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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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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
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Friday, July 12, 2013

A Generous Gift of Old Canning Jars

Home canning has been a big part of my life.  My Mom canned as did most of the ladies I knew growing up.  I have been home canning myself for over 35 years.  All of our family and friends know that I'm an avid home canner so boxes of canning jars tend to show up on my door step.  We arrived home from a weekend in the Niagara area to find one of our friends had dropped off four boxes of canning jars!

boxes of old canning jars
To anyone else, these four boxes would look like old canning jars unusable for canning but perhaps usable for dry storage.  Others with an eye for antiques would quickly spot the more valuable jars.  I took one look at the boxes and immediately knew this was a special find!

As I went through the box, my excitement grew.  The jars were mainly Crown and Gem, a few Corona and Jewel , all Canadian made.  There were a couple of Ball jars (American made).   There were zinc and metal bands, glass lids and glass inserts.  The Gem jars made these boxes of jars a particularly amazing find!  I will explain more about these jars in tomorrow's post.

old canning label and lid bag
It is always a treasure hunt going through any box of old things.  So it was with these boxes of jars.  Some of the jars still had hand written labels with the contents and dates.  I carefully soaked these off and added to my collection.  There was a Bernardin bag that originally held one dozen preserving jar rings.  Bernardin is the leading home canning expert in Canada.  At one time they manufactured the jars and lids but those operations were moved to the US in the 1993 when they were purchased by Altrista Corporation, now Jarden Corporation. Bernardin is still in operation in Canada and are well known for their home canning and preserving publications.

A vast number of my canning jars in regular use were made in Canada although that has been slowly changing as I acquire newer Bernardin jars manufactured in the USA.  At one time there were several smaller glass factories scattered throughout Canada, some of which manufactured mason jars for home canning.  The Gem jars in this lot of jars are unique to Canada, made in Canada and still widely used in Canada.  Stay tuned...

1 food lovers commented:

plantfreek said...

I was recently give over 300 canning jars. Many were the squatty pint wide mouth jars I love to use in canning. They were all in excellent condition. Same person gave me her old pressure canner that is still in excellent condition which I'm passing on to one of my 4 daughters=all love to grow their own organic food and can. I'm always thrilled with the generosity of strangers. It's a blessing.
Chris in INdiana