Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bottles, preserving jars, for preserves and for storage

When I first started preserving I started off with something very simple.  Pickled onions, then pickled beetroot, then pickled shallots then chutney.  year by year I progressed trying new recipes finding ones I would use again and equally not use again.  It has been very much trial and error in equal part the failures being as much of the learning process as the successes.  To start with I used recycled jam jars and then when I could I ended up buying new jars atypically from Lakeland because they did the replacement seals and supplied standardised lids. many of the jars I recycled I found were a perfect fit for those Lakeland lids and even the Sarsons vinegar jars can be reused with the Lakeland seals.  In those days there were not that many providers of jars or lids and seals so you took them where you could get them.  If I gave preserves or jams away as presents or pickled onions I would always ask that the recipients give me back the jars and nine times out of ten they did.  Gradually I have built up my stock of jam jars mostly Lakeland although this year I have also added the jars that Wilkinsons sell to my tranche as they have worked out a lot cheaper.  I tend to pick these up when I can.

However I do lurk on Ebay, and spock, freecycle, and freebie sites as quite often you can get a bargain when it comes to jars especially if they specify collection only but even if not jars can go very cheaply as in practice people want shot of them.  Car boots are also worth checking out as well. I also buy when jars or bottles are on sale and I have a couple of suppliers that I use on a regular basis.  Equally I recycle coffee jars and the like for general storage of items and more recently the Cadburys Roses glass sweet jars for bulk storage of basic ingredients.  These can be expensive on average they go for about 10 to 12 pounds apiece however sometimes you can get bargains when buying multiples as this helps bring the price down.  I now have over 20 of these jars.  If you can find them with relatives or friends for next to nothing grab them and use them.  They wash up well in a dishwasher.  I initially set out just to collect the Roses jars with the blue lids but I have since gone on to add black lidded sweetie jars too. I am not specifically seeking jars with labels as these tend to attract a higher price. Hopefully this weekend OH is going to fit out the pantry with shelving and also pop the new flooring down.  Then hopefully I can get really sorted in the pantry.  It will just then need painting out then.

This year I have also invested heavily in original Kilner Dual purpose jars.  These can be re-used properly with the Leifheit seals and rings.  If it comes to the point I cannot use the jars because we cannot get the seals then they will be used for pantry storage but while I can I am using them for preserving fruit in.  I have particularly gone for the 2lb and 4lb jars

However I normally buy new Kilner jars from Lakeland for a set of three for 6.99 and equally have scored some real bargains from TK Max in relation to jars at silly prices. The Quattro Stagioni jars with the solid seal can be recycled with the new kilner jar replacement rings and seals equally you can use the Quattro Stagioni seals on Kilner jars  - I am talking about the new jars here. 

With Mason jars you have standard neck and wide neck jars and seals.  The standard size can be used with the Kilner and visa versa.  The wide mouthed ones cannot be interchanged with standard sized jars.

I also buy in bulk hex sauce bottles from a company in Wales.  In bulk so far I have found them to be the cheapest.  I have found these the ideal size to pop into my baby steriliser to hot water bath process sauce, elderflower cordial etc.  This time round I have also included bottles for juice as well.  I shop around a lot on bottles, jars and preserving jars as there is always a bargain to be rootled out somewhere.

With the new style Kilner jars as well I try and buy a few extra packs each month so that I always have the jars to hand.  It is an ongoing process but a little every often works easier on the pocket especially during the winter months when there is in my household at least always some preserving of one sort or another going on but not to the degree it does during the autumn months.   I also do the same with the rings and the seals. The more I build my stockpile up the more I use but then once the initial outlay has been paid for I can build up quite a stockpile of things like apple sauce, bottled tomato sauce, bottled fruit etc. and have a little more variety on the shelf as a result of my forays to the market, grow your own farms, bargains obtained in the supermarkets as well as taking advantage of products from the wild larder.  I also hope to do the same in time with my dehydrator and getting that into full swing so that I waste very little in the greater scheme of things.  Making my own bouillion powder with reduced salt, marigold and herb mixes, making my own soup mixes.  Drying that excess mashed potato for use as a thickener in soups. making my own crackers from healthy ingredients stuff that you cannot necessarily buy off the supermarket shelves.  That's where my interest lies.

Where I can I recycle jars, Pataks sauce jars can be recycled with Lakeland lids, as can many other well known sauce brands including Sharwoods.  Their jars add a different shape and dimension to the pantry shelf.  I am always looking for different shaped jars and as long as I can find a supply of new lids that fit that is all I am bothered about.

We have a problem with the central heating at the moment it is not working and the separate control we think has had it as it is not showing the digital screen at all.  We therefore have a trip to the local DIY centre to see if I can obtain a replacement.  Lots to do over the next few days or so.

Catch you soon.



1 comment:

  1. I collect jars and bottles and have crates of them in the barn, I am now starting to get in the plastic sweet jars, a lot cheaper and if dropped it dosent smash and ruin the contents, it will free up my glass jars with seals that can be used for other things.


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