Opening a jar.By Elizabeth Gunnison
Welcome to Eat Like a Man's 2012 Holiday Survival Guide, wherein we tackle some of the season's thorniest issues in food and drink to help you make it to January in one piece.
Generally speaking, public feats of strength have fallen out of fashion in modern America. Pistols at dawn, bare-knuckle boxing, Indian leg wrestling: all defunct as means of proving one's mettle. But there's one test of fortitude and man-muscle that has made it through to the present day. This is the opening of stubborn household jars.
The rate of jar-opening feats increases around the holidays, when something's always cooking, and there's usually a good-sized to evaluate the strength of your grip. When the call of duty arrives, it's not only important to complete the task oneself, but also to do so with apparent ease. Do not hand the problem jar off to somebody "with bigger hands." Under no circumstances should you put a jar between your knees, contort your face, or hold your breath while twisting. Do not let your father-in-law see you struggle. Do not yank on the thing until you're red in the face. Never utter the words, "Boy, she's really stuck!"
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If the lid doesn't give in response to reasonable pressure, swiftly move on to try the following:
1. Put a rubber glove on your twisting hand; the extra traction will improve your torque.
2. Wedge a spoon, butter knife, bottle opener, or screwdriver in between the jar and the lid, prying the lid away from the jar with a forceful lever action. Repeat several times around the perimeter of the lid until you hear a suction noise. This breaks the vacuum seal, relieving the pressure on the lid.
3. Turn the jar on its side and run it under a steady stream of hot water for 1-2 minutes. This not only allows the metal to expand, loosening the lid, but also dissolves any sticky food residue that may be bonding it on.
4. Firmly bang the jar lid-down onto the counter top. This is another method of breaking the vacuum seal. Be careful not to shatter the jar, Godzilla.
5. If the jar won't budge after all of this, announce with confidence that "The jar is defective, maybe even unsafe." Botulism is a buzz word here. Volunteer to drive to the store and get another.More from Esquire:
Holiday Recipes, Kitchen Hacks, and Tips
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