Jars are probably the iconic thing that people think of when they talk canning and food preservation. But, did you know there is actually a history of canning jars in America? No? Neither did I until a couple of weeks ago when I found this page on a well beloved website. http://www.pickyourown.org/canningjars.htm which led me to this one…
Both of these sites give the history and a timeline of technology. You had the original jars with the zinc oxide lids, then the jars with the bailing wire, and then the jars with the metal lids of today. The most recent inovation in canning jars is reusable lids from Stieg/Tattler.
I like the different jars for several reasons.
1)They keep my nice food safe for the middle of the winter (pretty obvious, huh?)
2)The reusable tattler lids mean that they cost me money once and never again
3)Frequently, the older jars a free
4)Frequently, during the right seasons, the newer jars are free too
5)The different types of jars have different functions
6)They’re flat out pretty
So, you say, like me have Grandma’s jars sitting in your basement. They’re “classic” or “vintage”, I can’t use those, right?
So very, very wrong! There are a lot of things you cand do with those jars. You can: (hehe- I made a pun there, get it?)
– Store dried goods in them in your kitchen (I use some of mine for nuts and seeds.)
– Get the seals – Availible at Aubuchon Hardware near me – and use them for storing your dehydrated foods! This is an awesome
use for these jars!
– Get the seals and use them for doing water bath canning. Not possible you say? Go here for how. http://www.foodinjars.com/2009/06/canning-in-vintage-jars/ My inner lawyer says to tell you that this will be at your own risk, though they were made for immersion in hot water and I, personally, can’t see how age would change the composition of either the glass or the shape.
So, how do you get jars for free? They’re like $13 bucks for a flat in the grocery store!!! Timing, my friends, timing. This time of year, folks are clearing the way to the Christmas tree, when what do they trip over? That box of Grandmas old jars they stored up in the attic 20 years ago. ##$%@! They swear, and resolve to get rid of that box. You, the conciencious canner, should put adds in your local Freecycle, Craigslist and Front Porch Forums asking for them if you wish to gain jars. Do this in the fall, after the gardens in your area have been put to bed and everyone has finished their canning season. My most recent success? Yesterday, I got a banker’s box full of new style jars. (At least a flat of Quarts & a couple of pints added in!) Today, I got 5 boxes full of classic or vintage jars. As we’ve been ramping up into dehydrating, this is PERFECT! It all evolved down to 59 quart jars and 27 pint jars. Plus, I got a few neat things – a couple of Ball Eclipse Wide mouth jars, a Queen jar with a clip style closure in a pint size, and a 1/2 pint jar, no name! The woman who gave them to me was GLAD to know that these would be continued to be used, and they will!