I grew up in the Tupperware era, where neighbors had demonstration parties and new items were talked about with reverence and awe. We had the little footed pudding cups, and the pastel beverage glasses, and to this day my mom marinates everything in the two-piece marinator tub that she bought around 1980.
Tupperware for me isn’t just about nostalgia, it is also a bit about quality. In a time when everyone is using those flimsy disposable storage tubs which can be reused but pretty quickly get warped in the dishwasher or pick up stains or smells and end up in the trash, the fact that these products last pretty much forever is a comfort.
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And while I haven’t been to a Tupperware party in several decades, I do still keep an eye out for some game-changing gear. Luckily, a lot of the old-school, inherited pieces I have are still in production, but they are always coming out with new pieces to get excited about. I have to admit, my love for their gadgets often has little or nothing to do with the original intended uses. Here are my current top five faves with bonus ways to use them.
Cold Brew Coffee Carafe
This simple, elegant carafe can go from fridge to table, and yes, if you are a cold brew coffee person, it makes a great version of America’s favorite chilled form of caffeine.
Bonus use: Even though I’m not a coffee drinker myself, this piece is in almost daily use at my house because it also makes a terrific iced tea or infused water. I put two teabags in the metal infuser and a few hours later, have a carafe of iced tea that isn’t bitter or cloudy. A fistful of chopped herbs, vegetables, fruit, or combo of all of the above makes for a refreshing flavored water that is all-natural and endlessly adaptable. My current favorite no-waste combo is to put an apple core plus some cucumber and ginger peels in.
Buy It: Cold Brew Carafe ($69.99), amazon.com
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Pick A Deli
I grew up with this one in the fridge—my mom used it for its original purpose, to store pickles. The premise is genius: The lifter is perforated, so that you can store things in their liquid, but lift the handle to remove them for eating without having to dig into jars of seasoned vinegar with your hands or fish around with a fork.
Bonus uses: I still sometimes use mine for this purpose, but I also use it for storing celery and carrot sticks in cold water and fresh mozzarella, burrata, or feta in their brines; for infusing or steeping when cooking; and for brining meats. And because it is vertical, it takes up much less room in the fridge.
Buy It: Pick A Deli ($24.99), amazon.com
Onion & Garlic Smart Container
This is a Tupperware piece that does exactly what it says, and brilliantly: a perforated container that stores your onions, shallots, and garlic with enough airflow to keep them wrangled for optimum lifespan.
Bonus use: I usually use it for this in my pantry, but this container is also terrific for helping ripen fruits or vegetables faster. Here’s an example: I put apples in the bottom of the container, and then anything I want to ripen faster on the perforated lid. (Avocados, tomatoes, peaches and other stone fruit all ripen faster when sitting above apples.) And if you have a vegetable that is best stored in the fridge but should be stored unwrapped to prevent mold (like Brussels sprouts or corn on the cob), you can use this piece in your fridge.
Buy It: Onion & Garlic Smart Container ($38.99), amazon.com
My grandmother loved this three-piece mold back in the heyday of the molded Jello ring dessert. The removeable center stem meant flawless unmolding every time. I love that Tupperware still makes this nostalgic piece, because it is useful for so many other things.
Bonus use: While I don’t make Jello molds very often, I do make desserts that are set with gelatin like blancmange and panna cotta, and I love doing them in this ring mold, not just for the ease of unmolding, but because the ring shape allows me to fill the center with fruits or other garnishes for a lovely presentation.
More bonus uses! I have also used my Jello Mold to mold tuna salad or egg salad for brunches (so much prettier than just a bowl of mush!). It is also wonderful for making ice rings, which are much more useful than you might imagine. Here are three ice ring uses I've discovered: 1. chilling a large dispenser of a beverage with a giant ice ring made of that same beverage, 2. serving as a perfect chilling stand on a buffet for a bowl of potato salad, and 3. being the ideal surface to serve chilled seafood like shrimp or oysters.
Buy It: Jello Mold Clear & Tropical Water Color ($24.99), amazon.com
Squeeze It Bottles
The more of these I get, the more I want. Have a condiment that you wish you could squeeze instead of spoon? Load it into the wide mouth of this bottle and squeeze away. Have a condiment or ingredient you bought in a giant size that you need wrangled in a more manageable container, or is now down to the last inch or two (looking at you Costco ketchup bottle and enormous jug of oil)? Transfer into a bottle to save room in your fridge or keep a small useable amount at hand on the counter. Have lemons or limes getting sad on the counter? Juice them and store in these bottles for fast use on salads, recipes, and beverages.
Bonus use: These grab and squeeze wonders are also an ideal way to transport homemade salad dressings: The tops snap securely shut and flip open one-handed with your thumb for ease of use. I also use these workhorses for simple syrups to spray onto cakes when soaking layers, and I transfer sticky ingredients like molasses and honey into them for easy and more precise squirting measurements instead of sloppy pouring out of the original jars.
Buy It: Squeeze It Bottles ($20 for set of 2), Tupperware.com
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