Mason Jar Magic

I’ve just started this blog, so I assure you- I have no sponsors.  (Future sponsors, if you’re reading this, my agent, otherwise known as me, is quite happy to talk.)  I do realize that Wal-mart has haters and with good reason.  Amazon too and also for good reasons.  Frankly, there really isn’t any company that your average family can reasonably afford that doesn’t have some ethical issue I could axe it for.  That’s a whole different post all by itself.  For now, I’m using Wal-mart for basic baby food storage for several simple reasons.  First, Wal-mart is everywhere, meaning most people will have access to it somehow.  Second, Wal-mart gives free 2-day shipping for orders over $35.  It isn’t hard for a family to order that much and then it gets brought right to your door without paying a yearly fee.  Third, Wal-mart has free pick-up on all grocery orders over $35.  In the middle of a pandemic, this is a decent way to shop and not chew your fingernails off trying not to readjust your child’s face mask every two minutes.  (Wal-mart, you really should sponsor me.  I’m making you sound amazing.)  Ok, on to the actual recommendation!

Much like my cooking, I like all of my kitchen stuff to be practical.  I want to use it for multiple things and if it can’t go through my dishwasher, please take it back.  Baby food storage is no different.  4 oz canning jars with reusable plastic lids are the least expensive and most efficient method of storing baby food I’ve found so far.  Most canning jars come with rings and lids, but reusable plastic lids can be purchased on the side.  Because canning jars are made with tempered glass, you don’t have to wait for something you’ve just boiled to cool before transferring it to jars.  I still recommend that you do, because ow ow ow-burns aren’t fun.  But, you’re not in the coffee pot shattering range if you don’t wait.  You can either store the food in the fridge for use during the week or in the freezer.  Canning jars are actually freezer safe, specifically canning jars with straight sides.  Those with curved sides, more domb like, are at risk of cracking because of uneven pressure as the food expands while it freezes.  In a glass with straight sides, the moisture in the food just begins to freeze upward and towards the lid, following the direction of the glass, instead of outward and against the curve in a more bulb-like jar. I prefer plastic lids to metal lids because frozen plastic doesn’t hurt my hands quite like frozen metal does.  Plus, plastic is more flexible and bends with the food as it expands.  Wal-mart’s Mainstay line has a set of eight plastic canning lids for less than 3 bucks, and they’re actually good! A dozen canning jars is less than 9.  Silicone baby food kits typically start at $15.  Glass jars and lids marketed for baby food tend to run $25 or more.  Buying basic canning jars with extra plastic lids is more affordable, does the same job, and has long term use in your house.  Those little 4 oz jars are just perfect at the holidays, because who can truly toss out that little bit of cranberry sauce or gravy?  I can’t.  I have before, and I’ve regretted it every time.


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