Tupperware: on the Sweetness of Mormon Life

May 15, 2006 | 15 comments

On Mother’s day, it fell to me to clean up the kitchen.

After I washed the dishes, I took the kitchen IQ test–matching the washed tupperware lids with the correct washed tupperware containers. I passed! Naturally, being in a celebratory mood, I got engrossed in the contents of our tupperware drawer. We have clear, sturdy containers with solid white or off-white lids; pastel containers with pastel lids; clear containers with pastel lids; the ubiquitous flimsy containers that are clear plastic with translucent blue lids, the ones that you buy at Wal-Mart and that are made by, I think, the same people who make garbage bags; containers with ridges in them; containers that have a built in a little base; actual tupperware trademark; round containers, square containers, rounded square containers, bowl containers, tall containers, squat containers–we have them all.

The variety is the result of the United Order of Tupperware that we practice. Some of the containers are our own, others were given to us, a few belong to my parents because we’d run out of leftovers so I stopped by to take some of theirs on my way to work; I think a couple of pieces might have belonged to roommates of ours way back when; and some of them are meals that people brought over and told us not to worry about returning the containers, or else we forgot. Since we lose tupperware to other people from time to time, its clear that we’re living a sort of United Order of Tupperware. Pioneer times are here again!

Which is not to say that all is well in Zion. We were talking about Napoleon Dynamite recently and I suggested that if I owned a brig, I’d yank the bread and water right out of there and replace them with old, cold, congealed tater tots and lukewarm, flat diet coke. That would teach ‘em. The Lovely One thought maybe that would be a bit harsh and suggested it was probably our nation’s good fortune, and certainly the good fortune of those detained there, that I wasn’t in charge of Gitmo.

We may be practicing the United Order of Tupperware, but we cannot truly build the Kingdom if there are tater tots among us.


15 Responses to Tupperware: on the Sweetness of Mormon Life

  1. chronicler on May 15, 2006 at 10:12 am

    Ah, a tater tot hate post disguised as tupperware love! I am surprised at you Adam! The tater tots are just trying to remain the staple of the masses, Little do they know they’re doomed as a T&S permablogger has it out for them.

  2. chronicler on May 15, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Oh and I guess I should add this recipe for all those people who love tater tots! This on e is for you Adam, I’d never eat it but I thought you might need some fodder for the follow-up. ;-)

    2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
    3 2lb bags tater tots
    2 cans cream of mushroom
    2 cans evaporated milk
    2 cans cream of chicken
    Brown meat & place in large cass. dish.
    Cover with tator tots. Mix soup & milk together.
    Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour.
    (One of Daddy’s Favorites!) Makes 2- 9″X13″ pans

    This has recently been made famous by the Duggar family on TLC. They are a family of 18 and this is a family favorite. WHen you have 16 children, of course tater tots will be on th emenu at some point.

  3. queuno on May 15, 2006 at 10:23 am

    Hmm, based on your description, you’ve got other “unclean” storage variants amidst your Tupperware (Walmart? Trash bags? Puh-lease! My eyes are offended at the images of the unclean Rubbermaid!).

    Does the United Order of Tupperware included the unholy, the unclean (although undoubtably washed), and the fake? The unholy and the unclean should be reserved for RS meals for other families — surely you don’t give them your real Tupperware. Real Tupperware is precious and shouldn’t be shared.

    I know a Mormon Tupperware expert; maybe she’ll comment.

  4. danithew on May 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Although it would probably disrupt the balance of chaos and order in the universe, I am suddenly intrigued by the idea of a tater tot funeral potato dish.

  5. LF on May 15, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Being a Tupperware Manager, I have a few comments about this post.

    You are right to assume that not all plastic is created equal. The flimsy stuff is made by companies who make garbage cans as well. Something to think about when you are eating out of them next time: did that company recycle this plastic from my neighbors garbage can? The “throw away” ziploc containers are not meant for more than 5 uses and leaks plastic in the food when microwaved and then beg to be placed in the landfill.

    Tupperware on the other hand uses all new plastics, not recycled garbage cans. And even though not all Tupperware is made for the microwave, contrary to popular belief that all plastic goes in the microwave. Tupperware makes wonderful micro-safe plastic bowls, etc. Tupperware does last “forever,”but just as the urban legend of the ONE fruitcake, there are more than one or two Tupperware bowls. No united order yet, just a few people who need to buy their own stuff and return their parents’ stuff.

