Rubber Bands to the Rescue

"Rubber Band Ball"

I am married to a man who does not know his own strength. He knows he is stronger them most mortals so he makes a concerted effort to be gentle. His handshakes are firm, but not bone crushing. His hugs envelope you rather than squeeze the air out of you. Where he sometimes forgets to be gentle is in the pantry. When it comes time to screw a jar lid back on he makes sure it is completely screwed on. With his bare hands he can screw a lid on as tight as it was when it was first sealed. I can always tell if Shawn was the last one to use the jam or pickles because I cannot get the jar open without help. Often he is around and will sheepishly undo the lid for me. Other times I am on my own.

"opening a jar with a rubber band"

My Mom is a huge fan of the Gilhoolie Jar Opener. Grammy Caldwell always had one in the enameled top kitchen table, but somehow I never owned that particular jar opening device.  What I have instead in my kitchen drawer is a rubber band ball. Made up of hundreds of rubber bands which previously held together stems of broccoli,  bunches of scallions or heads of napa  cabbage, the ball serves many purposes. I de-stress with it by bouncing it around my kitchen (staying clear of the glassware and the dog). Sometimes my son and I play catch with it. And if Shawn isn’t around to open a too tight jar lid I simply peel off a thick rubber band, slip it around the locked lid, and twist. If a jar is particularly stubborn I’ll give it one good smack on my kitchen counter, which provides that extra bit of incentive to open, but usually the gripping power of the rubber band gives me the twist I need.


Filed under Favorite Tools

4 responses to “Rubber Bands to the Rescue

  1. Marcy Caldwell

    Opening jars is a skill of sorts. Little is more frustrating than wanting whatever the product in the jar is and not being able to get at it. One can dip a metal lidded glass jar upside down in warm water and then tap the lid carefully on a firm surface and often the lid will open. Or one can get out the Gilhoolie and set its expandable / adjustable metal gripper and pop off the lid with almost no effort. I did not know that you have been keeping house all these years, in a house with probably more tools per square foot than any other house on the planet, and did not have a Gilhoolie. I do not know if they are still made. All of mine came from estate sales. Sounds as if you have a better solution, however. You have Shawn. Lucky you.


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