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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - The Queen of Jars

Frugal Kitchens 101

As you know if you have been following this blog I do a lot of canning.  Essentially if I can home can it myself I do.  This means I can somewhere around 1,200 or more jars of food each year.  Now that doesn't mean I have 1,200 jars of food sitting in my pantry, it just means that is the total number of jars of food canned each year while recycling empty jars and refilling them.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 is all about being the Queen of Jars.

I love glass jars of all sizes and shapes!  Glass is the ideal storage container because it doesn't stain, it can be vacuum sealed to keep out humidity and it doesn't let out any food odours to attract insects and rodents.  There are some jars like MiracleWhip® amd RenĂ©'s dressings I reuse for BWB canning.  Even though the USDA says to expect more breakage, I haven't experienced that.  In general if a commercial jar will fit a mason jar lid I will try it especially for BWB processing.  A few years ago I discovered commercial sauce jars stamped with Mason.  Mason is NOT a brand name but rather the jars are named after their inventor John Landis Mason in 1858 and the patent specifically applies to the design of the threads on the jar, not the glass or anything to do about the glass.  So Mason doesn't mean tempered glass or anything else but if a jar is stamped Mason it means it has the Mason thread on the jar which means these jars will accept the modern Mason rings and lids.  However, the jars stamped with Mason on them are quite suitable for BWB canning

I put the word out to family and friends that I'm saving these jars.  I am not above buying a commercial product in a jar I can reuse but only if I can use the product which doesn't happen a lot.  In this case I tend to go towards the large 2 gallon jars because they are great for dry storage.  So I get the product and the jar.    I also get institutional sized jars from restaurants.

Glass jars can be reused for:

  • home canning in a boiling water bath canner (BWB) if they are stamped with Mason or the rings will screw on tightly
  • dry food storage - vacuum seal to keep out humidity
  • arts & crafts - smaller glass jars can be turned into snow globes or used for craft supply storage
  • terrariums - 1 gallon and 2 gallon glass jars are ideal for making terrariums
  • vases
  • rooting jars for continuous indoor gardening

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

I always love when you tell me knew ways to use stuff that should have been obvious to me. :)