Category Archives: Glass Jars

IDEAS FOR LUNCH ON THE GO IN GLASS JARS

Ideas for lunch on the go in glass jars

 If you go out to work every day, the chances are that over time you’ve tried just about every sandwich shop and takeaway outlet within a one mile radius of your office or workplace. That means you’ve probably tried all manner of sandwiches, wraps, paninis and other lunchtime treats, as you try desperately hard not to get bored of the same old thing every day. If you’re fed up of dull old sandwiches from your local haunt and you’ve had enough of paying a small fortune each week for your lunch, it’s time to look again at taking a packed lunch.

 Packed lunches these days don’t have to involve a Tupperware box with a limp ham sandwich and an apple, as things have got a whole lot more creative recently. In today’s blog post, we take a look at some fresh and mouthwatering ideas for lunch on the go.

 Salads in Glass Jars

food

Salad in a glass jam jar

 Using screw top jars to store fresh salads for your lunch is a brilliant idea. Each day, you can mix things up a little and take a new and exciting lunch to work, using whatever ingredients you have to hand. With your screw top jars at the ready, lunch need never be boring again, and you can even choose a healthier option by avoiding bread and processed meats.

 The key to creating a delicious salad in a jar is to think in terms of layers. Throw all of your ingredients in willy-nilly and you will undoubtedly end up with a soggy and unappetising mess. Layer the ingredients carefully, though, and your salad will still be perfectly fresh and crunchy when it’s time to eat it.

 The first layer to add should be your dressing of choice. Then add crunchy vegetables like onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery and carrots. After this layer, add ingredients that you’d like not to get soaked in dressing, but that won’t go mushy if they do get a little dressing on them. These ingredients might include mushrooms, courgettes, sweetcorn, kidney beans and lentils. Next up are the more delicate ingredients, such as boiled egg or feta cheese, followed by something like rice, couscous or pasta. The very last layer should be any leaf vegetables such as lettuce or spinach, microgreens or alfalfa.

 Choosing Suitable Glass Jars

 Screw top jars are perfect for this kind of salad in a jar lunch, as they will keep everything safe and sound inside the jar, with no leaks or spills. Check out our range of Kilner jars and Mason jars, to find the perfect size for your packed lunch.

 

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Ideas for Yoghurt Pots

Healthy breakfast with Fresh greek yogurt, muesli and berries

Healthy breakfast with Fresh greek yogurt, muesli and berries

Using yoghurt pots in the home.

 Do you find yourself at the yoghurt counter in the supermarket, wincing at the cost of all the yoghurts you buy and fretting about all that single-use plastic that your family’s yoghurt habit demands? If so, it might be worth considering an alternative – making your very own homemade yoghurts. It’s simple and fuss-free, and you can experiment with whatever flavours you like, all at very low cost and without all of that throwaway plastic. In today’s blog post, we guide you through the process of making yoghurt at home, and show you how clip top jars are ideal for storing your homemade creations.

 Making Yoghurt in Kilner Jars

 Before you get started on your yoghurt making, it’s important to ensure you have the right jars for the project. Clip top jars are perfect, as they’re easy to sterilise and they fit neatly in the fridge. You can choose to put your yoghurt in a larger jar, or pour it into smaller, portion sized jars, if you prefer.

 Let’s Fill Those Kilner Jars!

 Making yoghurt couldn’t be simpler. Here’s our foolproof recipe:

 Ingredients

 1.2 litres whole milk

3 tablespoons live yoghurt

 Method

 Successful yoghurt making relies on perfectly sterilised equipment, so make sure you take time to sterilise your pan, thermometer, bowls, spoon and your clip top jars. You’ll also need a container to act as an incubator for your yoghurt, such as a thermos flask, a slow cooker, or a lidded pan placed on a hot water bottle. Make sure your incubator is also sterilised.

 Fill a large bowl with ice, and set aside.

Pour the milk into a large saucepan, and heat the milk until it reaches 80°C (180F), but don’t let it boil. Stir gently during this time, to prevent a skin forming.

 Remove from the heat and place the pan in the ice bath you prepared, stirring from time to time. Let the milk cool down to 45°C (110F). Take a cup of warm milk from the pan and place in a small bowl, then add the live yoghurt to it, stirring it gently to mix it well. Once mixed, add this mixture back to the pan of milk, and stir to combine fully.

 Pour the mixture into your incubator container. If you’re using a slow cooker, heat it beforehand, but then turn it off when you pour in the mixture. Leave it for at least 5 hours to incubate, and then decant into your clip top jars and store in the fridge. Add fruits, nuts, honey or jam to flavour the yoghurt when serving.

 

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Strainers for jam

Strainers for jam

Strawberry jam cooking encore of sugar.

When it comes to jams and jellies, we all have our own personal favourites, both in terms of flavour and consistency. Some like a traditional strawberry jam with big chunks of fruit, while others prefer a raspberry jam full of seeds or a blackcurrant jam that is perfectly smooth and almost translucent. No matter what fruit you use to make your jam or jelly, it is possible to get a different texture simply by straining the fruit. In today’s post, we take a look at the pros and cons of straining and at the various ways in which you can strain your fruit mixture.

