There’s just something so rustic and homey about mason jars. Living on a farm, mason jars are aplenty in our old farm kitchen. Friends and family joke that I work for Bernardin! I don’t, but I sure do use their mason jars regularly and have hundreds in use all the time. I’m not kidding. Hundreds! Okay, maybe about two or three hundred! That’s still a lot though! Right?
Of course, being a farmer’s wife, I use mason jars for preserving and pickling. I also use mason jars for our maple syrup. There are so many other uses for mason jars though.
Here are a few things I use mason jars for:
- Cool Drinks – There’s nothing like sipping on a cool drink on a sweltering hot Summer day. A lovely homemade lemonade served in a mason jar seems like the perfect way to take a moment to yourself and enjoy an ice cold beverage after working in the garden or on the farm.
- Hot Beverages – My friends like to joke that I’m a “Tea Granny”. I enjoy a hot cup of tea to unwind and have some “Me Time” before bed. Served in a mason jar, my favourite tea is so inviting.
- Salads – If you need salad on-the-go or to take to work, the “Salad in a Jar” is a great idea! Quick, easy, and portable lunch! It’s versatile and the mason jar makes a great litterless lunch container!
- Salad Dressing – I love making homemade salad dressing. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper all get perfectly emulsified in a mason jar when you put the lid on and shake it like a Polaroid picture.
- Spices – I was inspired by Chef Michael Smith’s blue kitchen and wanted to store my spices the way he has them on his show. I love having the spices easy to access and they actually look really neat in the mason jars. I like being able to see what I’m looking for. I also use Mabel’s Labels spice jar sticky labels to label my mason jars.
- Herbs – You can grow fresh herbs in your mason jars. They look aesthetically pleasing and by displaying them in your kitchen, they’re easy to access for when you need to add fresh herbs to your recipes! Herbs aren’t the only thing you can grow in mason jars! You can also grow sprouts in mason jars.
- Flowers – My Little One believes the house should always have fresh flowers. Freshly-cut flowers from our farm always add a cheery, bright feel to the house. In May it’s Daffodil time, so the cheerful yellow flowers in mason jars always grace our home this time of the year.
- DIY Gifts – We hang out with five families who have children the same age as Little One. We decided that at Christmas we wouldn’t buy anything for the kids or for each other. Instead, we would do an “Olde-Fashioned Christmas” and make presents for each other. Little One enjoys baking, so she layers ingredients for brownies or cookies in a mason jar and on the tag she includes the recipe. Last year, I made a brown sugar body scrub, foot scrub and milk bath. I used smaller mason jars and they looked fabulous.
- Storage – Odds and ends or pens and pencils can be stored in mason jars
- Treats – Remember going to your grandparents’ house when you were a kid and they had all sorts of goodies like candies? We have a mason jar with candies for guests to grab candies from when visiting our home. Little One has even been known to bake mini chocolate chip cookies and send them home with friends or family if they’re heading home on a long road trip after visiting us on the island.
- Allowance or Saving Up for Something Big – Whether you’re teaching your kids how to save money or planning your monthly budget, mason jars make great “piggy banks”. You can label them and you can see just how much money you’re collecting. You can use them to add money to save up for a big ticket item, a vacation, or whatever your family wants to put money toward.
- If you do your own honey, maple syrup or vanilla, mason jars are great to store them in. Recipe for homemade vanilla here.
- Terrarium – Little One is interested in all things living. She likes to find out how things grow, why they grow the way they do, etc. She built a terrarium last year so she could observe her own little ecosystem. This is a great idea to do with your kids and a great idea for a fun activity capitalizing on the teachable moment side of things! Little One learned about photosynthesis, soil health…and she also learned what happens if you over or under water your plants!
- Wishes or Positive Messages – You can use a mason jar to put wishes or positive messages in. Get your kids to write wishes or messages on strips of paper and every day, get your family members to pick a wish or message. It’s a great way to promote kindness and cultivate positive family traditions and values your family upholds. Alternately, you can have a jar labeled with each family member’s name so that everyone gets a jar and have everyone write a few things they love about each person. Every morning before rushing off to school or work, take time to pick a piece of paper. It’s a great way to get everyone’s day started off on the right foot! Starting the morning on a positive note and remembering that you are loved just seems like a recipe for an amazing rest of the day!
Whether you’re storing herbs and spices and trying to be like Chef Michael Smith, or canning and preserving your fruits and vegetables from your garden, mason jars do come in handy and have so many uses!
I think it’s safe to say that I’ve got a little bit of an obsession with mason jars.