As the weather begins to warm up and the gaps in the larder appear, I start to think, plot and plan how to preserve the best of summer. Boozy fruit, jams, compote you name it..I LOVE, seriously *LOVE* putting food in jars. As much as I enjoy the process, nothing beats opening a jar of summer's bounty in the depths of a cold, cold winter. Nothing.
Last week I opened the last jar of Blackberry jam...mwaah and the surprise favourite of last summer, Blueberries and Bay from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook. Divine over ice-cream - double, triple mwaah!
I'm also a huge, huge fan of Ball Mason jars. I was so lucky to buy these when I started out on my preserving journey. I know that some of you are into buying plain jars, which are I admit are substantially cheaper. But Ball Mason jars are the gift that keep on giving...and they can be absolutely punished. We use ours for jam, immersing in hot water baths when preserving low-acid fruit/veg, as general storage in the fridge and the wide mouth jars I freeze our home-made stock in. Yes you read that right, I freeze glass jars!
All of those crafty boards, and repurposing of these jars on Pinterest can't be wrong! You can get them in Australia from Red Back Trading - great service and quick delivery. (BTW - they have no idea I'm bragging about them!)
The only negative is that they are seriously hard to part with, and when you give away jam or something as a gift (which I love doing) I feel very mean when I ask for them back. Maybe I should just see it as spreading the Ball Mason love around???