Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Christmas jelly jar saga

At my local thrift store, I had been looking for jelly/jam jars to make jam in for Christmas gifts. However, the usual location was not yielding any jelly jars, just a few lonely quart or pint jars. With Christmas looming closer, I broke down and bought new jelly jars wrapped in thick plastic during my big once-monthly grocery shopping trip. Not only was I buying new, but had a lot of plastic waste to deal with. Why not the good old fashioned cardboard box Kerr!

So my new jars were all nestled in their plastic-wrapped cardboard divisions in my basement waiting for me to fill them with strawberry and red raspberry jam goodness from the berries I picked and froze in my chest freezer. I was looking forward to making a batch of jam with my homegrown strawberries. Then I made a recent pilgrimage to my local charity thrift shop, the one I visit weekly and brag about all the stuff I find. Internally I was shrieking in frustration because there on the shelf was not one, not two, but four boxes of a dozen jelly jars complete with dried up spiders for me to purchase. Well, of course I bought a box because a gal can never have too many jelly jars and if I gave them away as gifts, well, less crying over jars that never return to me. I will take 25 cents a jar any day!

I visited the store two days later and there was still another box left so I bought that one too. Now I have an assortment of jelly jars in raised-relief fruit, quilted, standard smooth, and wide-mouth half pint sizes. I think I can freely give away jars with little guilt even if I thought six weeks without jars in the thrift story meant I could purchase new. And no, I am not sharing my ill-gotten gains. I may even been stingy with the two batches of strawberry freezer jam I made. I never shared my homemade jam gift plans so if the jars never leave the freezer, no one but me will know...

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