A cocktail for a drinking jar

A cocktail for a drinking jar 

raspberry lemonade in mason jar with ice and mint

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts are already turning to barbecues, garden parties, and long, warm evenings spent lazing outside on the patio. What could make such an evening more pleasant than a delicious and indulgent cocktail, served in style in fun glass drinking jars? Let’s take a look at the wide range of glass drinking jars we stock and have some fun with an idea or two for gorgeous cocktails to serve in them.

Serving cocktails in drinking jars

Glass drinking jars have been super-fashionable for some time now, ever since those hipster bars in London’s achingly cool Hoxton started using them to serve their crazy new cocktails. More and more people have decided that they want a slice of this trend, with these jars well and truly moving over to the mainstream and making an appearance at all sorts of parties and events up and down the country.

Pretty much anything goes when it comes to serving cocktails in glass drinking jars. Most of our jars hold 400-450ml, which makes for a generous cocktail and leaves plenty of space for ice and a slice. Many jars have handles, a lid and a straw, all of which help party-goers to avoid spills and mishaps when outside in the garden.

What to put in these drinking jars

Glass jars show off the contents of your cocktail brilliantly; therefore, any cocktail recipe that has colourful ingredients and plenty of fruit will look fabulous. Adding in-season fruit to vodka and topping up with lemonade is one of the simplest but most effective cocktails. Try blueberries, raspberries or plums for this cocktail, experimenting until you find your favourite flavour.

Fans of a good gin will love the idea of mixing gin with grapefruit juice for a refreshing take on a gin fizz. Add a sprig of fresh mint and some ice and you will have party guests queueing for a refill.

Summer wouldn’t be summer without Pimm’s, of course, and a Pimm’s-based cocktail will always go down well. For a refreshing twist, add Pimm’s, gin, lemonade and cranberry juice to a pitcher, then add slices of lemon, fresh mint leaves, and redcurrants or fresh cranberries. Once you have tried Pimm’s this way, you will wonder why you have been drinking it with just lemonade for so long.

Whatever your favourite tipple and fruity flavours, there is a summer cocktail to suit you perfectly. Served in a cool glass drinking jar and sipped through a colourful straw, a cocktail will make any party go with a swing.

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Ball mason jars

Ball mason jars 135ml Quilted Filled

In today’s post, we are super-excited to bring you news about some new products in our online store. Whilst many of you are no doubt familiar with our range of iconic Mason jars, we suspect that fewer people will know anything about the Ball mason jars we have recently added to the range. Let’s take a closer look at these gorgeous, vintage-styled jars to see what all the fuss is about.

What exactly are Ball mason jars?

Whilst the original Mason jar was named after an American called John Landis Mason, who patented the unique design and two-part screw top lid of these jars way back in 1858, the term ‘mason jar’ has come to cover any preserving jars that use the same system of lid and seal. One of John Landis Mason’s earliest and most successful competitors was the Ball Corporation, which made a wide range of glass canning jars. Today, the Ball Corporation still exists; however, it has diversified into other business areas and its home canning range and the trademark Ball name has been sold to another firm. The legendary Ball jars continue to delight, however, and we are thrilled to have these jars available for sale here in the UK.

Our range of Ball mason jars Poster Advert

We currently stock four different jars from the full Ball range. Two of the jars feature the iconic embossed quilted design, with Ball’s charismatic logo emblazoned on the front. The other two jars have Ball Mason embossed on the front and a fruit design embossed on the back. The jars with the quilted design are available in a short 135ml size and a taller 240ml size. The other jars are a more traditional canning jar shape and come in 490ml and 945ml sizes. All jars come with the classic two-part lid in silver, with a preserving guide and recipe booklet included with each jar.

These jars are perfect for anyone who loves a touch of American nostalgia or who likes vintage-inspired kitchen accessories. The jars are ideal for jams, pickles, chutneys, preserved fruit and vegetables, or even homemade cocktails. As they are a little out of the ordinary, they make great jars for preserves that you intend to give away as gifts to friends and family.

If you are looking for some new canning jars that stand out from the crowd, check out these new mason jars in our online store. If you make some delicious preserves in these jars, be sure to share your photos with us via Facebook or Twitter.

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Creams for cosmetic jars

Creams for cosmetic jars 

fresh as spring flowers

Many of us now take much more notice of what we eat and are increasingly scrutinising the ingredients lists on the food we buy from supermarkets. This trend for thinking more carefully about what we eat and how we treat our bodies is carrying over into other areas, with more and more of us starting to question just how good for us many of the cosmetics we use really are. As more people start to look at producing their own homemade cosmetics, we take a look at our range of cosmetic jars and offer a suggestion for making your own hand cream

Our range of glass cosmetic jars

We offer an extensive range of cosmetic jars in various sizes, including stylish and elegant luxury cosmetic jars that look for all the world as if they should contain some expensive and sophisticated brand name cosmetics. These jars, called the Laurence range, are available in both clear glass and frosted glass and in sizes ranging from 15ml up to 100ml.

