Thursday, January 20, 2011

build a better mousetrap

                                                                                sorting little bits

Build a better mousetrap means to improve something that is already perfect. The case in point here is the canning jar. How could it possibly be improved when it is perfection, itself? The answer comes in three words: plastic storage caps.

                                                                                  plastic jar lid

Aesthetically, they are the little black dress of the storage world. Easy-on-the-eye, neutral white, neat, pleasant in a tactile sense, and simpler to use and wash than lids and rings.

Herb-wise, I much prefer them and here's why:

Herbal-Infused Vinegar -- vinegar will corrode any kind of metal, requiring a protective sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap but with the plastic lid, you avoid that extra step. This also applies to most herbal cleaning products that contain vinegar.

Herbal Tincture -- same as above, but the culprit is alcohol.

Herbal-Infused Honey -- easier to wash the stickiness off the plastic lid than a lid & ring.

Bath Products -- when you're in the shower using a scrub, which would you rather mess with, honestly?

Tea Jars -- aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

Dried Herbs -- same as above.

Herbal Liqueur -- same.

    32 oz. lacto-fermented plums, 64 oz. raspberry rose-geranium liqueur, 16 oz. lavender tincture

 I think I actually use jars more now that these lids are available. I know it's plastic but maybe more use balances out the negatives of the plastic factor. They can be used for food storage in the cupboard, refrigerator or freezer; any kind of liquid from juice to dyes to homemade cleaning products; playdough & crayons; ribbons & fabric scraps -- it's an endless list. And if you get the half-gallon jars, the storage potential increases exponentially!

                                        in the freezer: some of the 2010 pesto, grape juice & tomato sauce

The only time not to use these is when you're capping something hot -- making an herbal infusion or canning still requires the lid & ring system.

I've never seen these lids in-store so have always ordered them on-line. There are several makers with prices in the $4 range for a box of eight, some sites sell by the case. And they come in regular and large-mouth size. Do a search for "plastic storage caps" and go-to-town!

I hope you like them as much as I do.

Also posted at Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.


Kathy said...

I almost hate to say it but they sell these lids at Walmart. I think I may have seen them at King Soopers too.

woman with wings said...

That would be great!! -- they don't show up on their website though? King Soopers in Denver doesn't carry them either, I check every single time every single store I go to. Darn. But if you need quantities like I do, by the case on-line is probably the best way to go anyway.

shishi said...

I love these plastic lids. I'll have to get some. I have a question...can I freeze a glass mason jar with a metal lid? I made some chili sauce that I'd like to freeze. Wondering...Shishi

woman with wings said...

Shishi, absolutely you can freeze with a metal lid! It's all the same in the freezer. . .

nandas said...

peggy i love these lids too... i have been using them for years. we can get them at our fred meyers in the canning section which they have year round. and yes they are plastic but for freezing and storing they will last indefinitely unlike their metal counterparts.

woman with wings said...

Nandas, that's another great point -- they're long-lasting on top of it all -- thanks!

cecile said...

I love those lids too. I found them at Walmart, where I go probably not even once a year... but I could not find the wide-mouth lids anywhere, so I checked, and they also had those. I used the same reasonment than you, since I re-re-re-re-use them, plastic is OK ??

woman with wings said...

Cecile, well I guess we have to give Walmart some credit here!

I also wash them by hand, not in the dishwasher -- concerned about plastic and heat, you know?

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I got here doing a search on lacto fermented plums. Do you have a recipe?