I have rediscovered my love of the Mason Jar. Growing up, we had hundreds of these in the pantry holding a rainbow of bounty from the garden harvest. Our kitchen also displayed the tell-tale peeling wallpaper seams of the avid home canner. Something about these jars says comfort and preparation for life’s unknowns to my brain. So, I have been joyfully reestablishing my jar-girl relationship and have found so many ways these inexpensive jars can help me and the planet.
As a storage option, Mason Jars rock. Uniform in size, reusable, hard to break and made of glass that does not leach plastic or metals into your food, they are my storage go-to. I pack all dry goods into these jars and have no more trouble with pantry pests. It is easy to see how much you have, so inventory control is easier. Here is a shot of my set up at home. As you can see, I ran out of jars and some things are still in bags, but I am gaining on them!
Once you start having fun with Mason Jars, it’s hard to stop. I started using them for my green smoothies. Over at fellow blogger Cheryl’s site, I found her directions for putting straw holes into the lids and onto my husband’s ‘honey-do’ list that job went.
Then came the jar salad problem. These jars should be perfect for taking your salad with you when you travel or go to work but, if you put the dressing on when you pack the salad, it can get soggy by the time you want to eat. I like crunchy bits (granola, nuts, seeds etc.) on my salads and they are best added right before eating. I found the Cuppow but, it is plastic and $7.99 each. That’s when I discovered that the tea strainer from a Bodum style teapot fits a narrow mouth jar opening and a ceramic tea strainer I happened to have fit the wide mouth opening perfectly.
Layering the salad dressing in the bottom, the harder vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers on that, then adding the lettuce at the top, allows the tea strainer full of crunchy stuff to fit right at the top without interfering with the lid function and keeps dressing off leaves effectively. When ready to eat, remove the strainer, dump out the salad into a dish and pour on the crunch!
If you don’t like your dressing to touch the salad, put it in a small jar like this recycled pimento jar and throw it in with the greens. Assemble the salad when you are ready to eat. Have fun with your jars and send me your ideas!