Monday, March 28, 2011

New Find on Old Jars

OK, its not midnight yet. I've promised that today I would post my antique/thrift store purchases, so I'm here to deliver.

This adventure starts out innocently enough.  I happened across a fellow bloggers' (Chiotsrun) photo on Canning Across America "photo of the week". This photo had canned food put up in vintage bail type jars! I was mesmerized by the beauty and had to know more! I immediately went to the corresponding blog post and commented on her photo asking for "how-to" details. I received a prompt reply directing me to another bloggers' (FoodinJars) post regarding canning in vintage jars. I read the post with great earnest.

I personally own several vintage jars, but I've just relegated them to storage of bulk items such as quinoa, poppy seeds and the like. This is where the shopping part comes in. I decided I needed more pretty vintage jars. On my first outing I came home with a few half pint screw top jars, a few bail jar glass lids, a few glass seals for zinc lids AND...wait, wait for it, ta-dah...a french style glass rolling pin. Yep, pretty cool.

I initially held off telling you about it because I was trying to search online for more information about era of production, etc. Suffice to say I have exhausted my research capabilities and know nothing more than when I found this gem...I assume it is made out of tempered glass, it will make a great tool to use when rolling pastry because of its ability to be chilled, and well, I just love it...plain and simple!

After reading my first blog post, a fellow co-worker was inclined to give me this vintage jar. Thanks Taffy!

On my second outing I came across these vintage beauties. While the bails are a bit rusty, the glass lid and jar sealing surfaces were perfect in that they had no chips or imperfections...aka perfect for actual canning. Notice the jar in the lower left of the photo. It actually has a purple hue, made during a period when magnesium was added to the glass making process.

I have since talked at length with my Aunt Karen regarding using these jars for canning. She is an avid canner and processes all her food with a pressure canner. She is a wealth of information and this what she had to say:
  • Bail Type Jars-fill jar with food, add rubber gasket and glass lid. Secure upper bail on top of glass lid and process as usual. After processing, secure lower bail. This tightens the top bail and increases the pressure on the seal between the glass lid, rubber gasket and jar.
  • Zinc Type Jars-fill jar with food, add rubber gasket and zinc lid. Secure lid, but do not tighten during processing. Tighten afterwards.
While this information for bail type jars differs from that which was found online, I have no doubt my Aunt's method works as well.  The rubber seals needed for these jars can be found at our local True Value hardware store. I was able to find a few online sources as well and have listed them below:

Due to cost and availability I will not be putting up all of my food in these vintage jars, but you can bet I'll be giving them a try. Oh, and on that note, I also found an online source for reusable canning jar lids for today's style (screw top) of canning jars. They are bpa free and made right here in America! I'll be giving these a try as well.

So for all you folks who received jams and pickles at Christmas time, start eating and get those empties back to me for refilling this summer! 

No comments:

Post a Comment