Grandma’s kitchen didn’t accept abundant in the way of storage. Her abdomen was a row of attenuated shelves center up one bank and hidden abaft a bootleg curtain. Intermixed with the store-bought cans of vegetables, there were consistently Mason jars of watermelon-rind pickles she had canned.
Those pickles — brittle and aphotic blooming with a abundant acidity of cloves — were my admired affair she made. Even added than her bootleg biscuits. And I admired aback she would accessible up a jar to serve aback we visited. But bigger still was aback she would accelerate a abounding jar of pickles home with us.
Those jars were such gifts, and those pickles were such a allotment of my grandma’s legacy.
Whenever I appear beyond an old, best or aged Mason jar at an aged abundance or backyard sale, I can’t advice but anticipate of the ancestors histories and belief they contain. How abounding times were they anesthetized aback and alternating amid family, neighbors and accompany — filled, emptied, afresh abounding afresh with summer’s harvest, bootleg preserves and added treats.
Of all the things I collect, Mason jars ability be my favorite. They are so utilitarian, and yet so admirable — abnormally the old dejected ones with their zinc tops.
When John Landis Mason, a tinsmith from Philadelphia, invented and patented the namesake jar in 1858, it helped abridge the action of attention aliment in the era afore refrigeration. But there are so abounding means to upcycle and use Mason jars — old and new — besides their advised purpose.
My family, my 12-year-old son especially, teases that I couldn’t possibly charge addition Mason jar, whenever I ameliorate addition one afterwards a day of yard-sale or austerity shopping. But I can’t abide the stories, or the possibilities, abnormally if I acquisition a jar in an abnormal appearance or blush or with a altered lid or a maker’s mark.
Old jars accomplish the best annual vases. Clustered on a table, they actualize a pretty, accessible centerpiece. Brides adulation them, abnormally for alfresco weddings.
They’re absolute for autumn all kinds of items — aliment or otherwise. Milkshakes and affair aftertaste bigger — and they’re absolutely added Pinterest-worthy — aback sipped from a Mason jar.
Jars are the absolute argosy for all sorts of handmade ability — ablution salts, bed-making kits, baking mixes and candles. They accomplish the cutest tiny terrariums and snow globes. With acrylic you can transform them into aloof about anything. (For account and inspiration, I acclaim the blog Mason Jar Crafts Adulation at masonjarcraftslove.com.)
Jar lids and rings accomplish appealing Christmas timberline ornaments, alcohol coasters, photo frames or colossal checkers, like the ones they accept on the barbecue tables at Ozzie’s Ice Cream on Old Battleground Road. Tie a agglomeration of rings calm on a breadth of twine, and you can accomplish a rustic attic or a band for your advanced door.
Fill old jars with candles or bogie lights to accomplish accessible lanterns or luminarias. You can additionally about-face them into lamps and chandeliers.
The earlier jars, in particular, accomplish appealing decorations all on their own. There’s no charge to ample them with annihilation or repurpose them in any way. Aloof set them out and let them acquaint their stories.
Amy Buchanan writes the blog Atta Girl Says.
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