Over the years I have learned to love jars. I'm not just talking about the pristine goodness of a new box of Fowlers or Mason jars arriving in the mail but also recycled jars of all shapes and sizes. I love bottles too. I'm probably preaching to the choir here because I think many of us have discovered how thrifty, practical and convenient recycled jars and bottles can be in our simple kitchens and laundries. But instead of writing about the benefits of recycling and building up a treasure trove of jars and bottles, why don't i just show you some photos from past years, as well as some new photos, showing what I'm doing with these glass containers that just keep on giving.
These wide-mouth, red check jars are my favourite recycled jar. They last for years of repeated boiling and vinegar liquids, they're easy to wash and they hold a convenient amount - 1 cup, 250mls.
I store my dry pantry supplies in jars of all sizes.
And of course, there is all the lemon butter, pickled vegetables, jams and sauces I've made over the years. Some are stored in purchased jars, most are in recycled jars. As long as the lid and seal are undamaged, they're good to use again.
Don't forget the fresh juices and cordials. Every year we squeeze lemons, oranges and passionfruit from our garden and store a lot of it in the freezer in plastic bottles. Below is some raspberry cordial I made last year. That went into glass bottles and was stored in the cupboard.
I make a lot of yoghurt and sour cream and that is stored in jars and kept in the fridge. Above is sour cream, below, yoghurt.
Chicken stock is stored in litre jars.
Two unusual uses for jars - saving seeds at the end of the growing year. Some seeds are stored in sealed envelopes in the fridge, these seeds were used within a few weeks of being saved so they spent that time in a jar. Below is sun-infused calendula oil I use to make soap. It's in an old coffee jar.
Here are my work horse jars. This one above is my liquid soap, my first and only batch. During part of the days-long process of making it, it was stored in this huge jar.
Many of us use jars to store our sour dough starters.
Or fill up jars and bottles with homemade laundry liquid and give it away to friends and neighbours.
And finally, ginger beer plant fermenting in the kitchen.
And where do I store all these jars? Well, have a look below. The first two photos are my current stockpile of jars. One is in the main stockpile cupboard, the other in a cupboard above the stove.
I have egg cartons, Fowlers jars and recycled water bottles out in the garden shed.
Above, this was my old cupboard where my dishwasher now is and below another stash in a kitchen cupboard.
And finally, this shows that even when you're travelling around the country, you can still recycle and bring home treasure. These are four little jam jars we had on our breakfast trays when we stayed in flash hotels on book tours, with one fruit juice bottle. The little jars hold 50mls and have been really useful storing spice, ointment and creams.
I'm sure you have your preference just as I have mine. I can't go past a wide mouthed jar with a pop top metal lid. I have two coffee jars with a round glass lid, the rest are all pop tops. They serve me well for preserving jams and sauces as well as storage jars in the pantry and craft room. I'm sure there are people out there as crazy about recycling jars and bottles as I am. What do you use yours for and where do you store them?