Last week I attended a luncheon meeting and could not open my bottle of water. I passed it to the gentleman seated at my left, complaining how my arthritis frequently leaves me helpless at such simple tasks.
"Happy to lend a hand," he said, twisting it off easily. "But my wife says I'm not the man I used to be when it comes to opening jars at home. Sometimes I need a little help, too. A sharp tap on the side of the lid with a knife usually works."
This morning as I readied my lunch, I remembered that tip. I've had a jar of spiced peaches in the fridge that I wanted to pair with some cottage cheese for lunch. So I tapped the side of the lid with a table knife to break the vacuum seal, but nothing happened. So I tapped again. And again. I couldn't budge it.
Next, I tried pouring hot water over the lid, since I'd heard that might loosen the vacuum between the lid and the jar. It didn't. Then I donned rubber gloves to give my hands more leverage. Nada. Nil. No success.
Hmmmm. I vaguely recalled that somebody once said holding a dryer static sheet in your hand will provide more traction. Since I had to put my laundry in the dryer anyway, I pulled a Sun Sky Fresh Breezy from its box and returned to the kitchen. Nope, but at least it smelled nice.
By now my stomach had started to rumble. I considered sticking the peaches back in the fridge, and slicing a tomato. Then I figured that maybe an old fashioned can opener, the kind we used to call "church keys" back in the '50s...when I didn't need help opening jars, I recall...might do the job. If I could wedge it between the lid and the jar...but, alas, I couldn't. Nor could I find a way to puncture the lid with it.
Exhausted, I marched to the garage and lifted an ice pick off my late husband's work bench, where I store it with the screwdrivers so I don't puncture my hand when I forage in the utensil drawer...and a hammer. I carefully positioned the ice pick in the center of the lid, and gave it one mighty whack. The tip sank into the metal and it worked. The vacuum disappeared so I could turn the lid easily.
So there went 30 minutes of my morning....time I'd intended to spend drafting the beginning of a story about how I never traveled to Kiribati. Oh, I know...excuses, excuses. But it's the absolute truth. My morning had hijacked by a pint of pickled peaches.
The peaches and cottage cheese tasted delicious together. I'd have been one bitter biddy if they hadn't.