I remember from my childhood that my mother would save jars which she would use to store the marmalade and lemon butter she made each winter from our orange and lemon trees.
Similarly, my grandmother collected jars for marmalade and lemon butter. She would also send the grandchildren to the local park to harvest wild plums that she would turn into plum jam.
|some of my collection|
Collecting used jars is certainly the cheapest way to provide packaging for home-made jams, pickles, sauces and other produce. They are also useful for storing pantry items, especially the larger ones such as pickle jars. My only problem is that I can't seem to throw any jars out, so I have shelves of them waiting to be used.
Before saving any jars it is important to check that there are no cracks or chips in the glass and that the seal in the lid hasn't been damaged. I soak the jars to remove the labels.
I sterilise the jars before using them by washing them in hot, soapy water, rinsing them, standing them upside down to dry, then putting them on an oven tray in a slow oven until they are completely dry.
I tip the hot jam (or other preserve) into the hot jars and screw the lids on immediately. A seal should form in the lids which will cause them to indent slightly in the middle. If no seal forms the jar should be put in the fridge and used fairly quickly.
Do you save jars too? What do you use them for?