cookie jar capers

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” ~ Barbara Johnson


Did YOU take the cookies from the cookie jar?

Who, me?

Yes, you!

Couldn’t be.

Then, who?


Can’t fool me. I see crumbs on your face. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t blame you, though. A cookie, at any time of day, always makes things better.





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
richest velour,
And the chairs only those
which great wealth
can procure,
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.


Fujiya, ca. 1960s


Oddly, I don’t remember my grandmothers, mother or any of my aunts having cookie jars. Theirs was the generation of Tupperwareยฎ, 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.


Rare Shawnee Pottery Smiley Pig


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 Tupperwareยฎ all the way.


Vintage Hull Red Riding Hood, ca. 1950s


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.


Victorian biscuit jar


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.


Brush-McCoy Bear


Nancy and Sluggo by JD James


Little Lulu, ca. 1960s


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.


Brush was the first pottery to produce ceramic jars in the USA. This Tick Tock Clock had a little poem on each side.




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!


Warhol Collection


Warhol jars


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. ๐Ÿ˜€


Polish Bunny by Manufaktura (If I had to collect jars, I would go for this one).


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:






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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Blue-eyed M. Generator Cookie Jar

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*











MARJORIE STARLIPER (Little Woman in Blue)






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 tรชte-ร -tรชte 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 ยฉ 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

47 thoughts on “cookie jar capers

  1. Wonderful display of cookie containers! I like tins best – I think because they remind me of tin toys, which always fascinated me. But we do indeed have a personalized cookie jar, like you do. The only problem is, it never stays full! It needs a lock….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jama, how could you possibly know that I inherited the ‘cookie crock’ from my great-grandmother. I love that old crock and it has been a writing prompt for me many, many times. AND… I’m making cookies (along with dinner) for a friend just home from the hospital (non-covid related). This post falls on me with smiles and joy. I will print out the poem to accompany the cookies! It’s so perfect….I think I even have a tin (yes, they are best) around here somewhere. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How lucky you are to have your great-grandmother’s cookie crock! What a treasure! I imagine it has many stories to tell about being robbed . . . ๐Ÿ˜€


  3. Dear Jama, I would go for the bunny jar, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I think i prefer to SEE my cookies? I like storing them in one of those glass cheese platters with the domed lid (which is really like a miniature cake platter). Like you, I do love a biscuit tin and love to fill them with other collections, like buttons or ornamental pins or crayons. ๐Ÿ™‚ Someday I hope to share cookie-time with you. xo


    1. Love your idea of being able to see your cookies! We have a clear glass jar with lid that we sometimes use during the winter, when the air in the house is very dry so cookies stay crisp no matter what. Like you, I also use tins to store miscellaneous things. They are the best!


  4. Thank you, Jama, for always teaching and keeping us smiling. I had no idea about Andy Warhol. It is funny re what lures us. I’m also more drawn to the tins. Maybe it’s their secretive nature or the sense really there could be anything inside. I do like Irene’s way of making sure cookies can be seen. Thanks for all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, this post is not crummy at all… crumbly, maybe, but not crummy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I loved seeing all of the old cookie jars. I don’t recall my parents having one and I don’t have one either. (Guest’s sweet homey poem does make me think that probably I should.) I do recall having a bread box growing up. Does that count for anything?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bread boxes do count — though we didn’t have one of those either. Sigh, so deprived! I always thought that bread boxes would make me forget that there’s bread inside, and I am right. We’ve had an enamelware bread box for 20 years and never remember to check what’s in it. Nice decorative piece, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My mom had a wooden cookie jar, sort of barrel-shaped. I imagine she inherited it or received it from my grandparents, although I do not know this for sure. Definitely not airtight, but it’s the only type of cookie jar I knew growing up – the only Tupperware we had was a set of three large mixing/salad bowls (in very 70s colors – orange, avocado, mustard yellow) you could put lids on. I’m pretty sure my mom still has those, lol.

    Now I want some cookies.


  7. So fun like always, Jama. I do not collect the cookie jars either but have one of those depression glass pink ones that was my mother-in-laws. I don’t use it, but we all remember the cookies that she “always” had in it, a kind of oatmeal that were great. I didn’t collect biscuit tins, but did have many tins in all shapes & sizes, kept a tiny few but sold the rest in my estate sale. I loved looking for them in antique stores. Love hearing about Warhol’s collection. He was such a multi-dimensional guy! Have a wonderful weekend, munching biscuits?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love pink depression glass and have considered collecting it . . . but of course I don’t have room to store any more things. How nice to have your mother-in-law’s cookie jar! I’m glad you did keep a few tins. Have a nice weekend!


