I’m not a big fan of disposable things. I like enduring. I like real. Single-use plastic does not get me jazzed. Disposable napkins don’t work for me. I don’t like plastic plates, and get cranky at throwing away packaging, because I would prefer to not have the packaging in the first place. Re-using the glass jars some of our foods come in has been a nifty thing for me. Even though the shapes and sizes vary, there is continuity in nice, clean, clear glass.
I can make quick, simple labels with a bit of plain paper, a fine-point pigment marker, and some white glue smeared on the back (which soaks off easily later, no nasty sticky label residue!) Grocery items in glass jars come in so many different shapes and sizes, it’s easy to find just the right combination for a lot of my staple pantry items (which I like to buy in bulk from our local WinCo grocery store. I love that place. Where else could I buy, quite literally, 2 cents-worth of a particular herb to try it out in a recipe? No, I don’t want a $4 plastic shaker of the stuff… I just need 1/2 teaspoon, thanks!) The jars are a whole lot nicer than juggling a conservative estimate of 19 bazillion little baggies, otherwise.
I end up with a lot of small, squatty, rounded-off jars from marinated artichoke hearts. I love those things. Better than dill pickles. I love how decadent it feels to crack open a jar of marinated artichokes to nibble along with our normal picnic lunch of good, crusty bread, real butter, a bit of garlic-dill goat cheese, and some fresh fruit. I’ve never been to Europe, but I feel O-So-Continental sitting outside, all vulnerable in The Nature (it could touch me!), eating really tasty food with my chevre-snarfing minions.
We also find some really cool bottles, like this tall squarish one, filled with interesting preserves at the dollar store! This one held marmalade to begin with. Now it is destined for greatness as a receptacle for grapefruit sugar scrub.
Who knew a huge jar of pickles had, hiding under the label, some really decorative bits molded in? It was lovely of the pickle people to provide me a nifty new tall jar for… something. Perhaps spaghetti noodles, or cookies, if I could get cookies to last more than the afternoon. Also, since I have a slightly odd sense of humor, I think it’s funny to store dried dill in a dill pickle jar:
It’s become normal for my children to ask, “Soak the labels off, Mom?” when there’s a new glass bottle and lid sitting next to the sink with the other dishes. I love knowing we can go to our small stash of Found Jars to find just the right container for a homemade foodie gift, if anyone has a yearning to give something to a friend or neighbor. Even leftovers in the fridge look more decorative and appetizing in clear glass jars, rather than oddly-stained plastic tubs. (And, if something gets left too long, turns sentient on us, and begins to moan every time the fridge is opened, I feel a lot better about my ability to sterilize glass, than in getting post-zombie-food plastic tubs really, truly clean.)
Is there a durable “found item” you prefer for household organization?