Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Seven Days of Christmas - Days Five and Six - Stuff in a Tube and Glass Jars

Where does the time go? Today I'm combining days 5 and 6 together, cause if I don't, you'll be looking at these dratted present posts in January.

Day Five - Stuff in a tube.

I am a huge fan of all the tubes you see below. They are convenient, fast, easy, and always at hand. Not that I always shun fresh ingredients for pre-packaged, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Our grocery stores are completely unreliable when it comes to fresh herbs. And you know, sometimes dried just won't do. So instead of going without or changing the meal altogether, I now keep a tube or basil and cilantro in the fridge. The tubes can't replace fresh in all recipes, but some. Lemon and lime juice are so great to have in the kitchen to add brightness and tang. And when a recipe calls for just 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, or one anchovy fillet, tubes are easier and less wasteful than opening a whole can.

I always put a few store bought food items in Scott's stocking. Sometimes a can of shrimp so he can make his Shrimp Dip, cans of smoked oysters, pate. Coffee. Spices. Cheese too - a kind we've never tried before (keep in the fridge until Christmas morning though!), olives, store bought antipastos and pickles. Heck you could even buy a good quality olive oil or vinegar to put under the tree. And pasta - there are so many shapes beyond spaghetti and linguine. This year he's getting hot sauce, chocolate, smoked oysters and a can of vienna sausages.

Day Six - Glass Jars

Another thing I love in the kitchen are glass jars to store....well, everything. They are so much easier to keep food sealed and organized than in plastic bags tied with a plastic tie. I still do that too though. More than half my jars are reused coming from pasta sauce, pickles, mustard, etc. Just soak off the labels, give a good scrub and they're ready to hold peppercorns, flour or dried basil.

If you're thinking of giving jars as a gift, buy a box of mason jars. The jars in the picture below are 500 ml (2 cup) jars. At this time of year you can get a box of 12 for $10-$15.

Sizes range from half a cup up to liters. The jars can be stacked for storage, you can see what's inside, and the lid will keep your food items fresh and dry and safe from pests.

For me, any jar goes, including a coffee can to hold my lifetime supply of cumin, a mayo jar of dried mint, a mustard jar with 1/100th of a spoonful of poultry seasoning, a pesto jar of bay leaves, and mason jars with almonds, colored sugar, brown rice, bow tie pasta and panko breadcrumbs.

Tomorrow - the December Bread Baking Babes recipe, and Tuesday is Day Seven! Most likely.


Cookie baker Lynn said...

Basil in a tube? What a wonderful idea. I hate buying a big bunch of herbs for a recipe and then having most of it go bad in the refrigerator.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'm all for any jar goes but I do have two boxes of the mason jars that mostly get used for gifts.

Annie said...

I just recently bought tomato paste and anchovy paste in tubes. How convenient. I will have to try the basil!
Thanks for the ideas...
I hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday!

Sara said...

Annie - happy holidays to you too! :)