Using a strainer for jam making

Most people decide to strain a jam because they want it to be totally smooth and free of bits of fruit. Whether a super smooth jam is technically a jelly is a question for the purists among us, but there is no denying that this type of preserve makes a very nice change sometimes. Certain fruits, such as blackcurrants and redcurrants, suit this approach much better, while some people prefer to strain fruits that are full of seeds, such as raspberries, so that there are no ‘pips’ in the finished product.

Over in our online store, we have several different options for straining jam. The good, old-fashioned way, as practised by our mothers and grandmothers, is either muslin or cheesecloth. These are both 100 per cent cotton and serve exactly the same purpose when it comes to straining jam.

The tricky part of straining jam is suspending the straining cloth over a bowl or pan for long enough to allow all the juices to flow through. Luckily, there is no need to stand around holding the cloth yourself or to rig up some kind of precarious contraption to try to hang the cloth over the bowl, as we offer three different types of straining kit to make life simple. The first is a straining bag, which has straps that are attached to a hook at the top. This makes it easy to hook the bag up, perhaps on a wall cupboard door handle, to allow the contents of the bag to drip through into a bowl below. The other two kits both work on a different principle – a frame that clips onto the bowl or saucepan and holds the straining bag in place.

Other jam making equipment

In addition to straining equipment, we offer a number of other jam making extras, such as jar lifting tongs, thermometers, funnels and jam spoons.

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Mason jar solar lights

Mason jar solar lights  

A Rustic Mason Jar Chandelier in an old barn.

When we think of Mason jars, we tend to imagine them filled with all manner of tasty delights from scrumptious strawberry jam to preserved lemons and pickled gherkins. These iconic jars are ideal for so much more than home preserving, however, and there are so many fabulous and creative ideas for how to use them for craft and home decor projects. Today, we are going to look at one such Mason jar project: how to make solar lights for the garden or porch using these jars.

Solar lights for Mason jars

In past blog posts, we have talked about making Mason jar lights using tealights placed inside the jars. These look fantastic and are great for an occasional outdoor party or evening spent on the patio; however, if you want your lights to work every evening, it makes sense to use solar lights instead.

If you do not already have a Mason jar or two to use for this project, check out our online store – we have a huge range in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whilst we can’t find a way to make your own mini solar panel to go on the lid of the jars, Mason jar solar lids are readily available on the internet from places such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Just make sure you buy the right size solar lids for the jars you intend to use.

These solar lid packs tend to come with a string of LED fairy lights attached. You simply place the string of lights inside the Mason jar and clip the solar panel piece into place before screwing on the original Mason jar outer band. Put the Mason jar in position, ensuring that it gets plenty of sunlight, and wait for nightfall. At dusk, your jar will turn into a pretty light display. Positioned along a wall or suspended from low branches in a tree, these jars will look magical.

Decorating your Mason jars

The LED light strings that are attached to the solar lid pieces for these jars are super-pretty as they are, but you can go one step further by decorating the jar itself. One cool idea is to tape stencil shapes to the sides of the jar and spray frosting paint all over the jar before removing the stencils to leave clear silhouettes to let the light shine through. If stencils sound too difficult, just place paper tape around the jar and spray to give a fun, stripy finish.

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Pickling strawberries in jam jars

Pickling strawberries in jam jars 

Preserve. Jar with strawberry jam, pickled tomatoes and capers on wooden background

Strawberries are something of an institution in the UK. As a nation that enjoys a brief and rather unpredictable summer, strawberries epitomise our hopes for the season and our joy when the sun comes out to play. Sadly, the British strawberry season is all too brief and we often find ourselves with a huge glut of strawberries in a short time, followed by months of wanting to eat strawberries or use them in cooking but trying to avoid buying imported fruit out of season. As ever, home preserving is the answer. Once you have made a sensible batch of jam, it is time to think about other ways to use up your strawberry crop. In today’s post, we take a look at how to pickle strawberries to make the most of this great summer classic.

Jam jars to the rescue

The first thing you need to do before getting on with the pickling is to select your jars. Most jars for jam making will be suitable, provided they are sterilised and have airtight lids. For a charming vintage look, why not opt for some of our clip top jars or our Mason screw top jars? These jars for jam will look just as good filled with pickled strawberries or other fruit.

Filling your jam jars

Preserving strawberries by pickling could not be easier. Here is a simple recipe:

Ingredients

1kg ripe strawberries
500ml white balsamic vinegar
350ml water
110g sugar
4 tbsp salt

Method

Wash and hull the strawberries, then chop them. Pack them into sterilised jars, leaving a little space at the top of each jar. Add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a pan and bring to the boil. When the sugar and salt have fully dissolved, pour the liquid over the strawberries. Allow to cool and seal the jars carefully.

