by Rochelle Riservato
Many collectors love the primitive look of early Ball, Mason, Kerr, or Atlas jars in their distinctive array of aqua, blue, green and crystal clear glass complete with tiny bubbles and letter embossing enhancements.
Did you know that the Mason jar was the first container that replaced the formerly used jars with messy and non-reusable sealing wax?
These are the jars that typically have the "Mason’s Patent November 30th. 1858” on them, which was part of tinsmith, John L. Mason’s patent.
Next were Ball jars, which actually have New York State heritage having been invented by Buffalo residents William Charles Ball and his brothers. In 1883, the Ball's used wood-encased tin containers, changing to glass in 1886.
You may collect other brands, such as Lightning jars with clamped glass lids invented in 1882 in Bennington, Vermont; Kerr jars made by the Hermetic Fruit Jar Company in 1903 that boasted the first easy-fill wide-mouth openings; or the Atlas E-Z Seal jars made by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company from the late 1800s until 1964.
Whichever is in your collection, all of these brands are still available at yard and tag sales sporting minimal prices—yet kindling substantial emotion and attachment to days gone by.
Looking great on window sills with sunlight emphasizing the bubbly imperfections and shadows cast by their raised letters, these collectibles are quite picturesque.
However, although striking on their own, there are many more uses than just window ornaments. Glass fruit jars can serve many purposes breathing new life into them by encasing other collections, enhancing home décor, and using them for culinary skills as they were created for.
Overnight Pickles Equipment:
One Quart Jar Prep Time:
15 minutes No cook time Ingredients:
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 3 onions, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 7 kirby cucumbers or 3 regular cucumbers, sliced
Mix first 4 ingredients and the dill. Add cucumbers and onions, and refrigerate stirring every few hours. That’s it—they’re ready to eat the next day; keeps for up to 1 month refrigerated.
Fall Trail Mix
Mix as much or as little of the following ingredients according to the amount you wish to make:
- Cashew Halves
- Salted shelled peanuts
- Sweetened dried cranberries
- Unsalted pumpkin seeds
- Unsalted sunflower seeds
- Peanut M&M’s
- Chocolate M&M’s
- Chopped walnuts
- Whole unsalted almonds
Put all in a bowl and stir to mix through thoroughly and put in a large mason jar or other container.
Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe Equipment:
Food processor, blender, or electric veggie chopper Prep Time:
10 minutes Makes 1 cup Ingredients:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- (optional)1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- (optional)1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor or chopper.
Add garlic; pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while pulsing. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. (optional) Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.