In addition to the Laurence range, we stock amber glass jars for a traditional pharmaceutical look; ointment jars; apothecary jars; and even a dinky 5ml lip balm jar. If you plan to make as many of your own cosmetics as possible, we have every application covered.

What to put in your glass cosmetic jars

There are many tried and tested recipes for homemade cosmetics available online; in fact, you can find help on making everything from cleanser to foundation and from body scrubs to eyeliner. If your hands have come out of winter looking 10 years older than the rest of you, and with all the smoothness of a fine grade sandpaper, fear not. This simple recipe for soothing hand cream will give brilliant results in no time at all.

To make the cream, you will need:

350g shea butter or cocoa butter
90g beeswax, grated
120g coconut oil
90g almond oil or avocado oil
1 tbsp honey
essential oil (if you would like the cream to be scented)

Put all ingredients apart from the honey and essential oil into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of water and heat gently until the ingredients have melted, ensuring there are no blobs of wax or butter left.

Add the honey and essential oil and continue to heat until fully combined in the mixture.

Allow to cool, then place in the fridge to harden for five hours. Remove from the fridge and blend the mixture to a creamy consistency using a blender. Spoon the mixture into clean glass cosmetic jars and seal.

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A recipe for sauce bottles

A recipe for sauce bottles 

tomato sauce with raw ingredients

If you have made a promise to yourself to try some new home preserves this summer, making your own sauces or ketchups might be just the thing. Jams and chutneys are tasty and enjoyable to make, of course, but now and again it is fun to try something you have not made before. We have recently featured a recipe for homemade tomato ketchup; today, we thought we would cover that other British classic, brown sauce.

Brown sauce is typically used as an accompaniment to savoury dishes, both hot and cold, and can be added to stews and soups for a rich, tangy taste. It is something of a ‘love it or hate it’ sauce, having both its fans and its detractors. One thing is for sure – homemade brown sauce will always taste so much better than the shop-bought variety and is definitely worth a try.

Selecting your sauce bottles 

Barbeque Sauce with Tomatoes, Smoked Salt and fresh Herbs (on rustic wooden background)

Homemade sauces need a specific type of bottle to pour neatly and store well. We have a wide range of sauce bottles available online and for this recipe we recommend something such as the 250ml Round Sauce Bottle or the 270ml Salad Cream Bottle.

Ingredients

200ml water
275ml white wine vinegar
450ml cider vinegar
200ml apple juice
200ml orange juice
300ml tamarind paste
2 tubes of tomato purée
4 large apples
4 red onions
100g chopped dates
100g chopped prunes
3 cloves of garlic
4tbsp black treacle
6 cloves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp peppercorns
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

– Roughly chop the apples and onions, and crush the garlic. Place these in a large pan with the dates, prunes, white wine vinegar, water, tomato purée, orange juice, apple juice, treacle and tamarind paste.

– Bring this mixture to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes with the pan covered.

– Grind all the spices to a fine powder, then add to the pan and stir well. Use a handheld blender to blend the mixture to a smooth sauce and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.

– Spoon the hot sauce into sterilised glass sauce bottles and seal with clean, sterilised lids. Allow to cool before storing in a cool, dark place.

More ideas for glass sauce bottles

If we have piqued your interest in making some homemade sauces, there are plenty of other recipe ideas to try; for example, homemade salad cream is perfect for summer salads, whilst homemade chilli sauce is delicious on savoury dishes or cheese platters.

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Kilner bottles

Kilner bottles kilner bottles 2

There is no denying that Kilner is one of the most well-known and well-loved kitchen brands in the UK, with the firm holding a special place in the nation’s hearts for decades. Whilst best known for the iconic preserving jars that formed the foundation of the company over a century ago, Kilner also produces an extensive range of swing top bottles and it is these delightful bottles that we are taking a look at in today’s post.

Kilner bottles

The range of Kilner swing top bottles that we stock includes a variety of shapes and sizes, all carrying the distinctive Kilner name emblazoned on the front of the bottle. From the tiniest 70ml bottles right up to one-litre bottles, there is certainly plenty of choice. Some of the most popular Kilner bottles are the coloured ones, which are available in pastel pink, blue and green. These coloured bottles are available in both 250ml and one-litre sizes.

There are also some delightful vintage-shaped bottles in the range, which have a wide base, narrow neck, red stopper, and metal carrying handle. They are perfect for vintage-themed parties or picnics and look amazing filled with old-fashioned homemade lemonade.

Alternatives to Kilner bottles 

Currants, swing top bottles and steam juicer for homemade currants syrup

Many of our customers refer to any brand of swing top bottle as a Kilner bottle due to the similarity in style; in fact, we carry quite a few other types of swing top bottle in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Our Sorrento bottle is tall and elegant and is available with either a blue or an opaque stopper. This bottle makes us think of beautiful summer days in Italy, which is why we named the bottle the Sorrento! For afternoons spent lazing on the patio, reading a book and sipping a refreshing lemonade or elderflower cordial, the Sorrento is just perfect.

We have a number of larger one-litre swing top bottles in the range, all of which work brilliantly for serving fresh water at the dining table. Fill a bottle or two with tap water and chill in the fridge before supper time, then serve at the table for a refreshing drink whilst eating.

