Friday, September 24, 2010

Jar Finds

I'm having pretty good luck at the yard sales these past couple of weeks. Last week I found a box of a dozen reg. mouth quart jars for $1.50 at a church yard sale. I wish they were wide mouth, but I'm happy with what I can get. Then today, I found a dozen Kerr wide mouth quart jars for $5 and 17 mostly wide mouth pint jars also for $5. My stash of empty jars is getting replenished again-- yay! I know that regular mouth jars, lids and bands are cheaper than wide mouth, but I have big hands, and I find it easier for me to use wide mouth for my purposes. I reserve the reg. mouth jars for jams and sauces, foods that are easy to pour out.

I like the Kerr brand of jars. I used to think Ball jars were the best (still do, sort of) but then a fellow blogger enlightened me to the fact that Kerr jars have the year they were made marked between the threads. How cool to know when the jar was manufactured, knowing a jar has been in continuous use since 1966 or 1981. Since Ball bought Kerr, they dropped the date on the jars and changed the shape, which used to be squarish, to match the current Ball jar shape. A little disappointing.

So now, when I go yard sale-ing or thrifting, I try and keep an eye out for the older Kerr jars. I just like knowing the date of the jars. It's comforting to me, to know that someone took care of it for all those years, filled them with tomatoes or applesauce to feed their families, cleaned them when they were empty and did it all over again, year after year.

My uncle tells me that my Grandmother had thousands of canning jars. She had to can enough to feed 11 children plus her husband and herself and they lived in Minnesota with those long, cold winters. I imagine it was a full-time job to put away enough food for everyone. I don't have that many jars, but one of these days, I'm gonna count, just to see how many I have. For sure, it's not nearly enough jars to put away food for my family if we were not able to go to the food stores, but I don't know if we ever will get to that point. Someday it'd be nice to live solely off what we grow and raise; partly to see if we can do it, but also to reduce our dependency on society and besides, it's better for us in the long run to know exactly where our food came from, what is in it, and what it ate before we ate it.

I bought 2 bushels of apples the other day. I'll make a few pies to freeze for later and then depending on how many are left, I'll probably make apple chips with the dehydrator. It got hot here again, the temps are in the 90s so I'm looking for cooler ways to put away the apples for winter eating.



Ron said...

Nice find on the jars. It's handy to have a few extra, since we often give canned goods as gifts.

I had no idea about the date on the jars! I'll have to keep an eye out to see if some of ours are marked.


jenny said...

Ron--I passed up on some other jars, then I changed my mind and went back, but they were gone. Oh well, I'm happy with what I got, so I can't complain.

Isn't that neat about the kerr jars?!? Shame they dropped that and don't date them anymore.

Johnna Sutton said...

I always ask why they are selling their jars and most of the time people tell me it's easyer to go to the market and buy their food, then I ask them what they would do if something happened and there was NO market full of food? After that they look at me like I'm a freek, they think there will always be a market full of food. (and yes....I'm a freek:)

Omelay said...

score, we are always on the look out for canning jars. there are no empties here except the ones queued for the honey harvest.

good luck with the apples


jenny said...

johnna-- So far, most of the jars I pick up at yard sales have been old people's sales. i guess they're at the point where they feel like they don't need to can so much or can't keep up with the gardening. I went to one house and there was an old lady and we started chatting and she offered me her quart jars for $1.50 a dozen. This was when we first moved here 5 years ago and I think I bought like 6 dozen. And yes... freaks are cool! :o)

Karl-- I see one or two jars here and there, but it's been a while since I found them by the dozen. Wish I could get some honey from you-- the local guy we bought our honey from hasn't advertised lately. He was old, so I wonder if he gave it up or passed on. He had some good honey and at $6 a quart, it was priced nice!