How to use pickled strawberries

Once you have pickled your strawberries, there are all sorts of creative ways you can use them. If you have never thought of using strawberries in a salad before, try them tossed over a mixed green leaf salad with a little of the pickle syrup used as a dressing. You can also drop them in a glass of Pimm’s or a homemade cocktail or mocktail, or add them to ice cream for a fabulous dessert. Alternatively, try them as a sweet and sour relish to accompany cheese and biscuits, a ploughman’s lunch, or fish such as mackerel or sardines. Don’t forget that you can also use the preserve syrup once all the strawberries have been eaten.

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The history of jam making

The history of jam making 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

Around the world, people have loved jam for a very long time indeed. From the fabulous British traditions of scones with jam and cream to the American peanut butter and ‘jelly’, as they call it, and the exotic coconut jams of south-east Asia, we simply can’t get enough of this sweet treat. In today’s post, we look back at some early jams and their uses to see just how far home preserving has come.

The origins of jam making

Back in Roman times, making jam largely involved preserving fruits in honey rather than sugar. These preserved fruits were often served at the end of a meal as something of a delicacy. It was not until the Crusades, during the 11th century, that sugar was brought back to western Europe; from this point, making jam became much more like the activity we know and love today. It also became much more popular. It is said that Joan of Arc ate quince jam to give her courage before heading off into battle. During the great era of seafaring exploration and trade, sailors would take huge supplies of jam with them on voyages, as they had made the link between vitamin C deficiency and scurvy.

Using jam to prevent scurvy was not the only instance of the sticky stuff being viewed as a kind of medicine in earlier times. Mary, Queen of Scots, for example, ate jam as a cure for seasickness and a variety of assorted ailments.

It is hard to believe that Marie Curie had much spare time during her pioneering research into radioactivity; however, it is said that she was an avid jam maker when she did take time out.

The Women’s Institute, of course, has a long tradition of making jam; in fact, the WI was even awarded a government grant of £1,400 to purchase sugar for making jam to help with food shortages during the second world war. Literally thousands of tonnes of fruit were used to make jam, which could then be used over a longer period than if the fruit was not preserved.

Jam making in the 21st century

Towards the end of the 20th century, home preserving had, to some extent, waned a little in popularity, with people won over by the choice and ease offered by supermarket shopping. This has changed in recent years and jam making is now more popular than ever, with cooks and foodies once again discovering the simple pleasures of creating their own jams and preserves.

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Recipe for strawberry balsamic and black pepper jam

Recipe for strawberry balsamic and black pepper jam 

Fresh juicy strawberries on vintage enamelware on rustic background

Wimbledon is in full swing and the sun is shining, which can only mean one thing: it is strawberry season. If you have a strawberry patch at home or you love going to the pick-your-own farm to gather a huge basket or two of fresh, juicy strawberries, you will no doubt be wondering what to do with them all. A bowl of fresh strawberries and ice cream is all very delicious, but sometimes you need a few extra ideas for how to use them, especially if you have a glut. Strawberry jam is a perennial favourite, but it is sometimes fun to freshen up the traditional recipe and try something a little different. Read on to find out how balsamic vinegar and pepper can add a great twist to your next batch of jam.

Strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar and black pepper 

You might think that this recipe sounds a little peculiar, but you really do have to try it to discover just how good it is. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

400g fresh strawberries
300g sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp crushed black pepper

Method

Remove the green tops from the strawberries and chop roughly. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, skimming any jam scum from the top. Test the jam for setting point using a jam thermometer or the chilled saucer method – it should be thick and slightly clear. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

This jam works just as brilliantly with savoury things as it does in sweet dishes. Try it with cheese and crackers, or spread on goat’s cheese on toast. Add it to natural yoghurt, ice cream or crème fraîche for a tasty dessert, or try it as a sauce to go with fresh fish, such as mackerel.

More strawberry jam with a twist

If this recipe has piqued your interest for jazzing up your strawberry jam making, take a look online for more quirky recipes. Try strawberry chilli jam for another variation with a spicy kick, or have a go at strawberry and basil jam, strawberry and mint jam, or even strawberry and almond jam. It is definitely worth looking around your plot to see what you have a glut of and then searching online to see whether there is a recipe available for the combination. Even if there is not a recipe already, there is no harm in experimenting and trying out some unusual combinations. If Heston Blumenthal can do it, so can you!

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Sterilising glass jars and lids

Sterilising glass jars and lids New EMBOSSED JARS 2

If you are a seasoned home preserves enthusiast, you will already be aware of the importance of properly sterilising all your glass jars and lids before filling the jars with your delicious jams, pickles and preserves. If you are a beginner to the world of preserving, you may wonder what all the fuss is about or you may be unfamiliar with how to properly sterilise your equipment. In today’s post, we explain why sterilising your jars and lids is so vital and offer some handy hints on how to do it with the minimum of fuss.

Why sterilising jars is so important

To the naked eye, a jam jar might look perfectly clean and the lid might appear spotless. This does not mean that it is sterile, however, as germs and bacteria could be lurking inside the jar or on the lid. If you use jars or lids that have not been sterilised properly, there is a good chance that your preserves will spoil or go off, leaving you with nothing to show for your efforts. There is nothing more disheartening than having to throw away jam or chutney because it has grown mouldy or turned rancid, so take this step seriously whenever you make some homemade preserves.

