I look forward to summertime the same way that others look forward to Christmas. I'm dreaming of steamy days, leisurely afternoons by the pool, sprinklers, fireflies, my girls screeching "THE ICE CREAM MAN IS COMING" and canning all of the goodies we're able to get out of our garden. Speaking of canning, I am loving the mason jar trend right now: painted mason jars, mason jar stamps (here, here and here) and animal topped mason jars (Suni and I recently tried to hunt down mini rabbits for Easter themed jars).
Here are three ways I use mason jars every week in my home:
1. Plastic Caps For Mason Jars . If you can your own foods, you know how gross the inside of the seals can get after they have been opened for a while. It drives me crazy to have a crusty line around the inside of the lid when I just opened the jar a couple days ago. We can our own salsa every summer and we make enough to last us until the next summer (about 50 pints). We also can our own jams, jellies and pie fillings. Once we open a jar, we swap out the lid & seal with one of these plastic lids and avoid the yucky crusties! This is a must have for canned goods.
2. Reusable BPA-Free Acrylic Straws and Sipper Lids. I bought these straws/lids on E-Bay a few months ago and I positively adore them. They look just like my beloved paper straws, yet allow me to convert a Mason Jar into a sippy cup for my girls. I hate drinking out of plastic, yet it is difficult to find an easy way to use a straw with glass. This has solved all of my problems and it makes me smile every time I use it. They fit on all regular mouth mason jars, so I can use them on pint jars for my girls and fill a big quart jar of iced tea for myself. The straws come in a ton of colors, so you can pick and choose as you like. I have had mine for over three months and they are holding up great.
3. Salad In A Jar. If you haven't jumped on this food trend, hop in! Normally when I fix a salad for myself, the second half of my lettuce head goes back in the fridge to wilt until I throw it away. Once I read how to make several salads at the same time and have them stay fresh FOR A WEEK, I was enthralled. The picture above is my black bean/corn salad after two days in the fridge. The lettuce was crisp, the beans hadn't gotten slimy, and the cheese stayed nice and dry on the top. To learn how to prepare a salad in a jar, start here. I use the cheap Ziploc sealer and electrical tape as described here.
I found a great Pinterest board with hundreds of "Salad In A Jar" recipes here. Be sure to follow it!
Hope this inspires you to head down to Target and pick up a case of jars for yourself!!