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Vintage Canning and Food ‘Things’

October 21, 2010

Matt and I love antiques, vintage kitchen supplies, old canning jars, and basically anything that has a little bit of history that can leave you wondering “what is the story behind this piece?”  It is kind of cool to wonder who used this little gadget and why was it discarded?  Are the things we have today so much better? and What is our obsession with holding on to the past?

As we finish up the back wall of our cold room pantry/canning storage shelves we’ve enjoyed accessorizing the corner cabinets with some vintage jars, antique berry pickers, old kitchen scales, and a few other odds and sods.  Each piece is unique in its’ own way.  I really like this little pie crimper…different eh!?! 

Some of our favorite pieces are the items which we will breathe new life into as they will once again find their way back into our kitchen.  There is nothing like filling a vintage jar with some bright fruit and placing it just right onto your shelf.  All of the different sizes and styles of jars make your shelves that much more interesting.  And, there is nothing like repurposing.   A friend of mine kindly traded me some old jars this summer and after spending a pleasant afternoon with Matt and my mom washing them all we were thrilled to find that several of them would work with the new rings.  The pickled pears look really beautiful in this old jar; the shape of it is so interesting and it sealed just fine.  When filling these old jars it is best to make sure that they are really hot going into the water bath as I have had some break.  This problem can be corrected by ensuring that the jars are really hot when they are filled and that the water bath was NOT at a full rolling boil when they enter.  This way it is not such a shock to the older glass.

When searching for old glass jars we try to buy ones that the regular and wide mouth rings fit on.  In fact, I always carry a couple of the rings in my handbag  just to so we can check them before purchasing.  It is also important to make sure that there are no cracks or chips on the top of the glass rim as the jars will not seal properly if the glass is damaged in any way.  Look for heavy scratches and signs of too much wear but don’t worry about the dirt…it usually washes off.

We also have glass jars that the new rings do not fit on and unfortunately, despite my efforts, I have never successfully gotten the glass lids with the rubber rings to seal properly.  But, we still use them for dried herbs, seeds, sugar, flour, grains, and dehydrated items.  They look so pretty and there is such a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colours to make collecting them very appealing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2010 6:27 pm

    Ooh, I love vintage wares too. Those are fantastic!!

  2. Kathryn permalink
    October 22, 2010 1:32 pm

    Beauties! I love the look of the shelving too, decorated with some specical gems!

  3. Bailey permalink
    July 23, 2011 3:09 pm

    What is the manufacturer’s name on the old jar lifter? I own one that belonged to my Great-grandmother that looks exactly like this; however, it’s rusted and I can’t make out more than the first couple of letters.

    • July 23, 2011 3:17 pm

      The manufacturer’s name is PRESTO. And, it also says “pat. pending”. Although we don’t use this jar lifter…not a lot has changed with the new ones.

  4. June 10, 2012 7:47 pm

    I happen to have 1 box of wide mouth and 3 boxs of small mouth old “rubbers” that they used to use when the jars had glass tops…. Anybody interested in buying them? I have already sold all my canning supplies except my pressure canner and funny isn’t it….All the jars, lids and rings went to a man who will fill the jars with candle wax! LOL It’s hard gettin’ old but my family isn’t around so no need for me to continue the large scale canning I used to do…. 🙂

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