The simple glass jar…a sight to behold

 The simple glass jar, so divine. There are so many reasons to celebrate it. Its simplicity belies its versatility. Is there nothing it can’t do? Okay, I exaggerate, but not by much. It preserves, it stores, it displays! And so very many things at that. We often overlook this catchall when it comes to kitchen storage and  home decor because, it seems, we are constantly on the look out for the next new thing. And in doing so, we are constantly overlooking the simple glass jar. And it is not just Ball jars I am referring to.

Don’t believe me? Stop reading for a moment and take a gander in your kitchen cabinets and pantry and count the number of jars you have recently brought home from the grocery store. That’s right, all your glass jars of pasta sauces, jams, spices, peppers and salsa are really vases, glasses, storage and dishes. We are constantly purchasing them and tossing them when we would never do the same with any glass container we purchased sans food. I’m not saying to save every single glass jar you bring into your home. Recycle most of them. But keep your eyes open for the myriad styles and sizes that will make a welcome addition to your home.

Entertaining:

  • It’s summer time and what is more summer than warm summer evenings, picnics and ice cream? What greener way to entertain than with small jars – jams, pickles and baby food jars. So supplement your paper plates with some individual size dishes served in jars.
  • Ice cream and fruit residue can attract many a pest. Serve ice cream, or any dessert or soft food in smaller jars as well. The glass keeps the food cool in your ice chest and when you are done with whatever sweets you have just twist the top on to keep the area pest free. It also helps to dispense the good stuff in equal servings.
  • When the sun goes down keep the picnic going with  tealights in smaller jars, creating light that the wind won’t blow out.

I am a sucker for fresh-cut flowers. I mean, I did dedicate an entire week to the lovely tulip. And whether it is a large bouquet, one bloom or something in between, a glass jar is a wonderful way to display flowers. The simplicity of the jar allows the flowers to command all the attention. A vase should showcase your buds, not compete.

Storage

  • There are as many items to store in jars as there are shapes and sizes. And the beauty of storing something in a glass jar, you will always know how much of any given item you store. Flour, sugar, coffee, spices, candies and cookies. They are called cookie jars right?
  • And it is not just dry goods. Aside from home-made preserves (and we will visit canning and preserving in a future post), they are a great way to store some leftovers. Tupperware is great for many things. But often I find that when I don’t see what I am saving, I am pretty much just holding it until it goes bad.
  • Don’t stop at food! (Though  do always stop for food.) Jars hold change, small items like buttons and office supplies like paper clips, pens and pencils in place. Another trick I have found, and will use when I finally get to painting my place, is to keep some paint in smaller baby food size jars for touch ups. The smaller jars don’t just keep the paint fresh but allow you to store the touch up paint in much more accessible areas.

I could go on and on and on some more about the beauty and usefulness of the plain, glass jar. But I will end it here with one final thought. The next time you empty out a jar think twice before tossing it and think again before recycling and think about all its wonderful uses.

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