Top tips for sterilising jars

Sterilising glass jars and lids is simple and quick to do, so there is no excuse for skimping on it and just hoping that your jams or pickles don’t perish. Heat the oven to 140°C. Wash your jars in hot, soapy water, then rinse them thoroughly to remove any soapy residue. Stand each jar on a baking tray and place the tray in the middle of the oven until the jars are completely dry.

Sterilising jar lids cannot generally be done the same way, so you may prefer to use the water bath method for both jars and lids. Set the lids and any rubber seals – if using Kilner jars – to one side and place your jars in a large pan with enough water to cover the jars completely. Bring to the boil and keep at this heat for 10 minutes. In a separate pan of water, add the lids and rubber seals and heat to around 82° for 10 minutes. Higher temperatures could damage the lids or rubber seals, so be careful.

Sterilising jar lids is just as important as sterilising the jars themselves, so don’t be tempted to concentrate only on the jars. If you sterilise your jars but not your lids, your preserves will still be at risk of perishing.

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Packed lunches in Kilner jars

Packed lunches in Kilner jars 

Tomato pasta with sauce, thyme and sliced cherry tomatoes in glass mason jar, served over old dark wooden background. Lunch to go.

With summer more or less on the doorstep, there are plenty of tasty salad vegetables on offer in the greengrocers or even at home if you grow your own. If summer means you would like to eat healthily to lose a pound or two, and you would like to save money ready for the holiday season, taking a packed lunch to work could help with both these goals. Taking your own lunch to work does not mean it has to be a boring old cheese sandwich – with the help of a Kilner jar or two, your lunch can be just as appetising as the prepared salads that the café chains sell. Read on for some ideas on how to create your own lunch in a Kilner jar.

Salads in Kilner jars

Salads work brilliantly in these jars, as the airtight seal keeps them fresh and the glass jar means that you can see exactly what you have for lunch in all its crisp and colourful glory. Try layering different salad items for the best effect. Start with a delicious salad dressing in the bottom of the jar, then add items such as tomatoes, celery, red onion, carrots and cucumber. Next add a layer or sweetcorn or beans, and then rice or feta cheese. At the very top, add chopped lettuce, herbs and nuts. Seal the jar and you are good to go!

You can, of course, experiment with what you put in your Kilner jar. Some salad vegetables work better than others and some need to be kept away from the salad dressing if they are to stay fresh and tasty, so it pays to play around to see what works. Noodles, chickpeas, couscous and quinoa are all fabulous healthy additions to any lunch in a jar experiment.

Desserts in Kilner jars 

Autumn overnight oats with apples and cranberries in a mason jar on vintage metal background

With all this healthy eating going on, you might want to treat yourself to a dessert in a jar once in a while. You can stick with the healthy vibe by creating a fruit salad in a jar, layering fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and kiwi fruit, and adding a little orange juice to keep everything fresh. If you fancy an extra treat, substitute a layer of fruit for a little crème fraîche or natural yoghurt. Avoid apples, as these are likely to turn an unappetising shade of brown whilst in the jar.

If you have a favourite lunch in a jar recipe, be sure to tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter.

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Salad recipes in glass jars

Salad recipes in glass jars 

healthy vegetable salad in mason jar

With summer holidays and days on the beach just around the corner, many of us are thinking about how to lose a pound or two to fit into last year’s swimsuit and shorts. After a long cold winter of eating hearty stews and puddings, now is the time when we look for something lighter. One way of losing some weight without really trying is to ditch the lunchtime sandwiches in favour of a healthy and nutritious salad. With so many salad vegetables coming into season right now, we are spoilt for choice. In today’s blog post, we take a look at how to use Mason Ball jars to hold fresh and appetising salads.

Making salads in glass jars

If you have ever tried to take a salad to work in a plastic storage container, you have probably had one of two unsatisfactory experiences. Either your salad dressing and oil has leaked all over your bag on the way to work, or you have opened the lid to find a wet, oily mess that looks distinctly unappetising.

One way of overcoming these issues is to use Mason Ball jars to hold your daily salad. These jars have strong, reliable screw top lids, so there is no chance of anything leaking out. By stacking your salad in this kind of jar, you can put the oil and dressing at the bottom, along with your chosen ingredients that work well in oil, and keep the ingredients that go soggy in oil at the top of the jar. Provided you stick to the principle that the dressing goes at the bottom, followed by crisp, crunchy ingredients or grains, with delicate items such as salad leaves at the top, your salad in a jar will work perfectly.

What are the options for a salads in glass jars?

The world is your oyster when it comes to what to put in your Mason Ball jars. Try starting with a light low-fat dressing, then adding sliced apple, radish and celery. Layer in some quinoa or chopped walnuts before filling up the jar with baby salad leaves.

Courgettes are starting to come into season right now and make an excellent choice for a salad in a jar. Again, start with the dressing of your choice, then add the courgette. If you have a spiraliser, use this to make courgette noodles, as these will work brilliantly in a jar. Add quinoa and spring onions before topping up the jar with cubes of feta cheese.

