Thursday, October 1, 2009

Power to the Pickle

veganmofoiii
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.

amberjar
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.
helensjar
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!
sourdoughjar
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.

favoritejar
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.

xo
kittee

29 comments:

  1. Sweet jar collection for the injera. My friend has some giant mason jars that I covet.

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  2. I reuse jars too. Though mine are more for salad dressings, BBQ sauce or marinades. Just makes one less thing to buy for food storage.

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  3. WHOOOO WHOOOOOOOOO REUSE!!! i do this too and it's AWESOME. not only that, buying things in glass jars is healthier for us and keeps the mason jar purchases down. evil plastics begone!

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  4. I just love jars. I have the mother of all jars on my counter at the moment - it's HUGE and awaiting something to go in it besides the paint roller I popped in there whilst it was drying.
    Happy Mofo'ing Kettee.
    :)

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  5. Here in Boulder we have a brand of chai called Bhakti, and it comes in these great jars. You can trade 'em in for a discount, but I keep lentils and all sorts of stuff in mine.

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  6. I also love Adam's peanut butter jars! I've been known to up my consumption of said butter, just to get to the jar!

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  7. I am a self-professed crazy jar lady.

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  8. I have at least 3 drawers in my kitchen which are full of only empty jars. It brings me deep personal pain to discard a perfectly good jar, even if I am just discarding it into the recycling bin.

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  9. I'm a jar hoarder too! They're so damn useful, I can bear to throw them in the recycling bin. I also like to drink sweet tea out of 'em.

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  10. I love jars as well! I have been wanting my mom to send me a particular brand of pickled okra from back home...just so I can use the jars for cups! They're little barrels.

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  11. oh kittee! i loved this post, of course! i should really get started so that people who follow the link have something to read to!

    hmmmmm....

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  12. I love that you have a favorite jar, and your jar passion in general! I'll have to look for Adam's peanut butter jars. I smell an addiction coming on...

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  13. I love saving glass jars for reuse. It's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper than getting a ton of tupperware-type vessels... I use the pretty ones for flowers!

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  14. My new favorite jar is the chubby quart of Bubbie's pickles. No vinegar, so the jars come clean as clean can be.

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  15. Man, am I pleased to see some love for Adam's Peanut Butter jars! They are my Jar Mainstay-- I pack everything in them- fruit for lunches, shaken dressings, and... gin for parties when I don't want to carry a big bottle. And yes, now that I've moved out East I make sure to bring a jar back with me every time I visit family in Vancouver. But those jars last for years.

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  16. Hey Kittee:

    I thought you might like this blog post from The Georgia Straight newspaper here in Vancouver about VeganMoFo:http://www.straight.com/article-261015/vegan-bloggers-cook-posts-vegan-month-food
    It mentions you and your blog!

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  17. "brought them home to turn them into honest women" - you crack me up Kittee! :-)

    Nice jars! I've been collecting, collect-worthy jars lately too. There's just something about them. I love the pink and red lid!

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  18. I love that your store has free and clean jars for you to take and fill up. What a great idea!

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  19. My most favorite jar is from this local kimchi, I forget what it's called, Living something or other, but the jar is the perfect size to fit in a purse... so I use it to sneak wine into the movie theater, or to bring my own soy creamer when I go out to breakfast.

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  20. I love reusing glass jars! I don't even bother to take off the old labels off, just slap a piece of tape on it with what's inside. :-)

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  21. I love glass jars, bottles, anything! They are so beautiful.

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  22. oh, praise ye, Kittee, for telling what that troubling looking thing in that beautiful last jar was.

    You had me scared like sh** for a moment lol

    and thank you for all your work hosting the VeMoFo 2009!!!!

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  23. I absolutely love kombucha and Ban-cha is my favorite tea!

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  25. Now you've gone and made me appreciate...the jar, LOL!

    Thanks for this post. Appreciating the simple (and not so simple) things in life is what it's all about.

    Faith

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  26. Sometimes I have to have jar purging days because I get a little out of control. Also, I love the way you write :)

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  27. Ohh I much appreciate your jar obsession. My kitchen and art room are full of jars which are full of all sorts of things. Sometimes I buy one thing over another simply because it has a better jar.

    So basically, you are fantastic.

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  28. Alas, we've had to give up on jar hording, and on "putting up" - there's just no room in this country. I am envious of that gallon jar - and, indeed, kombucha!

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  29. I love jars too! I also have an insane collection of 4lb Earth Balance tubs.

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