These one-litre bottles are not just for water, of course; for example, you can also use them to make delicious homemade cordials or even vinegars. Elderflowers will be ready in no time, so get ready to make your own elderflower cordial. Not long after this, raspberries will be ready and you could make either another cordial or raspberry vinegar to use drizzled on puddings or even on salad leaves.

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Cakes in food jars

Cakes in food jars 

Rainbow layer cake in a jar with birthday candles

Home baking is just as much influenced by trends and fashions as any other aspect of life, with many of us constantly on the lookout for something new and interesting to try out in the kitchen. One trend that has taken a lot of people’s fancy recently is baking cakes in glass food jars. Finding inspiring and creative ways to present your cakes can be just as much fun as finding a great new recipe, so in today’s post we suggest a few ideas for what sort of cakes might work well in jars.

Which food jars to choose?

Screw top preserving jars work brilliantly for baking cakes. Jars with a wide neck are most suitable, as this allows you to get the cake out more easily or even to eat it in the jar, if this is the way you like to serve your cakes. For smaller cakes, try the Familia Wiss 350ml terrine jar or the classic 250ml Kilner jar; for larger cakes, the 500ml Kilner jar or the 500ml Mason jar are both ideal.

The secret to baking cakes in food jars

You do not particularly need any special recipe for baking cakes in glass food jars – pretty much any sponge cake or fruit cake works just fine. There is a secret to successful baking in jars, however, and this is to spray the inside of the jar with oil before you pour in your cake batter. This will help to avoid the cake mixture sticking to the side of the jar.

Another top tip is to stand your jars on a baking tray when you put them in the oven; otherwise, there is a danger of them falling over as you put them in or take them out. Finally, do not be tempted to put too much cake mixture in each jar, as the cakes need room to rise. If you fill each jar too full, your cake will ooze over the top of the jar and will look a mess. Fill the jar about one-third full and your cake will rise just to the top of the jar, leaving you room to put the lid on if you are giving the jar as a gift.

As we said earlier, you can bake most types of cake in these jars; however, sponge cakes work particularly well. They look heavenly if you use food colouring to create different coloured mixtures and layer two or three different colours into the jar. Lemon drizzle cake also works well in a jar, topped with its delicious sticky drizzle.

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Pie Dish Recipe

Cottage pie in a rustic baking dish

Cottage pie in a rustic baking dish

Recipe for a pie dish

 Who doesn’t love a good pie? Whether it is a rich meat pie bursting with delicious gravy or a tempting fruit pie just asking to be smothered in custard, pies are part of the British way of life. Hearty and filling, they are a little slice of heaven on a plate and it is no wonder we turn to pie recipes when the weather is chilly – they warm us up, cheer us up and fill us up. Pies are not just for winter, however, and there are plenty of lighter pie recipes around if you need to satisfy your pie craving during spring or summer. In today’s post, we feature a simple recipe for a mouthwatering fish pie that is perfect all year round.

 Pie dish choices

 Before we start, let’s talk about your choice of dish. Both Mason Cash and Falcon have been making classic pie dishes for decades, with little changing in terms of their iconic styles. Whether you choose a classic ceramic dish from Mason Cash or one of Falcon’s instantly-recognisable enamel pie dishes, you are sure to love your dish. Both styles are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, meaning there is a dish to suit however many people you are cooking for.

 Our pie dish recipe:

 Ingredients

500g white fish fillets, skinned

500g smoked haddock fillets, skinned

750ml milk

1 onion, chopped

4 eggs

125g butter

75g plain flour

1kg potatoes, cut into chunks

75g grated cheese

5 cloves

2 bay leaves

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

 Method

 Place the fish in a shallow pan with 600ml of the milk, the onion, cloves and bay leaves. Bring the milk almost to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift out the fish, and flake into the pie dish. Let the milk cool in a jug.

 Hard boil the eggs, then peel and chop into quarters before placing on top of the fish. Scatter the parsley over the top.

 Melt most of the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the cooled milk. Return to the heat and stir until it forms a smooth sauce. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and pour over the fish.

 Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes, then mash with the milk and butter that was left over. Cover the pie with the potato mash, then top with the grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden.

 

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Jam Jar Labels

WOA EBAY ROSEMARYJam jar labels with beautiful designs

 We recently attended the prestigious and rather famous Dalemain Marmalade Awards, which are held annually at Dalemain House in Cumbria. We were thrilled at the demand for our range of jam jar labels at the event, so we thought we would talk today about this range.

 We have mentioned before that you can rustle up the most delicious strawberry jam or Seville marmalade but the whole thing will be let down somewhat and won’t look as impressive as it could if you don’t present your preserves to their best advantage. Fear not, as we have a huge range of jam labels to suit all kinds of jams and preserves. Whatever style or finished look you are after, we are sure to have a label that is perfect for your jars.

