|Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM||comments (0)|
Since selling my lovely vintage preserve canning jars, I started to think about how long these have lasted (mine were from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and had a lot of use) and how many different ways I’ve used them over the years. No – I didn’t do a lot of preserving except for fruit jellies and jams which are easy to do. But these jars followed me from home to home and I always found a new use for them. Besides storing food supplies such as beans, rice, flour, and sugar in the kitchen, I also filled some with pencils, crayons, felt pens, buttons, elastic bands, and sewing whatnots in my studio. And they were great for my homemade soap bars and bath salts in the bathroom.
I also used some of them to hold votive candles when we ate al fresco on summer evenings. Some I sent away filled with dry cookie and soup ingredients to my daughter at university or to friends who needed a boost. And did I mention how great they are for sprouting seeds? If I still had them, I would probable use them as pieces of sculpture, leaving them empty in rows at the top of my bookshelves. But now most of them are gone – I sold them to a lovely guy who is rebuilding a farmhouse and will be using the jars in much the same way I did. It’s nice to know that these will continue to be used.
Of course, any type of glass jar or bottle can be recycled, vintage or not. All you need are the jars and I’m sure you can come up with dozens of new ways to recycle that jar. And did you know that by recycling a single glass jar or bottle, you can save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for as much as 4 hours. So you’re also helping the environment. Cheers!
|Posted on December 9, 2009 at 1:56 PM||comments (0)|
I gave fudge as one of my homemade gifts last year and it proved such a hit that I'm repeating this gift again this year. Fudge is easy to make - I replace the light cream with 2% evaporated milk and soak the walnuts in water for 15 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain the walnuts before adding to the mixture.
I've been collecting old glass preserve jars for years and now have quite a collection. Great for gifting and no wrapping.
|Posted on November 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM||comments (0)|
I came across a brilliant way to get rid of the sticky residue that's left when you take a paper or plastic label off a glass, metal, or plastic container. Butter! I'm not sure why it works but it does. It may be that the lactic acid in the butter is what cuts through the guck. You slather it over the sticky area and leave it for an hour or so and wash off with hot water. You might have to do it again but it works very well. It is really great on plastic containers as it does not scratch the surface at all. I tried vegetable oil but it only runs off and you waste a lot. I also tried vnegar and alcohol but these did not work and like the oil, just ran off.
So that's my tip of the day and it's a green solution.
|Posted on July 11, 2009 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
An easy way to keep yourself and your kids busy during those wet rainy days or too hot to go out days is to make stuff that you can enjoy eating later like flavoured oils and vinegars and throw in some recycling. You can get the kids involved by selling it to them as a way to make their own 'magic potions'.
You'll have to do some organizing first to make it look like a wizard's workshop with funnels, chopsticks (to push herbs into bottles), measuring cups, large tweezers, wine corks, etc. and whatever else you can think up. Have the kids raid your recycling bin for glass bottles, jars, or any containers with tight-fitting lids. Clean these thoroughly and make sure that everything including hands and countertops are CLEAN before starting.
Use whatever vinegars and oils you have on hand or take the kids to the grocery store to pick out their own - plain, malt, or wine vinegars and sunflower, peanut oil or olive oils are best. Then raid your garden for edible flowers and herbs. Wash these really well, too! Now you're ready to begin making these flavoured goodies. Don't offer too much advice - let the kids enjoy themselves. You can toss out the truly revolting ones, once the kids are in bed. Look suitably mystified if they query the disappearance.
The best site that I have found for good, clear, and safe information regarding making your own flavoured oils and vinegars is the Colorado State University site. You can download a pdf with instructions and keep them on hand while you are preparing your own. I also recommend the book The Herbal Pantry by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead. It's got lots more than just making your own flavoured oils and vinegars.