In the mid ’90s (my college years), on a trip back to school, my mother and I stopped at a large supermarket to get supplies for my dorm room. Bags of chips, boxes of cereal, cups of noodles, etc. Typical college fare.
We were getting closer to check out when my mother spotted the equivalent of her homeland calling her name. A wall of boxes of Ziploc bags. Every size imaginable was available. My mother was in heaven.
It was on that back-to-school trip that my mother discovered the greatest Zipoc of all— the 2 quart bag. She had never seen one before and the excitement was clearly overwhelming, as made obvious by her taking every 2 quart Ziploc box off the shelves and attempting to fit them into our cart.
“Get another cart!”
She was serious.
At check-out, I can still remember the cashier eying us both suspiciously as we emptied the contents of our cart on the conveyor belt. She looked at us like we had hacked someone to pieces, were planning to seal the body parts in Ziploc bags and then throw them in the river.
Back at the dorm, my mother instructed me to put every item imaginable into a Ziploc. Whole cereal boxes, unopened bags of chips, paper plates.
“What’s going to happen if I keep the paper plates unprotected?”
“You don’t know. That’s the point.”
My mother believed that everything was safer when sealed shut.
Since I was a kid, I remember my mother’s infatuation with Ziploc bags. Somehow, it was more special to pull out a PB&J from a Ziploc than pulling one out of a regular sandwich bag. The seal was important. It elevated the importance of your lunch, the love that went into it’s preparation.
If you open any cabinet in my mother’s kitchen, you will be confronted with a myriad of Ziploc bags. She puts everything and anything food related inside them. Better to keep out the dreaded “bugs.” (My mother always says “bugs” in a whisper.) My sister and I have heard about the “bugs” since we were born. They lurk around our kitchen, just waiting for someone to slip up and leave a box of cookies Ziploc-free, although we’ve never actually seen them.
The only kitchen cabinet where everything isn’t completely enclosed in Ziplocs is the Ziploc cabinet. A cabinet literally dedicated to different size boxes of assorted Ziploc bags.
I took the pictures in this post this past weekend when I went to visit my mother. Right before she gave my daughter a box of Wheat Thins for the car ride home.
A box enclosed in a Ziploc, of course.