Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Jarden Home Brands. All opinions are my own, including my excitement over the fact that the jars are purple.
It’s been a busy summer here at our house. Work has kept me booked all day, but we still look to cook from scratch and make our own food as much as possible. It’s easy to pick up the phone and call for pizza or run up to Chipotle, but we’re working to incorporate the veggies we buy at the farmer’s market and the items we already have in the pantry. As we eat down our surplus, pantry space becomes more available and my mind drifts to wanting to learn how to can our food. I look forward to the Can-It Forward Day each year as we stream the feed on the computer while we go about our day. This year it is on August 1st from 11 am to 4 pm.
Saturdays have become a little of my housekeeping day and I’d love to add a little canning of Jersey Fresh produce to those days. Having those items in the pantry come winter would certainly help us to not to reach for the phone for pizza and still have local produce on hand. This year, Jarden Home Brands sent us some new items to check out and use in anticipation of Can-It Forward Day 2015. First off, the jars are purple! I love that they have been playing with colors with their jars over the last few years. The Ball Purple Mason Jars are part of their Heritage Collection and the Design Series lids in red and purple will make my pantry even cuter. Our first use of the jars was to make smoothies and use them as a glass with the Sip & Straw lids. Tomato and I loved them and it was a great way to get her to hydrate with a smoothie on a hot day. The glass jar can be washed in the dishwasher and the Sip & Straw sets are top rack dishwasher safe. A win for mommy for cleaning up the kitchen! The Heritage Collection jars are in pint and quart size. This makes them great for trying out canning with the smaller sizes or you can use the larger ones to do longer items like beans and pickles. I’ll be using some of these to store dried pasta and rice too and intersperse them on our shelves for a little pantry spruce up.
Jarden Home Brands has been kind enough to offer a coupon for a free case of jars, so leave a comment below telling me how you would use the jars and I will randomly draw a winner!
Now, I know what you are thinking. Can I really can my own food? This question goes through my head each summer and I have friends who have done it for years with confidence. I like to err on the safe side when trying something out for the first time. So, a reliable place to start for directions is the Jarden Home Brands site or grab a copy of their Ball Blue Book: Guide to Preserving. The cookbook has over 500 recipes to try out. Their safety and health rules are strict and I like that they have tested these recipes out over many years.
Another great resource is to check out today’s live stream from Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. They have a brand new, state of the art facility and as the webcast streams, you can pop in and ask questions on the chat function. New this year too will be a celebrity mason jar auction, so set your laptop or tablet up at your dining room table today and listen and watch to learn more about canning your foods. It’s a great way to take advantage of and preserve your current local harvests. I’ve got the webcast set up to stream from here, so enjoy, have a great weekend and don’t forget to comment to enter to win a free case of jars!