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DARLENE ATKINSON-MORAN: Cool Whip bowls are just right
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DARLENE ATKINSON-MORAN: Cool Whip bowls are just right

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When I opened the refrigerator door, I found myself starring at recycled Cool Whip bowls. There were three of the Cool Whip brands, a Food Lion whipped topping bowl, an extra-large Country Crock butter container, a large red plastic bowl that once contained Christmas sugar cookies, and some Zip Lock plastic containers with contents unknown.

When did we start eating Country Crock butter, I ask? We don’t he says, its full of mac and cheese. It’s really good, he adds. I’m still focusing on the size of the container. It must have held 5 pounds. Who eats that much butter, I want to know? Don’t know, he says, it came home with us from one of the holiday dinner parties.

It all started with multiple family and friend get-togethers, dinners, and parties beginning with Thanksgiving. Each event ended with plastic bowls of leftovers riding home with us on the back seat. By Christmas the contents of the Thanksgiving bowls had been consumed, the bowls washed, and there were discussions as to if we were expected to return the recycled Cool Whip bowls. Neither of us wants to offend the gifting party and end a good thing. If it’s Tupperware we save and return, if it’s a recycled bowl it goes in the trash, I decide. I haven’t seen any Tupperware since the 1980s, he comments.

For a short time after Thanksgiving, a day or two, the refrigerator was empty and manageable, then came Christmas celebrations. Recycled Cool Whip bowls came home with us on the Thursday before Christmas, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. Slowly but surely, one by one, the contents of the bowls were consumed. There was fried chicken, mac and cheese, liver hash which I really enjoyed, barbecue from more than one get-together, and mouth-watering deserts that were shamefully delicious. There was pecan pie, red velvet cake, million-dollar pie, and a huge slice of nut cake. We decided to diet after the new year and have fun in the remaining few days before 2022. We ate it all and had another conversation about what to do with all those empty Cool Whip bowls.

There were other recycled plastic bowls in our fridge, but Cool Whip bowls seem to be the container of choice for leftover gifting. Why was that, I wondered. Was it the lids that snapped shut and sealed the contents? That big ole Country Crock butter bowl had a lid that loudly popped when it was sealed. In fact, you almost needed a butter knife to pry the lid off to get to the goodies inside when it was sealed shut.

Was the Cool Whip bowl a more appropriate size? It seemed to be just about right for a generous helping of rice and liver hash.

I noted that three of the Cool Whip bowls stacked well when placed and tied up in a plastic grocery store bag. Very secure for the trip home.

Perhaps it was the cheerful colors of the Cool Whip bowl. A white bowl with a red and blue color scheme on the sides reminds you of a party and happy times. The Country Crock bowl, on the other hand, with the brown and beige color scheme reminds one of clogged arteries.

The plain white lid of the Cool Whip bowl lends itself to be perfect for taking a marker and labeling the contents. I noted that no one labeled our gifted bowls. That would have been a nice touch so that we would not have to unsnap and peek in to see what we have. I mean, come on, every time I want a snack I must unsnap and check the contents of every bowl. Since they all look alike, it’s always the last one that I want. Just a suggestion for next year’s holiday season.

I have come to several conclusions about all these Cool Whip bowls in my refrigerator. The contents of the bowls came from some really good cooks in my circle of family and friends. Recycled Cool Whip bowls are just the right size for gifting leftovers. They travel well and hold the perfect amount of pecan pie for a midnight refrigerator raid.

I further conclude that my family and friends are eating way too much Cool Whip, and someone might want to reconsider their butter consumption as well.

Dr. Darlene Atkinson-Moran grew up in Olanta. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She is retired from the education profession and now resides in Florence with her husband, Michael. Contact her at citizencolumnist@florencenews.com.

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