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Create a desk organiser with glass jars

Create a desk organiser with glass jars 

drawing pencils in glass jar on pastel background

If you like all things homemade when it comes to cooking and preserves, there is a good chance that you also enjoy crafts and making things for the home. Once you have the bug for making things, whether baking cakes or creating your own homemade cosmetics, you start seeing the world in terms of ‘I wonder if I could make one of those?’ Making your own has so many benefits – it’s fun and satisfying, it costs less than buying something new, and it’s good for the planet. In today’s post, we show you how to put some old jars to good use by making a stylish desk organiser.

Using glass jars to get organised

It is so easy to find our desk or workspace getting untidy, with pens and pencils everywhere and all sorts of other bits and bobs lying cluttered around; however, a few glass jars could make all the difference. You could simply use them as pen pots exactly as they are, or you could jazz them up using chalk paint. If you used blackboard paint instead, you could then write a cute word or phrase on each jar with a chalkboard marker pen to create a truly unique organiser. If you do not want to use chalkboard paint over the whole jar, you could always opt for a subtler look by using our chalkboard labels. These come in a pack of 12 labels, with different shaped labels and two chalk pens. Both approaches are so easy and will give you a really stylish way to store all that desk clutter.

Using a group of glass jars

One effective way to create this type of organiser is to use a group of jars of different sizes. Try a 1lb jam jar for pens and pencils, a half-gallon jar for scissors and rulers, and a terrine jar for paper clips, drawing pins and other smaller items. As with flower arranging, placing a set of jars together to form an organiser creates a much stronger overall effect.

If desk space is limited, why not take the jar organiser off the desk altogether? Take a piece of wood about 24 inches long and four inches wide and fix equally-spaced large jubilee clips along the wood, leaving three inches clear at either end. Drill a hole at either end of the wood and fix to the wall. Place the neck of a jar in each jubilee clip and tighten the clip until it is holding the jar securely. Hey presto, you have a hanging jar organiser!

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Honey jars in the kitchen

Honey jars in the kitchen

A jar of pure amber colored local honey glistens in the sun, inside the jar is also a piece of the honeycomb it came from.

If you have ever tasted raw or artisan-processed honey, you will know why Pooh Bear was so very fond of the stuff. Whilst commercially-produced honey is often a blended product that combines honey from a variety of sources to produce a mass-market item, artisan honey is in a different league altogether. In today’s post, we look at some uses for honey in the kitchen and at some of our jars that are suitable for honey.

Our range of honey jars

Whether you are fortunate enough to produce your own honey from beehives in your garden or allotment or simply like to buy the best honey you can find, decanting it into some high-quality jars will set it off nicely and make it look even more appealing on the breakfast table.

Our hexagonal jars work brilliantly for honey, with the hexagon shape mimicking the honeycomb in a beehive. We have hexagonal glass honey jars in a range of sizes, from 283ml jars down to individual portion jars of 45ml.

If the hexagonal glass honey jars are not quite what you are looking for, check out our 368ml honeycombed jar. This premium glass jar features a dimpled honeycomb design around the bottom and the neck of the jar, which gives it a quirky, fun feel.

Putting those honey jars to use

A lot of cooks use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar in desserts and baking, but there are so many other dishes you can use honey in. It can be used as the base for a rich and sticky marinade for all kinds of meat dishes, or as a delicious glaze. Try chicken kebabs in a honey and soy sauce marinade, or honey and garlic pork chops. Honey glazed hams are a common feature at Christmas and it is so easy to prepare your own, with results that will make your mouth water! If you do make a honey glaze or marinade, be careful not to let the honey burn – either cover the dish with tin foil whilst it is in the oven or drain off most of the marinade before cooking, pouring it over the meat once the dish is half cooked.

Another great use for honey is to make your own mustard. We will no doubt cover some great mustard recipes in depth in a future post, as homemade mustard is such a worthwhile project. It tastes far better than supermarket mustard and you can experiment to get the exact strength you like.

If you have a favourite honey-based recipe, why not share it with us on Facebook or Twitter?

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The world of small glass jars

The world of small glass jars 

Onion pineapple chutney on rustic wood.

Jars and bottles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and there is always a perfect jar or bottle for any project. In today’s post, we take a look at some of our small jars and share some ideas for how to use these jars for home preserves and gifts. Whilst some people believe that big is best, we like to champion the notion that small is beautiful. Read on to discover how our small jars can help you to create something delightful.

Small glass jars for home preserves

If you have a big batch of strawberries, you will probably choose 1lb jam jars to put your jam in; however, if you are making something a little more unusual or delicate, smaller jars are just the ticket. Lemon curd, for instance, does not keep for long and is best made in containers such as our 125ml Bonta jars or our 110ml deluxe food jars. Redcurrant jelly, chilli jam and homemade mint sauce also work best when stored in smaller jars. As garden mint is in season, why not make a batch this weekend?

Small glass jars for gifts

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of buying uninspired gifts for friends and family, especially if we lead busy lives with little time to go shopping. Most of us will admit to having received this kind of gift at some point or another, and we would much rather have received a small token gift. Homemade gifts are the perfect answer, as you can make them when you have the time and they are just enough to show that you care and have put some thought and effort into the gift.

