“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” ~ Barbara Johnson
Did YOU take the cookies from the cookie jar?
Can’t fool me. I see crumbs on your face. 🙂
Don’t blame you, though. A cookie, at any time of day, always makes things better.
THE COOKIE JAR
by Edgar Guest
You can rig up a house with all
manner of things,
The prayer rugs of sultans and
princes and kings;
You can hang on its wall the
old tapestries rare
Which some dead Egyptian
once treasured with care;
But though costly and
gorgeous its furnishings are,
It must have, to be homelike,
an old cookie jar.
There are just a few things that
a home must possess,
Besides all your money and all
your success —
A few good old books which
some loved one has read,
Some trinkets of those whose
sweet spirits have fled,
And then in the pantry, not
shoved back too far
For the hungry to get to, that
old cookie jar.
Let the house be a mansion, I
care not at all!
Let the finest of pictures be
hung on each wall,
Let the carpets be made of the
And the chairs only those
which great wealth
I’d still want to keep for the joy
of my flock
That homey, old fashioned,
well-filled cookie crock.
Like the love of the Mother it
shines through our years;
It has soothed all our hurts and
dried away tears;
It has paid us for toiling; in
sorrow or joy,
It has always shown kindness
to each girl and boy;
And I’m sorry for people,
whoever they are,
Who live in a house where
there’s no cookie jar.
An old fashioned, sentimental poem, but I have to say I agree with Guest. What’s a house without a cookie jar? It’s like the Grand Central Station of receptacles. Big and little hands, young and old, eagerly reach into it for instant gratification, and if you’re lucky enough to own a jar with family history attached to it, even better.
Oddly, I don’t remember my grandmothers, mother or any of my aunts having cookie jars. Theirs was the generation of Tupperware®, the be all of savvy modern homemakers in the 50s and 60s. They stored, with dutiful frenzy, any semblance of edible morsel in those plastic containers. In went flour, sugar, salt, pepper, pretzels, crackers, potato salad, leftovers, lettuce, cereal, juice, beans, cake and cookies. I’m sure they derived a secret thrill from burping those lids so chips could keep their crisp and cookies their crunch.
My mom was a practical woman who probably never even wanted a cookie jar. Although some of them may have appealed to her, they wouldn’t keep cookies very fresh in humid Hawaiian weather. She was utilitarian Tupperware® all the way.
Me? Not so much. Unlike her, I’m a ceramics freak with a collecting gene. Though I’m fascinated by vintage cookie jars, I can proudly declare that thus far I have resisted the urge to collect them. While I do love learning about their history and seeing the vast array of decorative jars, who has the room? I’ll stick to teapots and bears, thankyouverymuch. 🙂
The thing I really like about cookie jars is that, like so many other good things, they originated in England — late 18th century England, to be exact. These early ones (called biscuit jars or biscuit barrels) were cylindrical in shape and made of glass with metal lids. Some had painted floral or leaf designs.
It wasn’t until the Great Depression that cookie jars became popular in the United States. Early American ones were glass with metal screw-on lids. During the 1930’s, most jars were made of ceramics/stoneware, with simple, ho-hum designs, but between 1940-1970, novelty cookie jars were all the rage.
Competing pottery companies became more innovative and imaginative, creating jars resembling fruits and veggies, animals, people, cartoon, fairy tale and Disney characters. There were advertising pieces (Coca Cola), holiday-themed jars, even jars resembling pop culture icons, cars, buses, phone booths, and all manner of inanimate objects. It seemed anything and everything could become a cookie jar.
For me, the allure of collecting anything has mostly been about history. So I was tickled to learn that none other than pop artist soup man Andy Warhol collected cookie jars — 175 of them! When asked why he was taken with them, he stated simply, “They are time pieces.” Yes!
Jars from the 40’sand 50’s were his sweet spot; he scoured flea markets and junk shops for them. A feature article about his jars in a prominent news magazine then sparked a cookie jar collecting craze, which continues to this day. In 1988, most of his jars sold at auction for a staggering $250,000. Serious cash for cool kitsch!
All fun to know. As you can see by the opening pic of this post, I do have a personalized cookie jar that I received as a gift many years ago. We keep it in the butler’s pantry, but never store cookies in it. We keep our cookies in tins!
When I lived in England, it was all about biscuit tins. I soon learned that tins were the best way to keep cookies fresh and crisp. Tins last forever too — no warping, discoloring, or odors like with plastic, and lighter than glass or ceramics. And there are so many cool shapes and designs.
Confession: I do not collect cookie jars, but I have a worrying amount of biscuit tins. I often buy products not for the food they contain, but solely for the tins. I’m obsessed! But I tell myself there are worse things — like smoking and drinking. 😀
So, do you have a cookie jar in your house? Are you lucky enough to own an heirloom cookie jar? If you agree with Edgar Guest, you are one smart cookie.
Enjoy this video of Mary Schrader’s Cookie Jar collection:
🦋🦋 TRUE BLUE BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNERS! 🚙 🚙
Thanks to all for indulging me with my crazy blue eyes post two weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that quite a few of you also have blue eyes. 🙂
Since we needed three winners this time, we enlisted the assistance of the recently distant, ever elusive M. Random Integer Generator. He’d been incommunicado for several months, but thanks to Blue Bear’s exceptional telepathic skills, we managed to locate him, self-isolated in his decadent chalet in the Swiss Alps, busy testing out new chocolate recipes.
M. Generator agreed to pick only three winners (as usual he was a little forlorn at not being able to award prizes to all who entered the drawing). After dutifully donning his best indigo velvet suit (complete with an azure waistcoat and a polka dotted cravat), he played “The Blue Danube” on his cello twice, ate three dozen crates of blueberries, carefully groomed his imperial mustache, then tap danced to “Blue Skies” in his blue suede shoes, before reaching into a giant vintage trifle dish, and picking name after name after name.
He then consumed the rarest of blue lobsters, since he next had the tricky job of randomly awarding three different books to three different people. Decisions, decisions. He devoured a sea of chocolate pudding just to make sure.
And the winners are:
*drum roll please*
DIANE LOCKWARD (Bluets)
MARALYN CROSETTO (Blue Horses)
MARJORIE STARLIPER (Little Woman in Blue)
🎉 🎉 WOO HOO!! CONGRATULATIONS, BEAUTIFUL LADIES! 🐻 ❤️
We’re happy to add that Little Woman in Blue author Jeannine Atkins has generously offered to provide a signed copy of her book for Marjorie. Thank you so much, Jeannine! To show his appreciation, M. Generator would like to invite Jeannine for a little tête-à-tête in his London rooms once the pandemic eases up (he promises a proper afternoon tea, followed by a shopping trip to Paris via his private jet).
Thanks, everyone, for all the fun comments. We love you all — blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, hazel eyes, dreamy eyes, cross eyes, bug eyes, cock eyes . . . keep winkin’ and blinkin’ :D.
The warm and welcoming ditty-loving spotlight shining Michelle H. Barnes is hosting the Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty. Tippy toe on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodies being shared around the blogosphere this week. Stay safe, strong, and healthy. Good weekend! Be my little cookie?
Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.