Why is life better poured from a jug?

And why are jugs more satisfactory receptacles when they are handleless?

I never had jug in my twenties; then I acquired a Pyrex one when I met the man with the iron and oven in my thirties and when that broke (or was broken by me probably) I had to go straight to Woolies without passing Go or collecting £200 for a new one. Life with a jug was so good I could not go back to my pre-jug days. Now where would I go for the Pyrex replacement?

Anyway, in my late thirties decided I needed more jugs (evidence of finally growing-up?). So now I have a large glass one for lemonade and kids parties in the summer. A Wedgwood Queensware one for warm milk in coffee on the weekends. Then a ridiculous gravy boat. And working with artistic sorts means you are constantly tempted into buying stuff. Ceramics in my case and most recently a glazed handleless jug that is begging for a summer’s evening in the garden.

Then at the weekend in a cafe I saw another handleless jug assortment, contemporary in design and I had to resist the urge to shove one in my handbag, their purpose being for pouring not buying. Here’s a thing though: jugs without handles are more satisfying to hold, but not easier to handle. You have to take more care with the pouring because a handle gives more functional precision. On the other hand there is more comfort in the process when you are not at the mercy of the handle and its attachment, or otherwise, to the main body.

I think the bottom line is that a jug (not you Pyrex, sorry) has a transformational quality, turning the mundane into at least a minor event. I know my coffee tastes way better when the warm milk has been poured out of a little cream jug rather than heated in a mug slammed in the microwave.

(Cold milk + Coffee = Big No) x Tepid infusion

Chardin c.1760

Posted on February 11, 2010, in Art, Consumerism, Food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I wish I could have a gravy jug. I’ve been looking for a nice one for years, that isn’t metal with a flattened handle that threatens to cut one’s digits, nor a large porcelain type affair that doesn’t really ‘pour’, so much as facilitate the slopping out of gravy and makes me think of school dinners.

    I also have this just penchant gene, and love nothing more than whipping out my Portmerion creamer to signify a special event. I also have a nice pottery one that our mother bought for herself (it has a pig on it) and I coveted it for about 4 years before agreeing to do a trade with her for some menial DIY task. I swell with pride whenever I see that jug in my cupboard, and my heart skips whenever I get to pour things out of it – especially custard.

  2. I knew custard would find its insidious way into this post eventually 😉

  3. Isn’t it an old custom to dip Twiglets into a jug of custard in Essex?

  4. I once had jellied eels off a stall outside a pub in Leigh on Sea. They were not nice neither.

  5. I wonder which one. I am meant to go to The Old Smack or somesuch tomorrow night, but it is too cold for that.

    There is also the Peter Boat. Old Leigh is nice in summer. Jellied eels sound disgusting anyway. Perhaps if you take some custard…

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