Every once in a while, I get a bee in my bonnet, and I just have to change things. Dunno why. That’s just the way it is.
I’ve learned to go with it. My peeps have learned not to question. Works better for everyone that way.
My latest buzz bee is the storage containers I keep on my counter to hold the bulk-purchased grains, seeds, beans and pastas I use all the time. I’ve been using the OXO POP containers, which work great, but (a) they’re expensive, and (b) even though they’re BPA-free, who knows what other chemicals are going into plastics today? I don’t. And it makes me a little noi’vous.
I’ve wanted to switch over to canning jars for storage for a quite a while now, but the one thing that stopped me was the width of the openings of most jars. I really want to be able to stick my hand in them, and I really want my measuring cups to fit.
Weck jars were my first choice — love, love, love Weck jars — but I know myself well enough to acknowledge that the double clips and floppy gaskets would drive me positively batty within a week. I’m in these containers every day — nothing will likely match the convenience of the easy-to-remove POP container lids, but their replacements have to at least, you know, not drive me batty.
It’s a good rule for kitchen tools: battyless operation.
After much searching, I finally found these French Le Parfait jars at the Container Store. Thick-walled, wide-mouthed and $3.00 cheaper — each — than the POP containers, I knew these would fit the bill nicely.
Labeling was also a concern. I needed something flexible — removable & changeable. Since these jars will sit in a dry zone — kitchen sink is on the other side of the room — and hold dry items only, I don’t have to worry about the labels getting wet or spotted.
That’s when my crafts-junkie impulse kicked in, and I gave myself permission to go to Hobby Lobby (which is waaaay dangerous; I’m not even particularly crafty so I don’t where the fascination with crafts stores comes from. Honestly, SoupAddict is a conundrum).
I found plain brown paper tags, distressing ink for the edges, and these cute steampunk-inspired pendant thingies with random words and numbers.
The contents of the jar are noted on one side, preparation instructions on the other, and the tags are easily attached to and removed from the jars with the jute string. The removability serves a number of purposes. Washing the jar without damaging the tag is number one, of course. When an item gets a promotion to larger jar (i.e., I decide to keep more of it on hand, like the oats below, which are getting bumped to a larger jar), the contents and the tag are easily moved to the new jar, while something else and its new tag takes over the current. They’re easy to read, and I really like having the preparation instructions right there.
I keep blank tags in the utility drawer for new additions.
I don’t have a photo of the final display with the new jars because I’m still in the process of taking stock, transferring and tagging. But here’s a quick peek at the finished product. I’m not totally wild about the bright orange gaskets, but it’s not a show-stopper. If I ever find quality white gaskets in the correct sizes, I’ll switch them out.
What are your favorite storage containers? I’d love to hear about them!