Thursday, October 1, 2009
Power to the Pickle
I've always enjoyed a good glass receptacle, but since moving to New Portleans, I've noticed the quality of jars in my life have improved. First off, even though glass is recyclable here, people seem to save 'em--horde 'em even, depending on the variety.
Score Example #1
In the bulk department of our food co-op, there's a special dedicated drawer full of free, clean jars. On my last visit, I peered inside and snagged a nice amber colored one (good for spices) and a large Vegenaise jar. After sniffing to make sure they weren't funked, I stuffed 'em with hazelnuts and brought them home to turn them into honest women.
Jars are great for all kinds of things.
You can make spice blends and give them away as gifts, or keep them for yourself.
If you can find 'em, Adam's peanut butter come in superb glass specimens. I found a few in Vancouver, B.C. a long while back and just re-discovered them while makin' groceries in town. It must be a West Coast brand, and boy did I want to buy a jar, not for the peanut butter, but simply for the glass quality. Solid!
Here's my Adam's jar posing on the left, please pretend it's full of XgfX oat flour starter for injera. That's the plan, which will be materialized in due course.
There are a lot of BIG jars here, too. Apparently, the larger the jar, the more pickle power you get out of it. See, besides being a jar-centric city, the people of New Portleans are really into fermentation, preserving, and putting food "up." Michelle lent me one of her coveted gallon bottles, which is currently resting on top of the fridge holding some brewing bancha tea kombucha. During a recent kombucha workshop I attended, I learned that kombucha scobies are most accurately described as "biological mats." Tasty, yes?
When we first moved here from the South with no jars to call our own, it hurt Michelle terribly. So before I coaxed that gigantic jar out of her myriad collection, she donated a few to start me off right--mini versions of Bob's Red Hot with flip up tops. Serious 'biz! Last weekend, I filled one of those puppies with tasty vegan nuoc cham and brought it camping to eat with soft noodle-y rice paper rolls.
Favorite Jar #1, circa 1996. Scored while interning at the Women's Studio Workshop in NY.
I lied a little. We did move with a few jars, but small ones, the ones that dazee could not pry from my firm, fast grip. My favorite jar, has a pink and red spiral top and is full of chipotle peppers.