A jar of Foster’s Pickled Asparagus Spears can be really hard to open, but once you do…
I’ve been meaning to write about my preferred brand of pickled asparagus for a while now. Not only is it delicious, but it comes in very reusable wide-mouthed glass jars. They are excellent jars. And are really hard to open. Like really hard. I’m a non-elderly adult human male, and I figure that I’m among the most capable demographic that purchases their product. But sometimes, even using the hot-water-on-the-lid trick, I simply can’t open that fucking jar. Now, I know that little kids probably aren’t tasked with opening these jars, but what are old people meant to do? People are supposed to be able to open their jars! At one point I seriously just considered smashing it, but thought better of it upon considering the inconvenience of having pickled asparagus peppered with broken glass.
If you have ever heard someone say that someone successfully opened a jar after someone else ‘loosened it,’ you might have doubted that this phrase was anything but a face-saving comment — but I assure you it’s real. Jars can be like one of those really tough boxers that take a real pounding, and their opponent has no idea how close they are to breaking until they simply collapse to the ground. Before I got a jar opening device (and I loathe requiring a device to simply open a jar) I would sometimes set the jar on the counter and work on it throughout the day. Often by the end of a day or two, I would get it open. Now unless you think that I was actually somehow significantly stronger at the end of this session, you will be obliged to concede that the efforts throughout the day(s) served to weaken (or loosen) the tightness of the lid. So it’s real, and you can believe in it.
A roommate with powerful thighs had noticed that I’d been working on my jar of pickled asparagus for a couple of hours. “Are you still trying to open that jar?”
I let her try, and she got on the ground and squeezed it on between her legs while working with her full upper body for about twenty minutes, and eventually got it. I was pleased and grateful, and proceeded to enjoy my Fosters Pickled Asparagus Spears.
If you ever do manage to successfully open that jar, it isn’t just satisfying to know that you (eventually) opened the jar all by yourself. It is also very very pleasant to eat the pickled asparagus. It is almost as if they realized that their product was so exceedingly delicious that they thought that their customers didn’t deserve to eat their product unless they could open the jar.
And after you finish the asparagus, you still have the jar!
But that’s not all. Because it’s not just about the jar or the asparagus. It’s about the brine — one of the primary reasons it tastes so good. Once you’re done all the asparagus, you still have all of this delicious brine! Now to be sure, some people are happy just to drink it. But if you really want to make the most of your ~$8, you can chop up some carrots, toss them in the brine, and pop it in the fridge. In just a few short days you will have pickled carrots as delicious as you could ever hope for. And when the carrots are done, you can probably chop up more carrots, and put them in the brine! And have even more pickled carrots!!
But then, once you’ve decided that the brine has done enough work and it can be sent to the compost, then you can clean the jar, and use it to store just about foodstuff could want. The wide mouth makes it great for dry foods, but it also does a great job storing soups, stews, and just about anything you might want to store and eat in the future.
And for all that, each jar is only hard to open once.