Small glass jars are perfect for creating homemade gifts. Try making a miniature sewing kit, for example, including needles, thread and buttons. The 106ml globe jam jar would be ideal for this and you could even make a tiny pincushion to stick on the lid of the jar.

Another great idea for gifts is to buy some old-fashioned sweets, or even make them yourself, and pop these into some miniature jars. A set of three jars, each containing a different type of sweet, would look great, especially if you top them off with a pretty lid, a ribbon and a gift tag.

If you have some great ideas for using our smaller jars, drop us a line or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you.

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Glass cosmetic jars for homemade face cream

Glass cosmetic jars for homemade face cream

fresh as spring flowers

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you have probably lost count of the various creams and moisturisers you have used over the years and the money you have spent on them. It can be incredibly hard for people with this skin type to find products that work and that don’t make things even worse – even high-end moisturisers and face creams from leading brands can be too harsh for many people and it becomes a long struggle to find something that lives up to its promises. If you recognise this problem, why not have a go at making your own face cream to be 100 per cent in control of what you put on your face?

Filling your own glass cosmetic jars

Making your own face creams is much easier than you might think and you only need a few simple ingredients that can be found readily in most health food shops or chemists. Here is a simple recipe for a dry skin face cream:

Ingredients

120ml olive oil
120ml coconut oil
60ml beeswax pellets (cosmetic grade)
6-10 drops essential oil of your choice

Method

– Put the olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax in a glass bowl or jug and place this in a saucepan of water. Heat the pan very gently, stirring the mixture until it has melted and is fully mixed together.
– Pour away the hot water and add cold water to the pan. Place the bowl back in the pan of water so that the water cools the mixture quickly.
– Add your chosen essential oil to give the cream a pleasant scent.
– Use an electric whisk to whip the mixture into a thick and creamy moisturiser.
– Spoon the mixture into clean cosmetic jars and seal.

As this mixture is so rich and creamy, you only need a very small amount at a time and you need to rub it in well.

Glass cosmetic jars for a professional look 

Jar of white body care cosmetic cream, herbal oil extract bottle, fresh calendula flowers.

Although you have decided to experiment with homemade cosmetics, you still want them to look just as good as shop-bought ones; therefore, choosing the right cosmetic jars is essential. We have an extensive range of cosmetic jars here at Wares to suit all kinds of homemade projects. For the face cream in today’s post, we would recommend either the 100ml Laurence frosted jar or the 250ml clear glass cosmetic jar. The clear jar is simple but stylish, whilst the Laurence jar offers a sophisticated look that will not be out of place alongside all your brand-name cosmetics.

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Homemade milkshakes and smoothies for drinking jars

Homemade milkshakes and smoothies for drinking jars 

ice tea with slice of lemon in mason jar on the wooden rustic background

Milkshakes and smoothies have become big business in recent years, with specialist shake and smoothie bars springing up in towns and cities across the country to satisfy the growing demand for drinks that are as nutritious as they are delicious. Whilst it is fun to buy a superfood smoothie or a decadent milkshake from one of these outlets when you are out and about, you can easily make your own at home – with a little inspiration and creativity, you can rustle up your own fabulous recipes to tempt the whole family. Served in a stylish drinking jar, a homemade shake or smoothie will go down a storm at children’s parties, barbecues, or on summer picnics.

Smoothie made with powdered green tea (also known as matcha). Not only is this green smoothie delicious, it's also packed with antioxidants (thanks to the matcha powder). Healthy, refreshing and delicious, it's the perfect drink for those hot summer days.

A quirky milkshake recipe for drinking jars

When we think of milkshakes, we typically think of strawberry, chocolate or banana as flavours; however, there are so many other tasty ingredients you can add to milkshakes besides these usual suspects. Here is an idea you might not have come across before – orange milkshake!

Ingredients

5 scoops vanilla ice cream
75ml semi-skimmed milk
175ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange zest
4 thin slices of orange to decorate

Method

Use a blender to mix the ice cream, milk, orange juice and orange zest together until the mixture is thick, smooth and frothy. Pour into four 450ml drinking jars and top with a thin slice of orange. Chill in the fridge briefly before serving.

A delicious smoothie recipe for drinking jars

When it comes to smoothies, these are often seen as more of a nutritional choice than a sweet treat; however, there is no reason smoothie can’t be just as delicious as a milkshake. Here is a recipe for a healthy, superfood smoothie that is just bursting with vitamins, minerals and all-round goodness. You might pull at a face at the thought of spinach in this peach and fig smoothie, but trust us on this – you have to try it to see how good it is.

Ingredients

2 peaches, stones removed
5 figs
200g fresh spinach
250ml water

Method

Add the chopped peaches, spinach and water to a blender, along with the scooped-out flesh of the figs. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then pour into a drinking jar. This smoothie is more of a meal replacement than a treat and is great to use as part of a weight loss programme if you are aiming to lose a pound or two for the summer.

Don’t forget to share your own milkshake and smoothie creations with us via Facebook or Twitter!

