Jars are interesting. If you have been a grocery shopper for as long as I have, you will notice that many jars of food on the grocery shelves are not glass any more. Ketchup and mayonnaise are prime examples. Now they are sold with plastic bottles.
Plastic works for a one time use. Glass on the other hand, can be washed, even sterilized, and be re-used, as long as it does not get broken. I use my glass jars over and over. For instance, I use gallon jars for canisters and baby food jars for storing homegrown herbs and spices.
I have a bunch of the old glass bottles from years past. For jam or jelly, I use old glass jars with their lids that I have saved from buying olives, maraschino cherries, ice cream toppings and preserves. (That is called re-cycling.) They work great for jellies sealed with parafin wax or for freezer jams.
For anything that needs to be stored in pints or quarts I use mason jars. The two part lids come in handy. The vacuum produced from the heat and the cooling of my preserved foods gives me the ability to store these foods on the shelf and not in refrigerator, freezer, crock or root cellar. Mason jars are made to withstand the pressure and temperature of a pressure cooker. As long as there are no chips on the sealing edge at the top of the jar, the seal should keep very well. If you are buying jars at an auction or garage sale, avoid chipped or cracked jars.
Glass jars are a real help around this farm. I hope these tidbits of information help you in your recycling of glass jars. Re-using them may come in handy for you, too.
Photo credits: Wenda Grabau
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