    The real question is: You only do the dishes on Mother’s Day? That is the trouble with Zion. It has nothing to do with Tupperware or the Napoleon Dynamites.

  6. annegb on May 15, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    I use old cool whip containers myself.

    I used to make that tater tot recipe all the time. My kids and husband loved it, I will have to try it again.

  7. Kat on May 15, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    I love the throwaway containers – I can buy dozens cheaply, and therefore wash them considerably less often. :)

  8. An on May 15, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    The really good use for the disposable storage containers is taking meals in to ward members and neighbors without having to stress about getting your good containers back. I speak with conviction, having lost a significant amount of real Tupperware several years ago to a family who moved in, got meals for a month and moved out. With my Tupperware. Grumble, grumble.

  9. Aletheia on May 15, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    About #5: Unless LF is speaking from some special insider knowledge, I wouldn’t be too concerned that my throways were made from recycled trash cans. I had the pleasure of having a man as one of my students who worked in the recycling and production of consumer plastics (specifically, plastic bottles used for water and other drinks). I thought his profession was unusual and ended up asking a number of questions. According to this gent, government regulation disallowed the recycling of used plastic bottles – even when fully processed, melted down or what not – for health reasons. If health regulations keep someone’s used bottle of Aquafina from being recycled, I’m doubtful that they allow the dirty trash can to disposable food container circle either.

  10. Adam Greenwood on May 16, 2006 at 12:05 am

    I have to admit that I’ve eaten and really like tater tot casserole. Yes, I criticize tater tots not just as an abstract critic, but as one who knows. I too am in their fiendish grip.

    I wondered how long it would take someone to decide that since I did the dishes on Mother’s Day, I *only* do them on Mother’s Day. Comment #3 was better than I expected but worse than I hoped.

  11. Tona on May 16, 2006 at 8:19 am

    Alethia, then where are my plastic recyclables going? Is it a trash company conspiracy?

  12. LF on May 16, 2006 at 11:43 am

    Let me clarify: the garbage can retort was a generalization, but just a point in saying that Tupperware uses all new plastic, while other companies use recycled plastics. That is why TW is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Tupperware is only for people who want the very best.

    It is funny, I have rarely NOT gotten my Tupperware back when I have given food to people for RS.. (Even when I didn’t want it back. My DH can attest that we have enough that we could lose a few pieces.) Maybe because people know I’m the Tupperware lady and it is mine. Maybe people don’t know who the Tupperware belongs to, maybe you should mark it more permanently. I know when I have been in need of assistance, sometimes Ican’t remember who brought what by.

  13. queuno on May 16, 2006 at 11:48 am

    As LF’s DH, I can attest that we have way too much Tupperware laying around. If anyone in the ‘nacle wants some, come and TAKE it from my garage (I’ll leave it unlocked and won’t call the cops, honest).

    And yes, we have TRIED to give Tupperware away with RS meals (for the sick, the afflicted, and the no-longer pregnant), and we can’t get people to keep it.

  14. LF on May 16, 2006 at 11:58 am

    I know you’re all talking of tater tots and the evils of the things, so here’s a different, but wonderful recipe:

    Cauliflower “Tater� Tots
    Prep time: 15-30 minutes
    Cooking time: about 20 minutes

    1 (1-lb) Cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
    4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick butter
    2 large egg yolks
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 teaspoons of Lipton onion soup mix or other seasoning blend

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower in microwave safe dish with 1/4 cup water. (Most microwave safe dishes say on the bottom that they are safe.) Place in microwave and cook at 100% power, 10 minutes, or until very soft. Place cauliflower in Quick Chef or food processor (or a bowl with metal beaters will work, too.).
    Add butter, egg yolks, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Process until mixture is smooth.

    Place mixture in a cake decorator tube fitted with NO TIP, to create tator tot size.. Pipe cauliflower mixture in 1-inch lengths onto greased baking sheet. To help retain shape, freeze baking sheet before placing in oven. (If you don’t have time for this step, the recipe works without it.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
    Serve with ketchup & dig in!
    Kids & adults won’t know the difference.


  15. Aletheia on May 16, 2006 at 2:08 pm


    From what I was told by that student involved in the recycling industry, the bottles you deposit in the recycling bin would be put to work in non-food, non-beverage related plastics. At the time, he said that bottles would become things like car bumpers, hard drive casings, inserts on assembled furniture, etc.

    As for the conspiracy: I think there is one. It’s the one that encourages us to recycle conveniently in bins and then captures the profit for local govt. and private recyclers.


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