Hello, my name is Wendy, and I’m addicted to Mason jars.
They are just so handy for so many things. Every time I see them on sale (and they’re always on sale at this time of year), I pick up another dozen.
-I prefer using Mason jars for leftovers in the fridge because they don’t get all stained and grotty like plastic does. And the glass never absorbs smells. Even if they’ve harbored some science experiment gone horribly wrong, I can actually sterilize them in boiling water. Also, everyone can see exactly what is in them, which actually encourages them to eat it. After a couple of days in the fridge, if it doesn’t look like it’s actually going to get eaten, I pop the freezer-safe jars directly into the freezer.
-Whenever I buy a bunch of fruit on sale, or for some other reason end up with lots of it about to go bad, I freeze the excess for smoothies.
I've found that it's best to lay the fruit out flat on a cookie sheet and freeze first, then put the already frozen fruit in the jars- it’s much easier to remove this way. You can use as little or as much as you need.
-It’s also great for storing particularly stinky items in the fridge, like pieces of onion or opened cans of wet cat food. Those lids really keep the smells contained.
-I love to store things in the freezer that would otherwise go bad because I use so little of it at a time. Most of these are ingredients that I use as flavoring when I cook. I keep whole ginger (that I grate on a rasp as I need it), rolls of bacon (3 strips stacked together, rolled up and frozen flat), cubes of chipotles in adobo sauce, cubes of tomato paste, left-over Parmesan rinds (to add to soups) and left-over wine for deglazing pans (which never completely freezes, so you can spoon out the slushy stuff as needed).
-I always use Mason jars to freeze liquids like soups and stocks. Whenever I have left-over stock (homemade or out of the can) I put it directly in a jar and into the freezer. The soups I put in half-pint jars for lunches remembering to leave an inch or so of headroom because the water they contain expands when frozen. Note- It's important to make sure to use freezer safe jars because the expanding liquid can easily crack the glass otherwise.
-They're great for storage, both cold and at room temperature. I keep dry goods that tend to go rancid (like brown rice, nuts and shredded coconut) in mason jars in the top shelf of my fridge.
And I have several shelves in my kitchen with things like beans and lentils and grains.
I also use the tiny mason jars to store the extra whole spices (that aren't on the door) in the cupboard.
Seeing all of these beautiful ingredients can sometimes get me going when I’m in a cooking funk.