Saturday, March 5, 2011

Country Jars Part III

Grains 3Glass Jars and Bottles and Decanters, Oh My!!!Reduce .. Reuse .. Recycle .. Repurpose .. Redo

If any of these “RE” words are in your regular vocabulary, then I imagine that you use and “REsomething” your glass jars, bottles and decanters. Welcome to my world.

A while back I asked for “your” Glass Jar ideas and I got some wonderful responses, so, here goes:

My sister, June, suggested this article. We grew up with canning jars and glass jelly jars that were reused for juice glasses. They were cute, and were indicative of the current “hero or cartoon character”.. I remember one with Howdy Doodey, and another with Hop A-Long Cassidy. I also remember when Clorox® came in dark brown glass containers.

From June in New Mexico:

I use them regularly to store left-overs. The food can easily be reheated and the storage is vertical, taking up less refrigerator space. Make hanging lights: put votive in jar; fasten wire around grooves and wire hanging handles from wire. Paint the jar, etc. hang and light the candle. Or just put candle in jar and set on table. Pretty and quite countrified. I do all the above.

(Author’s note … not only can you store food in glass, you can reheat that food in that container in the microwave and not worry about noxious chemicals emitted from plastics).

From daughter, Greta in Illinois:

I realllllly liked your wine glass... btw!! (Author note: Thanks, Greta). OK Jars...
First, the BEST way to clean labels off... Fill jar with HOT water. Immerse jar, at least up to the label, in a larger container filled with HOT water, add up to a TBSP of Dish Soap, I like Dawn® best; let sit at least 10 minutes. Use a green scrubby to get remaining glue off... it'll be easy! Do not put jars with labels in your dishwasher, it will clog, and the works will get gummed up from the glue. 
I like big mason jars for drinking out of. With Kids around, they don't break as easily. Sweet Tea is best! 
To store stuff. I have a button collection, and I use washed out Jars of various shapes and sizes for holding ‘em. 
Baby food jar lids can be nailed onto the underside of a shelf. Anything from spices to stamps and paper clips to screws and bolts can be put in the jars, which you then screw onto their lids. This makes a wonderful father’s/mother’s day project! 
Baby food jars are also great for sharing a portion of your favorite beauty product (like lotion) with a friend, so they don't have to purchase a full size to see if they like it. The mouths are wide enough to get a couple of fingers in. 
Make mini terrariums! 
Make a 3D scrap-book page of someones interests, or a recent trip. 
Make Candles!
From Niece Maria in New Mexico:

We buy marinara sauce that comes in re-usable canning jars so we have boxes of the jars. Some summers we have our act together and can our own pasta sauce (I can send you the recipe & directions if you like). We have boxes and boxes of these jars. 
Last Christmas, I found a great jar use in NM Magazine®. They made biscotti (biscochito & pinon*) and other pretty cookies. They put them into quart jars and decorated the lid. I made their biscotti and some cocoa biscotti. I put them in the jars alternating the colors, then put some chocolate covered treats (espresso beans, almonds, cranberries) and some that were Christmas colored too. I used a Christmas cocktail napkin on the top of the jar with gold elastic bows. They were pretty gifts for co-workers!
This could be used for Valentines Day, St. Pats, Easter too. enjoy!
* (author note: Away from the “Great Southwest: you know this nut as a Pine Nut and is pronounced Peen-yohn’).

VA friend Marty:

for the man in the house, my dad used jars in his garage for storing nails and small items. He would screw the lid into the wall and then screw the jar full of bits into the lid.
My niece used all different sizes and kinds of jars for her reception dinner. She put wild flowers in them and it looked really cute.

Friend Susan in CO:
We have always used mason jars to make sun tea: two to four tea bags in a quart of water set in the sun for 4 hours makes some great tea!

Friend Eva in VA:

In Sweden I used to pick mushrooms in the forest, then I dried them on newspapers for 3 day's and stored them for years in jars. Also I used to grow alpha sprouts in an upside down jar with a cloth as a lid. just rinsed the sprouts once a day thru the cloth. Here in the United States (son) Tray came home from school and told me that; he was supposed to do a project and grow beans... He needed 8 containers and then I found a box of jars at Kroger that he used...It worked perfect.

From your author, Cat.
I have a plethora of uses for glass containers, here are just a few.  I do NOT like to look at modern labels, so I store analgesics in clear glass containers, such as little bottles and jars (one of my most favorite jars to repurpose is a horseradish jar).  Most of my pasta, potatoes, dry milk, dry beans. homemade tea and hot cocoa mixes are all in large jars and containers on the counter. Some of the lids are cork, some are screw-on, some are hinged.  A wide-mouth quart Ball®  rests on my desk. holding several pairs of scissors.

© 2011 Cat Brennan © 2011 Aunt Cat's Place

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cat,

    Thanks for your most recent blog on canning jars. I have had an empty one sitting on my counter for a month and could not figure out what to do with it. That's not a problem, now. I just have to figure out which idea is the best. The ideas generated were great.