I have a humongous collection of canning jars. I'm not sure when it started but I have been collecting ever since. NEVER-SAY-NO-TO-A-CANNING-JAR is my motto. In my dreams I grow, produce and can enough food for all of us for a whole year - but that's just it- it's a dream at this point. It doesn't stop me from trying though! A friend of mine calls canning - embalming food. That made me think for a moment or two and I suppose in some ways it's true but I decided there are certain foods I will continue to "embalm" because they don't taste very good raw - like dried beans for instance! I am excited to try fermenting pickles when cucumber season rolls around again, trying a batch of kimchi and some more sauerkraut since fermenting is a completely different process and adds beneficial enzymes to our diet.
|Food Saver Jar attachment|
|coconut, lentils, yellow peas, black beans, green peas|
I have been very fortunate to be the willing recipient of many cases of used canning jars - lots of them from my friend Downtown-Donna who seems to be a clearing house for older folks who are getting out of canning. It took several hours to take my shelves apart and reorganize the empty jars while trying to come up with an estimated number of each kind. I confused myself a lot. I'm not sure I realised just how many different kinds there are...standard mouth quarts and large mouth quarts, about 5 or 6 kinds of pints (tall ones, short ones, standard and wide mouth as well), half-pints, square sided ones and several sizes that you can't safely can most foods in 1.5L and 1.9L (used for storage only) blue ones, yellow ones and green ones - and how's that for switching between metric and imperial to confuse things even more. I think a trip to the Ball Jar Museum should be included in my next holiday! If you're as crazy about jars as I am check out this web page: Ball Jar Collection My collection is teeny tiny in comparison - granted I actually use mine!
|from Flickr- at the Ball Jar Museum|
I also have a great supply of tall skinny pints that have the odd-sized lids that you can't get any more. I have some creative ideas for summer projects with those - candle holder jars for the deck, growing herbs in jars in the kitchen window sill and painting jars different colours with glass paint are all added to my to-do list. One thing I know - I CAN"T throw them out - that would go against my motto NEVER-SAY-NO-TO-A-CANNING-JAR!
Here's a great article on the history of Mason jars over the years and how some collectible ones could be worth $10000.00 - $15000.00 each!