Monday, 16 January 2012

Saving Jars

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?


Comeca Jones said...

I use them for lots of things organizing also re use for other foods.

Kimmie said...

I love jars...small jars, big jars, unusually shaped jars. I use them for all sorts of things from spice jars, to jam jars, to button holders...

just another thing to collect!

mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

joolzmac said...

I am a bit of a jar hoarder too - especially nice shaped ones. I wish I had more time or inclination to fill them with yummy homemade things.


Tracy said...

I've just, today, cleaned out the bottom of my pantry - I have a small box for the collection of jars. I like the Baxter's redcurrant jelly jars because they're pretty. The rest I keep in hopes that one day I'll manage to make my lemons into lemon butter. I've a week before going back to work - a lofty goal to aim for!

Heather said...

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Mikki said...

I don't save them, probably because I don't do any canning. But I see from your comments that they would be great for other items. Now the wheels in my little brain are turning.....
Actually, now I'm even thinking that I might like to try canning something.

Tania @ Out Back said...

I have oodles of jars and sauce bottles...My mother in law likes to use the smaller jars for jams, chutney's etc as they are just the right size for gifts. I use mine for preserving and have jars in my pantry containing flour, choc chips, sultanas etc. When I think about it, jars are really handy for lots of things.

Mary said...

I use glass peanut butter (Smuckers) jars as leftover food containers. I don't like to use plastic containers and since the jars are more vertical and they don't take up as much room in the fridge. Plus, in the pantry they are great for nuts, croutons, dried fruit, etc.