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Using glass jars for wedding displays

Using glass jars for wedding displays 

Delicious wedding sweets (multicolor table set)

With summer just around the corner, we are well and truly in wedding season and couples up and down the country are busy putting the finishing touches to their wedding preparations. Whether you are getting married in the next few months or your big day is still a long way off, we hope to inspire you in this post with creative ideas for wedding displays.

With many brides looking to make some of their wedding accessories, we hope to show that using jars for wedding displays is a cost-effective but super-stylish solution. When it comes to glass jars bulk buying is the answer; read on for creative ideas and suggestions for the perfect jars to use.

Flowers in glass jars

If you are planning a vintage or country garden theme for your wedding, displaying your flowers in glass jars will add a delightfully simple touch that will look stunning. If your ceremony is being held in an outdoor venue, try tying mason jars to the chairs at the end of each row and filling them with small handpicked posies. Follow this through for the reception by placing groups of three to five larger jars on each table and filling them with a bold and colourful array of fresh flowers. Think strong pink roses, with masses of fluffy gypsophila and lots of pale eucalyptus for foliage, or go for a much more vibrant look with bright red and orange gerberas; rich, dark dahlias; and punchy exotic foliage.

Candles and lights in glass jars 

Candles in jam jars make lovely wedding favours and decorations.

Another great idea is to use larger jars to hold candles, tea lights or strings of LED lights to add some gentle and romantic lighting to your wedding venue. Whether you choose tiny jars to hold tea lights or gallon jars to hold chunky pillar candles, the effect will be magical. Think carefully about how many jars you need to get the effect you are looking for, as skimping on the number of jars you use could reduce the impact significantly. If possible, have a practice in your garden or living room to see how much light is produced and the overall feeling when the jars are illuminated.

If you have made your decision and you are ready to buy your glass jars bulk packs are likely to be a good idea. There are significant savings to be had by choosing our larger pack sizes, so check out our bargain packs or call us for advice on the best value options to choose.

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Making Indian chutneys in hexagonal jars

Making Indian chutneys in hexagonal jars

onion Chutney and Sri Lanka rotti, Indian food

When we think of making a batch of chutney, most of us tend to stick to the tried and tested British recipes our grandmothers used to make, such as plum chutney or green tomato chutney; however, you can be much more adventurous when it comes to making chutney, as pretty much anything goes. In today’s post, we go back to chutney’s roots and look at two Indian recipes for chutneys that really pack a punch.

Our hexagonal jars

Before we start with our recipe ideas, we want to talk briefly about what kind of jars to use for your next batch. It can be a good idea to use a totally different style of jar for chutney than you would use for jam; in this way, you will know instantly which is which when you look in the cupboard. Our hexagonal glass jars are very popular and add a stylish touch to your home preserves. With a colourful label and a ribbon round the jar, your next batch of chutney will look fantastic.

Ready to fill those hexagonal jars?  

Tomato and chili sauce, jam, confiture in a glass jar on a grey stone background.

You have bought your hexagonal glass jars and sterilised them; now, it is time to crack on with some recipes. We are going to cover a great simple garlic chutney and a brinjal chutney.

Garlic chutney

Ingredients

350g garlic, peeled and crushed
350g grated coconut
125g sesame seeds
2 tbsp chilli powder
Pinch of salt

Method

– Roast the sesame seeds until golden brown.
– Mix the garlic and grated coconut thoroughly, then add the sesame seeds, chilli powder and salt and blend together in a blender
– Spoon the mixture into a jar and seal. This chutney will keep in the fridge for one to two weeks.

Brinjal chutney
Ingredients

2 medium-sized aubergines
6 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 bunch coriander
2 green chillies
30g fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp mustard oil
Pinch of salt

Method

– Chop the onion and coriander, both very finely. Remove the seeds from the chillies and chop very finely.
– Pierce six holes in the skin of the aubergines and wedge in the garlic cloves. Drizzle some oil over the aubergines and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes.
– Remove from the oven, peel off the skin, and place in a blender with the ginger.
– Blend to a smooth paste, then add the onion, coriander, chillies, salt and mustard oil.
– Mix well, spoon into the jars, and seal.

If you decide to give these Indian chutney recipes a try, let us know how you get on via Facebook or Twitter.

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Sweet jars for all

Sweet jars for all 

A jar full of colorful candies are spilled out onto a white background. A shallow depth of field was used and there is room for copy space on the left side.

For many of us, our earliest and fondest memories include eagerly visiting the local sweetshop, pocket money in hand, to deliberate over which sweets we would buy that week. The sweet shop owners must have been incredibly patient, as we all spent such a long time choosing exactly which penny chews, fizz bombs and gobstoppers to put in our small paper bags!

Sadly, sweet shops are few and far between nowadays, with most of us buy sweets for our children as part of the weekly supermarket shop. Whilst this does not have quite the magic of visiting an old-fashioned sweet shop, you can still make sweets special by storing them in glass sweet jars. One of the most popular jars in our range of glass sweet jars is the semi-round jar that can stand on its side or on its end. Filled with colourful sweets such as jelly babies or liquorice torpedoes, these jars are just so appealing.

