A party with plastics

When I got married parties to buy a brand of plastic containers were popular. People hosted them in their homes. The hostess had all kinds of perks for doing the hosting. There was a demonstrator who brought all of the items with her to demonstrate. It was her job to make the stuff so enticing that you just had to have one.

One person would host, then get another to book a party at a future date. For doing that she received free merchandise based on the dollars spent at her party.

We were country people at the time so getting out — even to see the neighbors — was a big deal. I attended many of these parties and hosted some as well. Really, they were fun. We got to see the newest merchandise and we always got some small premium to take home.

I still have several of my premiums and still use them. I have an orange peeler, a small covered container, a measuring spoon, and a small device to use for make-up.

I remember when they introduced the fix-and-mix bowl. I hosted the party and was lucky enough to have enough sales to get mine free. That is the bowl I use when I make homemade bread, homemade rolls, and Chex Mix. I also use it whenever I am making a large batch of freezer jam. I have found so many uses for that!

I bought a lot of the stuff even though it was expensive. It lasted well and there was a guarantee. If something happened to your product you simply brought to the next party for a replacement – no questions asked.

I did not hesitate to purchase pieces that I found at household sales because of the guarantee. Many of my pieces were acquired that way. Of course, I also inherited some when my mother and mother-in-law died. The piece I use for deviled eggs I found at my in-law’s house. It is very handy to have the eggs nestled in small indentations.

My husband ate cereal out of the bowls. We also used them for ice cream as an after chores snack. Later I used them for popcorn with the grandchildren. That way each of them had their own bowl and it was color-coded. I have traded in a couple of the bowls so I have some newer colors. The same was true for the glasses. Each child chose a glass and kept it for the day. There were lids to go with the glasses so they could be tucked into the refrigerator to keep cold.

Now some of my pieces are in my camper. We use them at the fair. One year my daughter-in-law gave me a set of little shakers. I put cinnamon sugar in one that I have in the camper. Another is on my table at home. Cinnamon toast was a favorite of the grandchildren. They loved to make it for themselves.

The line of the containers has expanded exponentially. There is even some that is for the microwave. They have little vents on top for when you use them in that.

One of my favorite items was the lunch box. There were containers inside to hold parts of your lunch. The box had a handle so it was easy to carry. I used it a lot when I was teaching because I carried my lunch most of the time — especially when the cooks no longer made the meals.

The best part of the whole business was getting together with other women in the neighborhood. The hostess always made a delicious snack to eat. I had a tough time entertaining when I lived in the trailer, but I managed. I had some folding chairs that I dug out to seat everyone. We also used the toy chest for seating.

Snack time was rough. Everyone had to sit still and let me serve them. There was not enough room in my kitchen for people to move around.

My children liked the frozen treat pops that I made with the pieces that I had.

They had to remember to bring back the piece when they finished so that I could make some more. They never forgot because they wanted me to make them again.

Oh, what fun it has been reminiscing. I wish those ladies were still around to have another party. I think the only ladies left are the neighbor down the road and me. We really knew our neighbors back then.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net


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