Crazy for Canning Jars

Trust me when I tell you that I am seldom ahead of th

Turn canning jars into durable sippy cups (for you and the little ones)! BPA-free plastic lids are dishwasher safe.

Turn canning jars into durable sippy cups (for you and the little ones)! BPA-free plastic lids are dishwasher safe.

e curve when it comes to the latest craze. In fact, I am a bit of a cultural illiterate when it comes to things like TV shows (the Walking What??), fashion and food fads. I never feel the need to update my wardrobe or my décor to keep up with a trend. If you are looking for a poster child for stuck-in-the-mud and stodgy, then I just might be your girl. So it gives me no small amount of pleasure to realize that when it comes to Mason jars I was way cool before anybody else.

I had long ago realized that Mason jars are

Our candle hooks turn your favorite jar into an emergency lantern or a simple, stunning centerpiece. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Our candle hooks turn your favorite jar into an emergency light or a simple, stunning centerpiece. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

far better first cups for kids than any

bright colored, ergonomically designed vessel. The small size fits a child’s hand and they are virtually unbreakable. Add in that they now make dandy lids so drinks aren’t wasted, and you have a winner. The new lid inserts that hold straws are nice if not essential.

Years ago, I cut my own lid inserts out of cheesecloth for seed sprouters, and I always had jars of lacto-fermented vegetables going. The lids that hold airlocks are a real improvement on my method of

Store homemade sauces and dressings easily and serve with no drippy mess! Store and Pour Caps at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Store homemade sauces and dressings easily and serve with no drippy mess! Store and Pour Caps at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

setting the jars on plates to hold the overflow brine.

Plastic containers? I laugh at the notion of pur

Purple canning jars and classy stainless steel straws give this brunch table a pop of color and style. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Purple canning jars and classy stainless steel straws give this brunch table a pop of color and style. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

chasing them. Glass jars don’t hold flavors or odors and as long as you don’t overfill them are great for freezing leftovers. I like the straight-sided, wide-mouth jars for things like a few cups of soup. I freeze them and when I want to make a quick meal for one or two I run them under warm water and the food slips right out.

Straight-sided, 1.5-pint jars are ideal for teacher gifts, freezing leftovers and make perfect drinking glasses, too. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Straight-sided, 1.5-pint jars are ideal for teacher gifts, freezing leftovers and make perfect drinking glasses, too. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

New toppers let me transform my jars into dispensers for everything from homemade lotions to dishwashing detergent. As someone who makes nearly all of her household cleaners and personal care products, these toppers are a game changer.

Pretty labels turn ordinary jars into practical gifts. I have filled them with soup and baking mixes, simple sewing kits and herbal tea blends. I store seeds in them and use them as candle holders during power outages. There is nothing else in my home that is a versatile.

This week a friend was moving and he dropped off boxes of jars he no longer has room for. They are old and dusty and some of the lids are rusty. Who cares? A scrub in hot, soapy water and a good rinse and the jars will be good for decades more use. Canning jars could be the logo for reduce, reuse and recycle.

Click here for more ideas on creative uses and accessories for canning jars.

Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.