 Colourful jam jar labels

 Nothing evokes a sense of fruitful abundance more than our vibrantly-decorated labels from mother and daughter team Rosemary and Caroline Wagstaff. These labels all feature a stunningly colourful border inspired by the watercolour art of the two artists. There are labels featuring cherries, apples and blackberries, and strawberries and raspberries, not to mention citrus fruits for jars of marmalade and mixed vegetables for chutneys and pickles.

 These labels come in packs of 18 and are 75mm x 50mm in size, which is perfect for a standard 1lb jam jar. The centre of each label is left blank for you to complete the details of your jam or chutney. With one of these labels and topped off with a pretty lid cover, your jam will look really special and will be a pleasure to give away as a gift.

 Contemporary jam jar labels

 If your tastes lean a little more towards the contemporary, we still have plenty of jam labels to choose from. Our funky union jack labels and the labels featuring a glamorous tiara are both popular choices for a modern and fun look. New to our range is a roll of dissolvable jam labels, which feature a simple but elegant flourish at the top and bottom of each label. There are 60 labels on a roll, which gives you plenty of scope for a summer filled with home preserving projects. When it comes to reusing your jars, these labels make light work of getting the old label off, as they simply dissolve in water.

 With spring already here and summer just around the corner, now is the time to get stocked up on jars and labels so that you are ready for preserving action once all those lovely fruit and vegetables come into season.

 

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Decorating wedding favour jars and bottles

Decorating wedding favour jars and bottles image1

It never ceases to amaze us just how creative and inventive our customers can be when it comes to thinking up new wedding favour ideas. From homemade alcoholic infusions to mini macaroons in a jar, and from wild flower seeds to cute snow globe ornaments, wedding couples across the country keep coming up with clever ideas to make their favours memorable and unique. In today’s blog post, we take a look at how to decorate the jars and bottles you have chosen for your own favours.

Tags and labels for your wedding favours

Jam jars, clip top jars and bottles are so versatile when it comes to using them for your favours. Fill jars with delicious homemade cookies, fudge or boiled sweets, or do something very different and plant herbs or succulents in them for a lasting memento. Bottles can also be filled with delightful infusions, such as rhubarb gin or strawberry vodka. No matter what you choose to put in these jars and bottles, it is important to get the finishing touches right.

You need some form of label or tag for the jar or bottle, of course, to record your names and the date of the wedding. Our ivory-coloured card tags are ideal for this job, featuring gorgeous love heart edging that creates the perfect romantic feel. If you can write in an elegant script, or even in calligraphy, so much the better. No matter what style you choose to write in, always practice first and take plenty of time so as not to waste any tags.

In addition to these tags, we have plenty of other romantically-designed tags to choose from, including lots of heart shapes and our personal favourite, the birdcage gift tags, which feature two little lovebirds in an ornate cage.

Packaging for your wedding favours 

wedding gift for guest

Once you have the contents for your favours sorted and have added a tag and perhaps a ribbon, it is time to think about how you would like to present the favour. Many wedding couples decide to pop the finished favour in a gift bag and we have plenty of these to choose from. We have boxes and pouches available in white, ivory, silver, gold, pink, and even brown with spotty dots. We also have larger pouches available to fit taller jars or bottles.

Whatever theme you choose for your wedding and whatever inspired idea you settle on for your favours, our range of packaging options is sure to offer the perfect fit for the exact look you have in mind.

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500ml glass jars

500ml glass jars 

Three Jam jar isolated on a white background. Apples, cabbage-cardamom jam jar, Orange jam and Currant jam jar. With clipping path. Shallow DOF. Focused on the front.

Whilst it is fairly traditional to use a standard 1lb jar to make jams and marmalades, there is no hard and fast rule to say that you must stick to this when it comes to choosing the jars for your next preserving project. Unless you are planning to enter your jams, pickles and chutneys in some local competitions, where a 1lb jar is specifically required, you can use whatever jar you fancy, Big is sometimes best and a larger jar may just work better for a specific preserve. In today’s blog post, we check out our 500ml glass jars with lids and give some suggestions for when these bigger jars might be the best choice.

Choosing larger glass jars

Jams and preserves that take a while to use up, or that need to be eaten quite quickly, are better off in a small jar, of course. Lemon curd does not keep for a long time, for example, as it has raw egg as an ingredient; however, for jams or chutneys that are especially popular, using a larger jar makes a lot of sense. There is less mess and fuss when it comes to filling the jars, and fewer but larger jars will take up less space in the cupboard than a lot of smaller jars. If you plan to give some of your preserves away as gifts to friends and family, bigger jars will always have a bigger impact.

Our 500ml deluxe glass jars with lids are one of the most popular items in our range. Their contemporary styling and heavyweight glass make them ideal for the modern home preserves enthusiast who is looking for a reliable and durable jar to suit all kinds of preserving tasks. These jars are great for family favourites such strawberry jam, and work well for savoury preserves such as plum chutney or pickled onions.

Glass jars for craft projects

In addition to being perfect for many home preserving projects, our 500ml jars are ideal for a wide range of craft projects and home decoration ideas. Use them as a vase for a pretty posy of flowers picked from the garden, or perhaps use them to store homemade bath salts or a body scrub. Another idea we love is to make tiny sewing kits to give as gifts, with needles, thread, buttons, tiny scissors and a pincushion all stored neatly in one of these jars.

