A Jarring Issue..

How us smallholders love our jars – big, small, tall or wide they have a myriad of uses.  There’s no doubt that they are the perfect option when it comes to storing the first delicious jams of the year, not to mention how we rely on them for all our pickles and chutneys. And what about the cranberry sauce as the year draws to a close?


Recycling jars

The humble little jar is the unsung hero in kitchens throughout the land.  With some care and good hygiene these jars can be used over and over.

But my jars are not just used for jams and chutneys.  They have a range of uses that are invaluable not only to the smallholder but to anyone keen to save money.

IMG_0321Throughout the year we all come across products in unusual jars and bottles – whether we buy them or receive them as gifts, don’t throw them out when you are finished with them.

I wash and store these jars and bottles and they form the basis of many attractive, inexpensive and well-received gifts each year.

Note: For food storage or food gifts, I always use new lids.  These are inexpensive and a worthwhile buy in my opinion to avoid potential food spoils.

A Gift Of Granola


Every month or so, I make a batch of granola here at Hunters Lodge.  It’s easy to make and full of goodness.  After lots of compliments I decided to jar some up and now I have a really healthy, nutritious and inexpensive gift for family and friends.  You can change the nuts and seeds in this recipe according to what you have in the cupboard.



Simple Scrubs


This idea is so simple but works incredibly well.  For this recipe, I use an ordinary jar for my own body scrub stash at home and keep the decorative bottles for gifts.  Using a few household basics you can create a range of sugar and salt scrubs that are excellent exfoliators and leave your skin feeling refreshed and smooth.  Without the hefty price tag you can enjoy the luxury of a health spa in your own home.


Vanilla Essence

It’s expensive to buy so why not make your own?  This is a gift that I love to receive and I’m sure your friends and family would too.  This will work in any jar, but a nice tall jar lends itself to this one.  I make a large amount of vanilla extract and divide into smaller jars as required.  Here’s how..

1 75cl vodka (any quality)

6-8 vanilla beans

Make a slit down each vanilla bean – this will release the flavour.

Add the vanilla beans to the vodka and leave for eight weeks, by which time you will have the most amazing scented vanilla extract.  What could be nicer?

A Jar of Sweets


I love these as last minute gifts.  If you have time, make some toffee but if you dont, pop to the shop and buy a packet of sweets.  Pour the sweets into a clean jar and decorate with a jam jar cover, twine or ribbons.  This is a perfect last-minute gift that has saved my bacon a few times!

Reuse and recycle, save money and do your bit for the environment – it’s easy!

Adapted from an article by Fiona Dillon which originally appeared in Home Farmer magazine.

2 thoughts on “A Jarring Issue..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s