Sweet jars as wedding favours

Sweets are not just for children, of course! Many adults love them too, with sweet-based wedding favours eternally popular. Whether you choose to offer a giant two-litre jar for guests to dip into or opt for individual 212ml Limoncello jars to give to each guest, you can guarantee that sweets will always go down well. The trend for all thing homemade is now spilling over into wedding arrangements, with many brides opting to make their own sweets to go in these glass sweet jars. Homemade fudge and toffee are simple but popular choices.

Sweet jars for household storage

With so many glass sweet jars to choose from, and also plastic ones, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can use them for besides storing sweets; for example, many of them are big enough to use for kitchen or bathroom storage. Line up a few of the semi-round jars on their sides on a kitchen shelf and fill them with pasta, rice and baking goods, such as dried fruit, demerara sugar or flour. They will look stylish, remind you what ingredients you have to hand, and inspire you to put on an apron and get baking.

Up in the bathroom, these jars look great lined up on the bathroom shelf, filled with items such as cotton wool balls, body scrubs and bath salts. Alternatively, why not make a mini terrarium using one of these jars and place it on the bathroom windowsill? The humidity of the bathroom will provide the ideal conditions for this small plant display, which will be a calming addition to any bathroom.

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When being a square jar is not square at all

When being a square jar is not square at all 

Greek salad

If we were asked to draw a jam jar, almost all of us would draw a round jar. A quick glance in the jam aisle of the supermarket will confirm that we all love our round jam jars; however, food jars come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, with fashions dictating what is currently ‘on trend’ just like in the world of clothing or interiors. Today’s post covers square glass jars and explains why square is the new round when it comes to the kitchen.

Square jars are in

When Huey Lewis and the News sang Hip to Be Square back in 1986, we are fairly sure they were not talking about jam jars. Fast forward more than 30 years, however, and it is definitely hip to be square – at least when it comes to home preserves. Square jars are the latest new trend for the kitchen enthusiasts amongst you who like to follow fashion.

If you are short of larder space or you simply like seeing your home preserves lined up neatly on the shelves, square glass jars are ideal. Their straight sides mean they stack tightly against one another, enabling you to get more jars on each shelf and not waste any valuable space. Square food jars also look much neater and work brilliantly if your jars will be on display.

Our range of square jars

We have square jam jars in various sizes, including 130ml, 200ml and 293ml. With garden mint in season, why not make your own mint sauce using the smaller size of jar? Alternatively, a tangy chilli jam would look great in the 200ml jar.

In addition to square food jars, we offer some lovely square spice jars. These jars have clip top lids to seal in freshness and flavour, with the lids available in lime green, orange or red to add a splash of colour to your kitchen shelves.

If you are a fan of Kilner jars, you can still get in on the square trend – the iconic manufacturer has released a square clip top jar in 0.5-litre and 1.5-litre sizes. We think the larger jar would look fabulous filled with pickled onions or pickled eggs!

In addition to our glass jars, we offer plenty of square plastic jars and bottles. Sizes range from 500ml right up to a whopping 2,667ml, making these jars ideal for all sorts of kitchen storage.

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Bag a bargain with our bulk jam jars

Bag a bargain with our bulk jam jars 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

At Wares of Knutsford, we work extremely hard to offer our customers the very best value for money across our entire range of jars, bottles and home preserving equipment. As bargain hunters everywhere know all too well, one of the best ways of saving money is to buy in bulk, with buying jam jars in bulk no exception. In today’s post, we explain why our bulk buy packs make so much sense and outline some of the jars that are available in larger quantities.

Who buys bulk jam jars?

People come to us to buy jam jars in bulk for all sorts of reasons. Some simply love making jams, pickles and preserves, and complete their entire Christmas gift list by creating a whole range of homemade delights. With plenty of friends and family to make gifts for, buying half a dozen jars here and there simply won’t cut it. A bulk pack makes much more sense for this type of home preserves enthusiast.

Artisan producers also find our bulk packs really handy. Many small-scale producers want to make up samples before committing to a wholesale order, while others like the flexibility of being able to buy in bulk without needing to meet a minimum order value. For producers such as these, our bulk packs offer the ultimate flexibility.

If you are keen on making your own pickles and preserves but don’t want to make a huge quantity, there are still ways to save. Why not club together with friends and family members to buy a bulk pack or two and split them once they have been delivered? In this way, everyone gets the benefit of the super-low prices that buying in bulk offers.

Why buying bulk jam jars makes sense

The most obvious benefit of buying jam jars in bulk is, of course, the cost saving that can be made. With bulk packs containing 100, 200 or 300 jars, prices really start to tumble. Our classic 1lb jar is even available in a super-sized pack of 500 jars!

Another benefit is that your jars will be with you in a single delivery. We have all been in the situation where we are inspired to start a preserving project, only to realise that we are clean out of empty jars. By buying in bulk, you should always have plenty of jars in store whenever you get the urge, or the ingredients, to make something new.

Why not check out our bulk packs now to see how much you could save?

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