the kitchen for this, but it is clear in retrospect that I was over-confident. I simply grabbed a mixing bowl, beat it all together, and popped it in the oven. In the time that lapsed before the buzzer buzzed, I looked in the oven and wondered when the miracle puff would happen.

When the timer did finally go off, I removed from the oven an angel food cake that measured no more than an inch tall. An eggy, quivery, orange-zest-studded pancake in a tube pan. I remember it being a little disappointing, but so much fun for the rest of the family, that it turned almost immediately into a fond memory. Dad, I believe, ate a whole piece in his usual supportive way, and told me good job.

But back to the jar – the summer before we got married I was out at the yard sales, and found one for my own counter. It really is hard to miss – that big glass jar with the slogan “Farmans – the king pickle” emblazoned in red on the yellow lid. The little pickle man is fun too, sort of running off the side of the lid with a crown on. Anyway, I was so pleased to have my own official sugar-pickle jar, that I have always left mine out on the counter where it can be admired.

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4 thoughts on “The King Pickle

  1. If it’s any consolation, the gourmet-est baker in my church set out to make an angel food cake for another friend’s birthday last year, and the same pancake thing happened…twice. This year it was my turn to make the same person’s angel food birthday cake, but I, knowing my limitations, used a mix, which was, of course, just like her mom used to make it!

  2. Don’t you just love the pickle jars. I grew up with my mother filling these gallon jars with everything from flour to beans to pasta. She always had an abundance of them filling her counter tops or shelves. Not long after I was married she sent me about 10 of them full of goodies, they make a great gift. I painted all the lids a lovely aqua blue and I must say they are darling. It’s so fun to hear about others with fond “sugar-pickle jar” memories.

  3. This reminds me of the time when I was 8 and asked to learn how to cook. My mom said, “Well, you can read. There are the cookbooks. Find something you want to make, I’ll get the ingredients, and you can have at it!” I decided on peanutbutter cookies. My mom got everything out of the cupboard I would need and went to work on something or other while I labored over my creation. Somehow, (there must have been batter over the 1/) I put in 2 cups of brown sugar instead of 1/2 cup and I had brown sugar pancakes rather than peanutbutter cookies!

  4. My dad made two matching lamps out of the gigantic deli sized pickle jars when I was a kid. The jars served as the bases.

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