Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What is this?

My mother, bless her heart, has a long tradition of sending me weird gifts. Not only does she never miss a birthday, Christmas, Hannukah, or other traditional gift-giving occasion, but she also periodically sends gifts on random dates (or what I perceive to be random dates, since she never explains them). Once, in mid-February, she sent me a copy of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," which would have been a lovely gift except that this particular copy was in Italian, which I do not read. Another time, I received a very lovingly rendered, highly detailed, hand-drawn picture of a German shepherd (not drawn by my mom), framed and under glass. At the bottom right corner of the drawing, someone (presumably the artist) had written, "Chief" including the quotation marks, suggesting to me that the dog might have another name, his given name I suppose, such as Clarence, but that everyone who knew him called him "Chief."

Since Saturday is my birthday, it was not altogether surprising that I received a gift in the mail today. Since I am impatient, it is equally unsurprising that I opened it right away. Inside, I discovered the following fascinating item:


You should definitely click on it to get the larger view. It is a glass cylinder, about five inches in diameter, sixteen inches long, and open on both ends. It sits in a metal display stand that appears to have been made especially for it. If I had a cherished wooden stirring spoon, this would be the perfect display case for it. I do not have such a spoon, so I ask you, dear reader, what is this item, and to what use can I put it?


Anonymous said...

It's about the right size for one of those things that you attach to your mailbox to hold newspapers.

JasonD said...

That is called a "Bake-a-round", used to bake loafs of bread in the oven. (Keeps them moist inside once they rise and fill the pyrex glass tube.)

Those who do not use them for cooking, will use them for holding a high-powered light. (Don't ask.)

You can also find smaller versions all over, as hurricane-candle shields. They allow a candle to burn without blowing-out, or an oil lantern... (You usually see them with a wooden base or metal base.) That tall shape may not be good for standing tall, so I don't recommend using it for a hurricane shield for a flammable item.

You could use it to creatively hang necklaces or watches, like a jeweler-shop would do... (You will have to make a creative wooden stand to ensure it does not roll off a dresser. Stuff the inside with red or blue velvet cloth that is crumpled and ironed with wrinkles in it, just for space-filling.)


You could actually use it to cook-with, making bread... as it was originally designed. (The recipes are online. Not all dough recipes will work. Strong dough will shatter the tube.)