There has been one casualty in this fire. Quite a tragic one.
It’s the aunt’s massive Tupperware collection.
The freezers were stacked and packed with Tupperware, each containing bits and pieces of food. She is a frugal one (thankfully) and believes in buying vegetables in season, when the beans cost 2,000 pounds a kilo instead of 14,000 some month later.
Yes, I was not aware of these huge price differences either, but apparently, this is a fact. If it were possible, she’d freeze lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and onions as well.
And she cooks in bulk. Lebanese cooking often requires an extensive amount of preparation time, such as the wrapping of grape leaves, or cabbage leaves, or the cheese things, whatever they are called. And the chickpeas for the hommos, which are consumed in our house in near lethal doses, get cooked by the kilos, otherwise you have to cook small quantities on a daily basis. The kibbeh balls are prepared in the hundreds and then neatly packed in little plastic boxes. She can whip up a dinner of warak ainab (grape leaves) for 20 people in no time, that freezer’s stacked and packed.
Well, she could.
Of course, no longer. Gone up in smoke. Literally.
And it is not the food that bothers her, it’s the Tupperware.
She had them by the thousands. The little labban and labneh containers, the feta cheese, the mozzarella and the kashkawen boxes, every dairy product in a plastic container we ever consumed, all those containers were diligently washed and stored. The Arabic sweets that come in plastic boxes, the ice cream containers, you name it, she had it.
In multiple versions and by the thousands.
One day, while she was visiting friends in Tripoli, I threw away a whole kitchen cabinet full of them, because I just could not find a spot to store my bread maker. This kept her huffing and puffing loudly for months, every time I entered the kitchen.
And then I haven’t even spoken about the ‘real’ Tupperware, the plastic boxes you buy because that’s what they are there for, to be bought. To store more stuff.
And if the vegetable oil was on offer with 5 containers stacked on top of each, other taped to the bottle, she’d buy three gallons.
I am not making this up. It seems to be a common thing with Lebanese housewives, this Tupperware hoarding. Just surf the web for Lebanese moms + Tupperware.
On a post of ‘Top 15 signs your mom is Lebanese’, at #14, it reads “She has a tupperware collection bigger and more valuable than the collection of the Louvre! (Source)
On another blog that highlights the ‘6 Things You Should Never Say To A Lebanese Mom’, on first place: “I lost your Tupperware.”(Source) “God knows Lebanese mothers love their Tupperware more than they love their own kids - or just as much. Don’t bother showing up to the house if you can't find her an exact replacement.”
How about this one? Growing Up Arab, reports at #22 of 37 things that show you grew up as an Arab, “Tupperware fights with your mom.”
InkontheSide, a very talented illustrator in town, explains in a drawing that if you want to annoy your Lebanese mom, forget your Tupperware at work.
Here is another classic, of 365daysofLebanon.
Or this gentleman, who shows that above all, a mom cares about her Tuppeware.
I was going to show you pictures of the remaining Tupperware collection in the kitchen, but the aunt was eye-balling me, so no can do.
Anyway, two freezers, including plastic containers, gone. She is slowly recovering.
So I leave you with a (belated) idea for a Lebanese Mothers Day Gift from 2015 (From blogbaladi.com).