Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
Hormel Dried Beef: the Perfect Big-Kid Drinking Glass
Two years ago I discussed using Kraft Pimento Spread jars as toddler drinking glasses.
Yesterday, Thinga-reader Nancy B. from Wisconsin e-mailed to report:
"My husband and I read your page on toddler glasses and went out on the Great Pimento Spread Hunt. We couldn’t find any, but we did find something even better! Sandwiched between the tins of Vienna sausages and the boxes of dried sardines, we found Hormel’s Dried Beef. For $1.50 a jar, we got not only that same glass container, but the metal lid on it snaps on and off easily, so that I can put the leftover glass of milk back in the fridge without worrying about all the ickies that could fall into or out of it! And in our household, the dried beef is much more useful than the Pimento Spread… the cats loved it! Here, kitty kitty!"
I had to investigate.
Hey dads, do you know the look that a grocery clerk gives you when you’ve come to the store alone to buy a bag of chips and some frozen burritos? It’s that "this guy lives alone in an apartment" look. Well, when you buy a single can of Hormel Dried Beef you don’t get that look. The clerk is too afraid to look at you at all.
Above you see two Hormel Dried Beef jars and one of my original, smaller Kraft Pimento Spread jars. The two on the right are each filled with one-third of a cup of orange juice.
Claim #1: The jar is found next to Vienna sausages and dried sardines:
Verdict: True. And, now I know that grocery stores sell pigs feet, too. I found all of these glorious wonders near canned beans in the "ethnic food" aisle.
Claim #2: The cost is $1.50 for a jar the same size as Kraft Pimento Spread.
Verdict: Probably true. Nancy B. reported it having the same dimensions as Kraft. Hormel sells two size jars, the larger one contains 5 ounces of beef and is pictured above (the only size I could find at a California Safeway… for $4.78). Hormel’s smaller jar may be similar or identical to the Kraft jar.
Claim #3: The metal lid is great for reusing.
Verdict: Your judgment may vary. The lid is steel surrounded by a plastic ring and I surmise it’s possible for liquid to get trapped between the two. I don’t believe it easy to clean properly, and the type of plastic used in the ring is undocumented (there is no easy way to determine whether it contains bisphenol-A). I’m completely okay with leaving a glass open-mouthed in a refrigerator all day.
Claim #4: The cats loved eating the dried beef.
Verdict: I hope so, because it truly is disgusting. It resembles sliced salami, but smells funny. One of our cats licked the beef, but didn’t bite.
- Pimento: perfect width for tiny hands to grasp (2.25 inch diameter).
- Dried beef: perfect for slightly larger hands, perhaps 4 or 5-year-olds (2.75 inch diameter)
- Both: Short, so they are less likely to be tipped and dropped (3.5 and 4 inch height)
- Both: Composed of thick, sturdy glass.
- Both: No winding screw-cap grooves. There is only a lip (visible in the photo) for a slip-on lid.
- Both: Stand straight like a normal drinking glass, without a tapered sippy-cup-like end.
- Pimento holds half a cup of liquid filled to the rim. Dried beef holds 1 cup filled to the rim. How much less you choose to fill the glass to be drinkable will vary by child.
At almost 4-years-old, my daughter refills her pimento jar two or three
times at dinner. The dried beef jar requires two hands, but holds much
more liquid than the pimento, so we will be slowly transitioning her to
the beefier glasses.
In case you’re wondering, a 5-ounce can of dried beef contains 38 slices of oily beef. Mmm.
If anyone else uses pimento jars or other non-standard glass drinking vessels, do tell. I relish helping subvert the plastic sippy cup paradigm.
Update: Nancy B. sent along a photo of the smaller dried beef glass with a toilet paper roll and Toddlers Sing Rock ‘N’ Roll for size comparison. Serious ear damage may occur if you listen to that CD.