Sunday, June 4, 2017

Repurposed

    
     Sobriety starts out being conceptual. That might be the trickiest part. You have to realize it is possible. People do it. You can do it. It is allowed. You don't have to drink. Life still works. You do other things instead. 
     Thus I was intrigued and delighted to notice, while researching a column a few weeks back, this decanter full of M&Ms in the chambers of Ruben Castillo, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Clever. 
     I never quite understood decanters. I have a pair -- wedding gifts—but never used them. The decanters seemed props in search of a soap opera, something Susan Lucci could pause in front of, her hand on the stopper, before making some startling confession. 
     When I gave up drinking, a dozen years ago, I remember thinking, among the swirl of confused regrets, "And now I'll never use those decanters."
     Boo hoo. The decanters had never been used anyway. Because it seemed an unnecessary step to pour the booze out into these heavy cut glass bottles. Toward what end? 
     This colorful repurposing seems ideal—a notion that had literally never crossed my mind -- and worth passing along, under the assumption it would be a revelation to others as well. I asked Castillo about it concerned that he might feel ill-used if I seized this personal detail from a corner of his desk and publicized it. 
     Castillo didn't mind. He said that sometimes his job requires him to interview children in his vast chambers, and a fancy bottle of candy comes in handy.
     The only problem now is this: I don't like M&Ms. I suppose any small bore candy would work. Although, upon second thought, not liking M&Ms makes them ideal, as it would encourage moderation. I would have the repurposed decanter finally on display. And the candy would be safe from its owner, in the main, and thus available for any visitors who might want a treat.  

19 comments:

  1. How can you not like M&Ms? I could understand if they were filled with liver, but chocolate? I'm not even that crazy about chocolate, and I like M&Ms. They're cute, colorful, handy, "they melt in your mouth, not in your hand". What's not to like?

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    1. Like chewing sugary eggshells. Not that I haven't eaten them. Just that I find there are so many better things to eat.

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    2. M&M's are manageable in the peanut butter flavor, not the harder kind.

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    3. years ago i read a book called "The Emperors of Chocolate" about Milton Hershey and the Mars family (or should that be "families"?). among the revelations was the fact that the chocolate in M&Ms is purposely not as sweet so you'll eat more of them.

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    4. I read that book, also. If I remember,something was said about sour milk being used in Hershey's milk chocolate. I personally do not care for Hersheys (except for their 'Extra Creamy' milk chocolate which I've only seen sporadically); there is far better chocolate in the world & life is too short for junk chocolate.

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  2. Jellybellys. Although,I rather like the idea of going to the effort with mom's just for other people's enjoyment.

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  3. This reminds me of Ronald Reagan's jellybeans, which I believe helped him give up smoking.

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    1. Jellybeans! Those would be far better. Big colorful jellybeans.

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  4. Always knew you were strange. Not like m&ms? I suppose you hate Hersheys Kusses with almonds too ( my personal downfall). If not, then I bet they fit in a decanter.

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    1. Hate is too strong a word. But in truth, I find Hershey's milk chocolate not worth eating. It's semi-sweet will just do.

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  5. Jelly beans might clump in the bottle if it gets too warm. You want something candy coated to prevent that. My first non-M&M thoughts would be Good n Plenty or Jordan Almonds.

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  6. Tootsie Rolls work. At least they don't encourage overdosing, as do M&Ms and jellybeans.

    john

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    1. Tootsie Rolls would be good. They are tasty. But I hate the company too much for that.

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    2. Hmmm. I'd like to see a column about what created such hatred for a candy company, but I know you don't take requests.

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    3. It's not worth a column. Their factory is in Chicago. They're rebuffed all media requests to look inside. That's it.

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  7. You are the only person I know who does not like M&Ms. We may not be friends any more unless you share.

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  8. I also dislike Hershey's chocolate. Though a few years back they had 'special edition' chocolate bars: 'extra creamy' milk chocolate bars with things in them. The best imo was like Nestle's Crunch, except instead if Rice Krispies, it had mini-Whoppers, so they were crunchy & had a nice rush of malted milk flavor. Wish they'd bring those back.

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  9. Odd that a column about decanters has evoked a torrent of commentary about candy.

    Although nowadays I mostly drink wine that comes in a box, I do own a pair of decanters and have used them for their intended purpose. decanting wine, which simply means pouring it from one vessel to another before drinking. It adds oxygen and enhances the flavor.

    We sometimes vacation near an Italian town hill town famous for a pricey red wine made from grapes grown on the surrounding slopes. The nicer restaurants are often full of visiting oenologists, and witnessing the rituals associated with consumption of their bottle of Brunello is often worth the price of admission. The wine is poured "a tavello" into an enormous crystal decanter, left to rest prominently for the requisite twenty or thirty minutes, then sampled, with considerable flourish, by the senior member of the party. Even there, the tab is a bit high, so we make do with the excellent house red.

    Tom Evans

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