When I was growing up much of our food came out of Mason jars. Food that my mother had put into those very Mason Jars and then collected on shelves until it was time to feed her family.
Exhibit A: Geeky 12-year-old Karla on her birthday. While I have to laugh at the glasses that were in style in 1977 I appreciate so many of the details in this photo: the sweetly-decorated home-make cake, the home-made dress that was one of my favorites, Mother’s china hot cocoa set that was a wedding gift from Uncle Carlton and Aunt Lilly, my philodendron plant that I bought as a tiny plant with a birthday dollar from Grandmother the year I turned 6 (that I STILL have nearly 50 years later!!), and all the canned goods on the kitchen shelf.
A few weeks ago Mother was telling me about the summer she canned over 800 jars of food.
800+ jars of home-canned food!
In one summer!
Put up by one woman!
I remember having to help with the canning and not enjoying it… but I’m pretty sure she was the one who did most of the work.
I don’t do much canning myself. I’ve made some fruit butters and jams in recent years, but that’s about it. Maybe I’ll get into it more sometime, but I did want to share a couple of non-canning uses I’ve found for Mason jars recently.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post but I am going to include affiliate links so I can show you exactly what I got that makes my Mason jars so magical. An affiliate link means that if you click through to Amazon and end up ordering I might earn a small commission. (Like you didn’t know that.)
Cold Brew Coffee
I’ve been whipping up a quart of cold brew coffee concentrate about every other day this summer. (Don’t look at me that way. There are 2 of us, not just me!) It is SO easy and SO yummy and WAY cheaper than a coffee shop.
The apparatus I use is the Cold Brew Coffee Kit which comes with a wide-mouth Mason jar, a stainless steel filter insert, and a plastic pour lid.
All you do is fill the filter about three-quarters full of ground coffee, then fill the jar up with cold water, screw on the lid, and put it in the fridge overnight (or at least 6 hours). You can use just any old coffee but they do recommend coarse-ground. We like Dunkin Donuts coffee for this.
The next afternoon when you start getting sleepy and need a pick-me-up, take the jar out of the fridge and remove the filter.
You’ll notice when you take the filter out that about a third of the jar is empty. You know what that empty space will hold? Exactly one can of sweetened condensed milk, that’s what!
So go ahead and pour that in there. It will all settle to the bottom because it’s so thick and rich. Put the lid back on. Make sure you have it screwed on tight. Then shake, shake, shake. It takes a good bit of shaking to thoroughly mix the milk with the coffee.
To serve, fill an insulated tumbler with ice and pour the cold-brew concentrate over the ice until your tumbler is about a third full. Finish filling with cold water. Stir it good with your straw and enjoy!
Then put the jar back in the fridge and try to leave it alone until tomorrow afternoon when you start getting sleepy again.
Unless you absolutely have to have a refill. But do you really need one? I don’t think you do.
At least, this is what I have to tell myself about every day.
I recommend the BYO 30-ounce insulated tumbler. It works very well for keeping drinks icy cold. A quart of the cold-brew concentrate will make about 5 servings in this size tumbler.
I said I had a couple of use for Mason jars that I was going to share but I’m out of time, so I’ll tell you about the other thing next week. Or maybe you can figure it out from this picture:
What’s your favorite use for Mason jars?