Simple kitchen hack using glass jars
Simple kitchen tip - fast and free
Below you'll find an image of an item that is so very important in my kitchen. It saves me time - and money too - plus makes several cooking tasks so much easier
But it gets even better. It doesn't cost a penny and takes about a minute, if that, to make.
I use it just about every time I make dinner; when I'm working with dough or pastry, when I'm making delicious salads, when I'm rinsing ingredients ... and I imagine that you'll be able to think of other uses too. (Do let me know in the comments section below - I'd love to hear from you).
It comes in really handy on the rare occasions that I make fruit pies and other desserts, it's essential when I make pizza and I use it for spices too. You can use just one of these (I have two) or make several, customising them to your own style of cooking and your requirements.
What is this wonderful item? See below.
All images © BritFlorida
Simple, effective kitchen hack
That's a bit disappointing, isn't it? I imagine you were expecting to see something really clever. But wait - this really is so very useful. As you can see in the image above, I use recycled jars to store dry goods.
(Notice that I store them on their sides in the pantry. That has two advantages. The first is that I can fit more of them on the shelf - nothing gets hidden at the back. Secondly, I can quickly see what's running out.)
For some items, I use the same size of jar from the same product (Patak's curry sauce). That's because then, the lids are interchangeable. So? Well, in the photo at the top of the page you'll see I have a jar of flour.
When I want to sprinkle flour onto a pastry board or a cookie sheet, I simply remove the lid from the jar and replace it with the lid I have in the drawer - the one you see above with holes I made using a kitchen skewer and a hammer.
Now I have a flour sprinkler but there's so much more.
Many other uses for your recycled jars & special lid
- I keep salad dressings (in the fridge) in these recycled jars; homemade vinaigrette for example. I also decant bought dressings into them. By using my special lid, I can shake the dressing onto the salad - I use less and it's distributed more evenly.
- Sugar - both regular and confectioners - also live in these jars. That makes it easy to sprinkle sugar evenly on pies, fresh fruit or on breakfast cereal or oatmeal. I'm convinced that we use less this way.
- Cocoa can be sprinkled easily onto chocolate cakes (or ice cream - delicious) and if you use those commercial sprinkles on cakes and desserts this system would be ideal.
- I don't know about you but the sprinkle section of a box of paprika always gets clogged for me. Plus, I tend to break my fingernails opening the awkward little blighter. Now I decant paprika into a jar.
- I make my own spice mix (powdered cumin, coriander,pepper, etc.) and by keeping it in a jar it's easy to sprinkle onto plain vegetables - potatoes, carrots, for example - before roasting them.
- I like to rinse rice before cooking to remove the starchy powdery stuff. I put it in the jar, fill it with water, shake it around then shake out the water. Then I put the jar on the drainer - standing on it's lid - for five minutes whilst I get on with other things (like opening a bottle of wine).
- French toast plus powdered sugar - need I say more?
Some other great uses for jars in your kitchenClick thumbnail to view full-size
- When I'm cooking, I have either one or two clean, empty jars on the work surface right by the chopping board. (The number depends on the kind of dish I'm making). Any offcuts of vegetables, peelings and so on go into one jar. When I've done, I add a lid and keep the bits for the next time I'm making vegetable stock. I put things to throw away in the other - then at the end of cooking, I just empty the contents into the trash.
- I'm determined to cut down on our paper towel usage. (See the links below). So when a piece has been only lightly used,I put it in a jar I keep on the counter. Even though they have been slightly used, they are still fine to wipe up spills, clean the fridge door, wipe the cabinet fronts or the kitchen floor.
- Photograph number three was taken when I was making my berry pudding recipe which calls for the crusts to be removed from slices of bread. As I removed them, I put the crusts in a jar so they could be stored in the fridge - perfect for using in my Boston Bake recipe. (Yep, link below).
- Number four shows three other uses for jars in my fridge. On the left, is the flesh, juice and skin from half a large mango.I used the other half in a salad so stored the rest. In the middle is a bunch of cilantro. There's about half an inch of water in the bottom of the jar.Every herb I've tried this way keep well. Sometimes I store spring onions in the same way. Finally, because we have curry so often, which invariably contain garlic and ginger, I keep the two together in a single jar. This saves small garlic cloves getting lost in the fridge.
- The last photograph shows my 'refrigerator hack'. Instead of the rigid plastic front to the door shelf, I used a piece of flexible, plastic-coated wood from Home Depot. Because I cut it slightly longer than the shelf, it form an arc which means that the jars fit perfectly even though the shelves themselves are narrow.
- Boston Bake - a meat free recipe using leftovers
This is a delicious meat-free recipe that uses up leftovers. It can also be made from scratch using foods that you probably already have. It's delicious, quick, easy to make and very inexpensive.
- Help Me Kick the Paper Towel Habit
Not long ago, I was surprised to realise just how much paper towel we use in our home, and there are only two of us. I imagine that households with kids and pets use even more. I'm not sure that I can stop using paper towels altogether (or can I?)...
Without doubt, mason jars are the best in design and flexibility of use. Originally intended for canning, these are fine when heated or used in the freezer -plus they are wonderfully attractive as decor items. If you're not a jar hoarder like me, these are lovely.
Whatever type of jar you use, these chalkboard labels are simply lovely.
You can re-use them over and over again and have a great French look that's so stylish.