Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Never judge a box by its contents

Young people don’t tut, have you noticed? It’s left to those of us who are more mature, more judgemental.

There’s been a fair amount of ‘tutting’ in our house recently, especially when a bulk order of books arrives. It’s not the books or the box, and neither is it the speed of delivery – all exemplary – it’s what’s inside the box that gets my tongue clicking.DSC00741

Hundreds of small white pellets, crammed inside each box, are usually added to prevent damage and cushion the impact of any knocks. I tut every time. I save what pellets I can for later use and discard the rest, pouring them into the recycling bin as I drag Maggie away. She insists on trying to eat the pellets and I’ve never understood why. What could be so tasty about plastic pellets?

Then an unexpected gift of homemade fig jam arrived, and the mystery was finally solved.

DSC00626The fig and almond jam – which was delicious by the way – was sent from a friend in South Australia. The glass jar arrived by post, ingeniously tucked inside a metal carton, and it was cushioned by a handful of those same small white pellets.

At the end of the accompanying letter the author suggested I might like to add the pellets to my compost. ‘They’re made of wheat.’

I had to read that sentence twice. Wheat? I’ve been throwing those pellets into the plastic recycling bin. I’ve dragged Maggie away every time she tried to eat them, convinced she was about to poison herself, and all the time she could have been enjoying a tasty snack.

I’ve also tutted way too much.

DSC00640Still dubious, I threw a few of the pellets into my kitchen compost bin then I watched them gradually disintegrate and disappear.


So thank you Lynne, not only for the gift of delicious fig jam but also for solving the mystery….and for substantially reducing the amount of unnecessary tutting that goes on in our house. DSC00737


6 comments on “Never judge a box by its contents

  1. monsoonwendy
    February 26, 2016

    And you know what possum? Weevils ADORE them. I was storing some of my work in some pellets and dear lord above there was some little critter that loved them. Unpacking revealed ( intact) figures and post pellet powder. Ther’s pellets and pellets I think! Every time I eat a gig I think of you and the Broken Hill fig trees. Much love, hope you are finding some coolness in this heat! W xxx


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      February 26, 2016

      Feeding weevils now Wendy? I shall refrain from tutting. How hot did it get this week though? We went to Wagstaffe and climbed a mountain at midday to try and get to the beach. Practically passed out but the water was worth it. Hope you’re as cool as your jewellery x


  2. wendylockyer
    February 26, 2016

    I didn’t know! What a brilliant idea! Next time some arrive at our house I will check them before I tut and and moan about plastic pollution.


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      February 26, 2016

      Hello Sis! How’s the wedding planning? Are you on top of everything? Excited?? I can’t wait!! xxx


  3. Mala Burt
    February 26, 2016

    In the states some are still plastic, although some are now made from corn as well. You can test by putting one in a little water. The biodegradable ones melt and can go in the compost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jack Burke
    February 26, 2016

    Hi Deb.

    Very interesting. Our pets often know more than us. Will have to try them in my compost.


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This entry was posted on February 26, 2016 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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