Whatever project you are considering, whether home preserving or a craft-based activity, take a look at our 500ml jars to see whether they could be the right choice for you.

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Baking pan recipes

Baking pan recipes 

Chocolate brownie on the baking tray with blueberry , knife in the hand , chocolate , forks and old vintage plates on the wooden table top view

There is something deeply satisfying about baking your own cakes, whether simple cupcakes, traditional cakes such as Victoria sandwich or Madeira, or flamboyant and exotic affairs such Black Forest gateau or Sachertorte. As we have mentioned before, whilst the success of your baking endeavours is partly down to baking skills and good ingredients, it also helps to have the right baking equipment for your project. In today’s post, we take a look at a few of our baking pans and offer a recipe for a delicious alternative to a Madeira cake.

Our range of baking pans

We stock a huge range of baking pans to suit all types of baking projects, from individual cake tins to loose base cake pans and spring form tins. Loose base and spring form tins make life easy when it comes to getting the cake out of the pan, as the base and the sides come apart after baking to allow the cake to be lifted from the tin. Whilst most people tend to choose a round cake tin for larger cakes, we also stock square sandwich pans and shaped tins for something a little more unusual.

An idea for those baking pans 

pound cake

This recipe is for a traditional French cake called Quatre Quart, which is a little like a Madeira cake. It is quick and easy to make and is a great cake to rustle up if you know that friends or family are going to drop in for coffee.

Ingredients

200g salted butter
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

– Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Grease a 10” cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
– Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
– Separate the eggs, then beat the yolks and whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks.
– Add the egg yolks and flour little by little into the butter and sugar mixture until all are combined well.
– Fold in the egg whites and mix gently.
– Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the cake is golden and no raw mixture remains on a skewer when pushed into the cake.
– Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire tray.

We hope this recipe and a peek at some of our baking equipment has inspired you to bake a cake this weekend. If you do make a Quatre Quart cake, be sure to let us know on Facebook or Twitter how it turns out!

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Plastic jars for the play room

Plastic jars for the play room 

Building Blocks and Jar on White Background

If you have children, you are no doubt familiar with the piles of toys, teddies and favourite playthings that seem to multiply before your very eyes and creep out again minutes after you have tidied them away for the nineteenth time in an afternoon. Larger toys are not quite such a problem, but tiny items such as Lego bricks, toy cars, jigsaw pieces and farm animals seem to have a knack of getting everywhere, and getting lost all too often. If only there was a way to get everything organised in an easy-to-use system that was fun and safe for children!

Plastic jars to the rescue

If the picture described above sounds familiar and you are desperate to find a way to keep all those pesky toys together, look no further than our range of plastic jars with lids. Safe and durable, these jars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can hold quite an amount of play room items. With brightly-coloured lids and clear plastic bodies, these jars are the ideal solution for storing all those jigsaw pieces, crayons, Nerf gun cartridges, toy cars, loom bands, or whatever toys your children are currently taken with.

The great thing about using plastic storage jars in the play room is that they won’t break if they get knocked over or dropped, and they are perfectly safe. Even in the toughest conditions of the rowdiest play room, these jars will survive!

Another fabulous thing about using plastic jars with lids in this way is that they are so easy to clean. We all know that no matter how hard you try, children will find mess and mayhem in every corner. If your toy storage jars ever look a little grubby, it is a breeze to give them a quick wipe over or rinse out and return them to looking as good as new.

Plastic jars in all shapes and sizes

Our plastic jars with lids come in a wide range of sizes, starting at the small end with a 200ml plastic jar and going right up to a whopping 4,430ml slimline jar. The chubby 500ml plastic PET jar would be great for storing crayons or colouring pencils, for example, whilst the largest jar would look awesome filled with toy cars or Lego.

There are so many other sizes available that you are bound to find exactly the right jar for any toy storage job you have. Check out the range today and organise your play room once and for all!

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Our new range of embossed jam jars

Our new range of embossed jam jars NEW EMBOSSED JARS

Next time you are shopping in your local supermarket, take a closer look at the jam shelves. At first glance, you might be tempted to think that all the jars look more or less the same, with just the flavours and the labels differing; however, look closer and you will see that certain makes of jam have much nicer designs of jars than the more basic lines. These premium brands usually use jars that are more stylishly shaped or even embossed to help them stand out from the crowd.

Next time you are making your own homemade jam, jellies and pickles, why not learn from the big jam manufacturers and present your preserves in a gorgeously stylish premium jar? As luck would have it, we have just introduced a lovely range of embossed jam jars perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to your home preserves. We are thrilled to say that these jars are 100 per cent exclusive to Wares of Knutsford and we are sure they are going to become instant bestsellers!

Jam jars – embossed fruit

These gorgeous jam jars feature a delicate embossed fruit design around the neck of the jar, making them look elegant and eye-catching. They are available in three different sizes – 50ml, 106ml and 212ml – and customers can choose black, gold or silver lids. The 53mm lids are heat sealable and vinegar-proof, as are all our jam jar lids. These super jars are available in pack sizes of 6, 12, 24, 36, 100, 200 and 300. Whether you are a small-scale home preserves enthusiast or an artisan producer looking to source larger quantities of jars, we have a pack size to suit your needs.