  8. Love the balanced diet quote ;). We never had a cookie jar growing up (they got eaten too quickly ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but I do like dog biscuit jars :). Thanks as always for the bright spot of cheer, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh we used to have a cookie jar! And my mother has one that is now stuffed with “stuff” like recipes and other odds and ends, even though my mother is gone 3 years now. But the tins. I am with you. NOT as bad on the collection front but I do love them and would buy one despite not wanting what was inside!! For sure. They are very useful items especially if large enough!! How lovely the visits to your blog over the years, Jama. And I do like Edgar Guest’s old fashioned, but still warm poem. It brings a smile. I wish I could eat cookies. I avoid carbs but I sure have some favorite things!!! Love seeing Andy Warhol’s collection. Who knew!!! Thank you so much as always.
    Janet Clare F.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting Janet! Nice to hear about your mother’s old cookie jar. You’re right: both cookie jars and tins are great for storing things other than cookies. I try to avoid carbs too, but it seems to be a lost cause. I’m a cookie monster at heart.


  10. This post really brought me back. I remember that my siblings and I went together to buy my mother a cookie jar. It was a ceramic apple. I just did a search and can buy one today for $49! I don’t think I will, but it is interesting that people collect such things, and I agree that a home is homier with a cookie jar.
    Thanks for such a fun and evocative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. No cookie jars in my life, past or present. But I did inherit my mom’s collecting gene, along with her love of miniatures. A quick google search shows that I could (but am resisting) begin a collection of miniature cookie jars (am still…barely…resisting)…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miniature cookie jars??!!! I never thought of that. They would take up less space!! You’re a dangerous woman, Mary Lee. I will try to resist . . . barely trying . . . ๐Ÿ˜€


  12. Tins are FANTASTIC! I use them for all my teacher supplies~Scrabble tiles, flash cards, etc. And yes, I have some Harrod tins stashed away.

    And I never knew that about Warhol; thank you for adding to my trivia knowledge!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for this delightful post! I’m with you – I love the Polish bunny jar with the rabbits on her skirt’s border. Who knew Andy Warhol collected cookie jars! I enjoyed this entire post, and the Guest poem is definitely nostalgic and comforting. When our children were growing up, we had a ceramic red apple cookie jar. Now I use a tin. Your tins are precious. You gave me an idea for the last metal lunch box I have not discarded!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love cookie jars and have had several, but I gave them all away. Our family has a lion cookie jar that says, “Get out of my cookies!” when the lid is opened. We’ve never kept cookies in it. Instead, we regift it every few years to a different member of the family. Then that person regifts to someone else. It’s fun because we never know who will receive it next. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love how much history you pack into your posts – cookie jars or otherwise. The opening quote by Barbara Johnson is me to a T. Sadly I have no cookie jars, always used Tupperware. Though now that we live in Switzerland, I am growing a collection of tins inadvertently. Thanks for the cookie smile today! : )

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love that circus train cookie tin! I have no cookie tins or jars. I’m not much of a collector. I think I could be happy in a tiny house in the woods with a small rotating selection of temporary stuff found outside for my walls:>) But I do enjoy visual collecting, and your posts are perfect for that! If only I enjoyed “eating with my eyes” instead of my mouth. Thanks for the joyous post, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like everything else, there is good and bad to collecting. As much as I enjoy it, it’s a lot of work to store, dust, and maintain collections. I should be paring down my things at this stage of my life instead of accumulating more stuff.


  17. I have many happy childhood memories of the venerable cookie jar – both the one at our house, as well as my grandmother’s – who always had cookies we never did: store-bought iced oatmeal, windmill cookies, maple leaf sandwich cookies. They’re still not my favorite cookies, but I’m transported to my grandparents’ house every time I take a bite. Thanks, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucky you — two cookie jars to raid. ๐Ÿ˜€ I used to love those windmill cookies (got them infrequently), but have never heard of maple leaf sandwich cookies.


    1. Another tin person!! Yay! Glad you enjoyed seeing those videos. The second person’s collection is amazing; I guess she never dusts all of them?


  18. What a scrumptious post Jama! I have always wanted a good cookie jar, but when my kids were little I worried they would break such a treasure, and now there are grandies, it’s back to the same dilemma. I guess Warhol probably didn’t actually put cookies in his ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.