Let’s all give thanks to nineteenth-century British merchant Peter Durand, to King George III, and especially to patent number 3372, for without them the tin can, and the subsequent Tin Can Day, would be but a food preservationist’s pipe dream. (Want to learn more? Look it up on Wikipedia now that the #wikipediablackout is over.)
Despite being a (very nearly) 30-year-old male that lives alone, I rarely buy tinned goods; instead, I tend to focus on the dried sachet food group. Still, you can’t beat a decent tin of beans, and a friend of mine loves tinned custard to the extent that she’ll sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to eat the entire thing in the dark with a spoon (you know who you are, Jazmin). But writing about eating a meal wouldn’t result in an entertaining blog post, so instead I decided to think outside the box, or in this instance, outside the tin.
Opening my kitchen cupboards, a dozen varieties offered themselves to me, but instead of forsaking them in preference to a packet of pasta, I rummaged around until I found two that were the same size. Sliding aside forgotten cans of sliced carrots, diced swede, mushy peas, halved peaches, quartered pears, creamed soup, flaked tuna and meat that had most likely been exhumed from a nearby pet cemetery, my questing fingers landed on two that contained new potatoes in salt water. I removed their lids with a tin opener (despite looking like Clark Kent, I ain’t Superman), poured the contents into a bowl, gave the cans a rinse, and then removed a shoelace from an old pair of trainers.
Come on, you must have made a tin can telephone as a kid. When you’re young they’re neat and fun, but as an adult, they become more incredible and mind-blowing than the inner workings of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. I mean, text messages travel through the air and information travels through phone lines to give us the internet, but sound travelling down string attached to a couple of empty cans? Nah, that sounds like Doctor Who-style frivolity if you ask me; science gone cute and fluffy.
Great fun, though. I could hear my own voice in my ear. I could hear it in the other ear too, obviously, but the magic of the tin can still prevail! Give it a try, it’s like wearing plant pots on your feet and holding them on with string – you’re never too old to join in.