Jam jars – embossed designs make them special

Using these stylish embossed jam jars makes your jams and pickles look so professional that it will be a delight to give them as gifts to friends and family. Everyone loves to receive a jar or two of tasty homemade jam, of course, but it becomes a rather special gift that shows just how much care and attention you have put into creating it when presented beautifully in a pretty jar and with a carefully-chosen label and ribbon.

These embossed fruit design jars would also make perfect wedding favour jars, especially the two smaller sizes. For anyone planning a rustic or vintage-inspired wedding theme, these jars will fit right in and will look amazing filled with vintage sweets or bonbons.

Check out these super-pretty jars today, and remember that they are exclusive to Wares of Knutsford.

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Miniature bottles for wedding favours

Miniature bottles for wedding favours 

wedding gift for guest

Spring is here, which can only mean one thing – it is well and truly wedding season. From romantic country weddings in stunning outdoor locations to chic urban weddings in smart, city-centre hotels, brides and grooms up and down the country are preparing to tie the knot in the coming months. Whether you are just a few weeks away from your wedding but have not yet sorted out your wedding favours or you are still at the planning stages, today’s post will be of interest as we are taking a look at our range of mini bottles, including miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles and shaped bottles with corks. These all make excellent choices for wedding favours, so let’s explore some inspired ideas for using them.

Miniature bottles filled with homemade drinks

With vintage-inspired weddings still very much on trend, making your own wines or alcoholic infusions to give as wedding favours is a great idea. The miniature flask bottles work really well as favours, with their flat fronts perfect for your hand-designed labels with details of the happy couple and the date of the wedding. Filled with elderflower cordial or rhubarb gin, these bottles will look delightful and taste divine.

If homemade wine is more your style, we have the perfect miniature bottle for you. Shaped in the style of a full-sized wine bottle, this clear glass mini version has a screw cap and a 50ml capacity. Whether you choose plum wine or elderberry wine or go for something a little more unusual, such as potato wine or banana wine, choosing the right bottle will go a long way towards making sure your favours look every bit as stylish and professional as commercially-available alternatives.

Labelling your miniature bottles Mini Flask 2

Having spent time and effort on making the wine or infusion for your wedding favours, it is important to get the finishing touches just right so that the bottles look truly stunning once placed on the wedding tables. We have a range of miniature labels that are perfectly suited for our miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles, and all the other mini bottles in our range. Practise on a few spare labels first to ensure you have the styling and spacing right before writing out your labels for real.

We hope this post has given some inspiration to those of you who are planning your wedding in the coming months. Whether you opt for homemade wine or a delicious infused spirit, be sure to check out our range of bottles in which to present these favours.

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Jam jar bulk packs

Jam jar bulk packs 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

Whether it is down to the surge in interest in home cooking generally or a hankering for a simpler way of life and a return to traditional crafts and activities, more and more people are giving home preserving a try. Whilst some people rustle up a motley assortment of used jam jars for their first attempts, it becomes clear once the home preserving bug bites that you need a reliable supply of brand new jars and lids to make the most of your jams, pickles and preserves. In today’s post, we take a look at our range of bulk packs and explain why buying your jars in larger quantities is such a great idea.

Why buying jam jar bulk packs is a smart move

Whilst it is perfectly possible to adjust recipe quantities to make very small amounts of a particular jam or chutney, it often makes much more sense to stick to the quantities suggested. If you have a productive vegetable garden, or plenty of fruit trees and bushes, you are likely to experience gluts of one crop or another from time to time. Using all this produce in a big batch avoids waste and sets you up for months afterwards.

By making plenty of everything, you will always have lots of jars of something tasty to hand should you need to give something as a gift. If you plan ahead and make large batches of different types of pickles and preserves, by Christmas you could have all your presents sorted and be able to give unique and thoughtful handmade gifts to all your friends and family. It goes without saying that if you intend to give your preserves as gifts, they need to be presented professionally. A bulk pack of jam jars or a mini jars bulk pack is the perfect way to achieve this.

Our range of jam jar bulk packs

We have been offering an extensive range of our most popular jars in bargain packs for quite some time; in addition, we have recently added some new bulk packs with the option to buy in packs of 100, 200 or 300 jars. Some of the new packs are for miniature jars, which are useful for making individual portions for the breakfast table or taster jars to sell or give as gifts. As with the larger jars, bulk-buying these mini jars makes a lot of sense. From standard shapes to hexagonal jars and cute jars with an embossed fruit design, our mini jars bulk packs are certain to become bestsellers.

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Flowers in milk bottles

Flowers in milk bottles 

Colorful set of isolated mason jars and bottle with flowers. Wedding, birthday, shower party design decoration elements

The vintage look has been on trend a while and shows no sign of falling out of favour any time soon. From fashion to interiors and home baking to preserves, we can’t get enough of all things vintage. Perhaps we are hankering after a simpler way of life, without the pressures of mobile phones, busy lives and consumerism, or perhaps we just like the feelings of nostalgia that vintage-inspired things bring out in us. No matter why you love vintage, we are sure that today’s post will appeal, as we are taking a look at our range of milk bottles and suggesting how you can use them as simple but effective vases for flowers.

Glass milk bottles as vases

It might be nice to have a beautiful, decorative vase for times when you are given a huge bouquet; however, sometimes simple is best. Milk bottles make excellent vases for a few small flowers at a time and are particularly good for cut flowers from the garden, where the simplicity of the bottle lets the beauty of the flowers shine through. In spring, hyacinths and ranunculi look stunning in a simple glass bottle. With a little effort, it is easy to grow, or find, flowers and foliage to use in this way for most of the year.

Our milk bottles range in size from a dinky 60ml mini bottle right up to 950ml, with plenty of choice in between. These can all work brilliantly as vases for flowers, but the 330ml and 500ml sizes are two of the best choices. Try the 500ml bottle with two or three vibrantly-coloured gerbera stems for a truly eye-catching display. If your children pick a posy of daisies and buttercups for you, pop them into a mini milk bottle and give them pride of place on the kitchen table or on a windowsill. Your children will be delighted that you appreciate their efforts, while you will be charmed by their gift.

Grouping glass milk bottles together

If you are planning a party, or even a wedding reception, and want to go for the vintage look with your table flower displays, try grouping several milk bottles of different sizes together on each table and artfully arranging flowers across the group. Place taller bottles at the back and fill with taller flowers, with smaller bottles at the front filled with more delicate blooms. For weddings, try lavender or soft pink roses with plenty of wispy gypsophila and a sprig or two of eucalyptus leaf for a truly romantic effect.

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Recipe for a Kilner jar

Recipe for a Kilner jar 

Baking concept. Fresh ingredients for almond cookies, Italian cantuccini biscuits or pastry preparation

Whilst the most obvious use for Kilner jars is home preserving, there are many other creative ways in which these jars can be utilised. In today’s post, we take a look at how you can use our jars to cleverly present a cake.

Cooking with Kilner jars 

Using the Kilner screw top jars, it is possible to create unique and visually appealing individual cakes, baked in the oven just like any other cake. Here is a recipe for a decadent velvet cake:

Cake mixture 

Chocolate peppermint cupcakes in a jar sitting on a white plate on red and white striped background

250g margarine
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
4 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
red food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water

Icing

60g butter
60g caster sugar
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp milk

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Use an oil spray to grease the insides of three 500ml Kilner jars.
2. Whisk the margarine and sugar together until the mixture is creamy, then gently beat in the eggs.
3. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Once everything is mixed, split the mixture in half, putting one half in a separate bowl.
4. In one bowl, add the food colouring and mix well; in the other, add the cocoa powder and hot water and mix thoroughly.
5. Use a spoon to place a 1cm layer of the red mixture in each jar. Bake for 20 minutes without using the jar lids.
6. Remove the jars from the oven, then add a 2cm layer of the cocoa mixture and bake for a further 15 minutes.
7. Again, remove the jars from the oven. Add another layer of the red mixture and bake for another 15 minutes.
8. Remove the jars from the oven and leave them to cool.
9. To make the icing, whisk the butter and caster sugar together until smooth. Gradually add in the water and milk and beat until the mixture is creamy.
10. When the cakes have cooled, spoon the icing into the top of each Kilner jar. Put the lids on the jars and eat the cakes within two days.

Kilner jars and similar alternatives

The Kilner jar range here at Wares is extensive and covers both screw top and clip top styles. We also carry a variety of similar jars from other manufacturers, which work in the same way but offer cost savings for those looking for a budget-friendly alternative. In a future post, we will look at a cake recipe for a clip top Kilner jar for further baking delights.

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Exploring our range of sauce bottles

Exploring our range of sauce bottles 

tomato sauce in glass jar

We all know that tomatoes are the main ingredient in ketchup, but how many of us know that this was not always the case? In today’s post, we take a quick look at the history of ketchup before offering a tasty recipe for homemade ketchup and showcasing a few items from our range of glass sauce bottles.

What is inside those sauce bottles?

Whilst we might think that tomato ketchup is a fairly modern creation, the origins of ketchup date back to the 1600s, when the Chinese made a sauce using pickled fish and spices. By the 1800s, this sauce had travelled to modern-day Malaysia, where western colonists tried it, liked it, and brought it back to England. English cooks originally added mushrooms to the recipe; however, it was gradually adapted and tomato ketchup became the norm.

Fill some sauce bottles with this tasty recipe 

tomato sauce with raw ingredients

Whilst most people love a good dollop of the world’s most famous tomato ketchup, not many have thought of making their own, even though it can taste so much nicer than the brand name version. Try this recipe to see whether you become a convert:

Ingredients 

3.5kg very ripe tomatoes (these do not have to be top quality)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
125g salt
1kg sugar
700ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp cloves
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Method

– Put all the ingredients into a large pan and simmer on a low heat for about three hours, stirring regularly so that the mixture does not stick or burn.
– Once the mixture has cooled a little, use a food processor to blend it and then pass it through a sieve.
– Pour the mixture into warm, sterilised glass sauce bottles and screw on the lid.
– Store in a warm dark place. Once opened, keep the ketchup in the fridge and use within one month of opening.

Choosing your bottles

Our range of glass sauce bottles covers an assortment of shapes and sizes. Our favourite is the 250ml hexagonal bottle, which somehow just seems to have the look of a classic ketchup bottle. If this is a little too vintage for your taste, the 250ml round sauce bottle has an altogether more contemporary look and would work brilliantly for ketchup or any other homemade sauce, such as barbecue sauce, sweet chilli sauce or salad cream.

Finally, if you really want to work the vintage look, we stock squeezy ketchup dispensers in the shape of a tomato – just like they used to have in cafes and restaurants in the 60s and 70s!

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Kilner bottles explained

Kilner bottles explained kilner bottles 2

When it comes to swing top bottles, Kilner is the undisputed king of manufacturers and the name that everyone associates with this type of bottle. Many of us have fond memories of childhood trips to the seaside and picnics, where we enjoyed bottles of our grandmother’s homemade lemonade or elderflower cordial, drunk through a straw from these iconic bottles. Whilst it is fair to say that Kilner’s swing top bottles have probably been around for longer than any other manufacturer, there is quite a range of other swing top bottles available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this post, we look at both the Kilner range and the other swing top bottles on offer at Wares of Knutsford.

Our range of Kilner bottles

First up in Kilner’s range of swing top bottles is the classic 250ml square clip top bottle. The swing top locking mechanism ensures an airtight seal to keep the bottle’s contents safe and perfectly preserved. The plastic cap and rubber seal are easily washable, meaning that these jars can be used over and over again. These bottles are available in the standard clear glass and super cute pastel shades of blue, pink and green. The pastel shades are perfect for summer garden parties; in addition, we stock drinks dispensers in the same colours.

We also offer a dinky 70ml clip top jar that is ideal for storing homemade chilli sauce or barbecue relish, for example.

Alternatives to Kilner bottles 

Currants, swing top bottles and steam juicer for homemade currants syrup

If you like the style of these clip top bottles but you are not wedded to the Kilner brand, we have a huge range of alternatives to tempt you. Sizes for the regularly-shaped bottles range from a standard 250ml bottle right up to a whopping one-litre bottle. There is also quite a variety of bottle shapes in this range, from simple and traditional to more unusual designs such as the faceted Costolata bottles or the elegant shape of the Capri or Sorrento bottles. Whatever bottling project you have in mind, we are sure we have the perfect bottle for your project.

Other popular choices in our clip top bottle range are two traditional style bottles from Kitchen Craft, which both feature a vintage-inspired design on the front. The 500ml bottle displays a ‘Freshly Squeezed’ graphic, whilst the one-litre bottle features a ‘Fresh from the Farm’ design.

Whether you are planning on making your own elderflower cordial this season or fancy having a go at your grandmother’s recipe for good old-fashioned lemonade, these bottles are the perfect choice to provide the ultimate finishing touch to a classic creation.

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Small glass jars

Small glass jars 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

They say that good things come in small packages and we are happy to report that this is as true for jam jars as it is for anything else in life. We have a great range of small jars here at Wares, with sizes starting at just 30ml. In today’s blog post, we wander through our range of small glass jars and offer some suggestions on how to use them creatively to show off your homemade jams, pickles and preserves.

Our range of small glass jars

Our small jars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit all requirements. The traditional jam jar shape is available in various sizes, including 41ml, 50ml and 105ml; meanwhile, our deluxe jam jars are available in 110ml and offer the same classic shape and chunky glass as their larger cousins. Hexagonal jars are always popular, especially with those making honey or chutney, and we have several small sizes of hexagonal jars with either screw top lids or clip top lids. In addition to our standard hexagonal jars, we have Kilner clip top jars in the miniature range.

For those looking for something a little more decorative, our small globe jars are ideal. Again, these are available with clip top or screw top lids so that you can choose the style you prefer for your project. These globe jars make the most adorable wedding favours when filled with sweets or homemade fudge.

Using small glass jars for gifts 

Three small jars of marmalade or jam on wooden table. Toned image

If you like making a wide range of jams or chutneys and experimenting with lots of different recipes, smaller jars can be a great idea. Instead of making a giant batch of just one flavour of jam or chutney, you can make several smaller batches, each using different ingredients. Once you have made a variety of preserves, you can put together sets of three different flavours to give away as gifts; for example, a set of jams such as strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb would make a lovely combination. For something a little more unusual, you could put together a hedgerow gift pack comprising rosehip and crab apple jelly, nettle jam and hedgerow jam. On the savoury side, a set comprising plum chutney, piccalilli and red onion marmalade would make a delightful homemade gift that is sure to be appreciated by the recipient.

To set your mini creations off beautifully, we also stock a range of miniature labels that fit these smaller jars perfectly. Check out our mini label range to find the perfect labels for your smaller jars.

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