This year I haven’t seen much of a shortage in most canning jars. I’ve looked all year for 1.5 pint jars, which are my preference for canning asparagus, and I never did see those. I never inventory my jars but it seems weird that we empty so many jars throughout the year but I always have to buy more jars. I do give away a lot of things in half pint jars so I understand why I have to replenish that size. Chad and Nicole always give their jars back to me . . sometimes they stack up and I’ll get three or four dozen back at one time. I just don’t think I’ve canned more this year but maybe I have. I do store most freeze dried food in jars and a good bit of that is long term storage so maybe that explains it.
This is what finished up in the freeze dryer today. There were two overly stuffed trays of okra, which I put into one half gallon jar, one quart jar and one pint jar. There were mixed peppers (back right quart), green onions (middle front) and parsley (front right).
I freeze dry probably the equivalent of 60 quarts of okra each year. I’ll harvest okra til the first frost, which will probably be around mid-October. I started harvesting it about mid-July so if we eat okra once a week, from about the first of November til mid-July next year, that’s probably about 22 quarts I will need. For regular meals, I use about half a pint of okra. If I’m making okra & tomatoes, or putting it in soup or gumbo, I’ll use a quart. If those numbers are correct, I should end up with about 38 quarts to carry on til the next year. I like doing that because if I have a year I don’t harvest much okra, I will still have plenty.
Same with the peppers. I won’t use nearly all the peppers I plant. That will be good for those years when peppers don’t do well. I will use all the green onions and all the parsley I freeze dry each year.
The point in this post, which I’ve really gotten off track – as usual, is that I’ve probably bought 20 cases of jars this year and, though I haven’t kept up with it, I’m guessing that 90% of those cases had one chipped jar. Sometimes it was a jar around the edge; sometimes it was a jar in the middle. That’s aggravating but . . it’s glass and I suppose I’m lucky I was able to find sufficient jars this year. Last year was a different story.
Azure Standard is now selling their own brand of jars and I can’t help but believe the quality is going to be better than traditional canning jars. The cases of wide mouth quarts at Azure are about $21 with the added transportation charges. At Walmart, they’ve been about $15 per case. Even if I only get 11 usable jars from a case at Walmart, that’s still a good bit less than the case at Azure so, for now, I’ll stick with buying jars at Walmart.
Yesterday we were at a local hardware store (Race Brothers for anyone local) and they had pints and quarts on sale for about $1.50 less than Walmart so I bought a few more. I had stayed in the car while Vince went in and then I remembered something they had that I needed/wanted (horehound candy) so I went in. Vince was back at the parts counter so I went in and told him I would be in the store. Then I found the jars. He came up to check out with his few items and I had four cases of jars, four bags of candy (don’t judge . . I’ll explain the candy purchase later).
Vince has an ancient gas trimmer and it needed some parts. The guy at the parts counter had a used part but it hadn’t actually been “used” . . just purchased, opened and returned. He told Vince it had been there for 20 years. Vince told me in the car that he told the guy “I could stand here and argue with you about the price but the longer my wife is in here, the more money she’s going to spend so I’ll just accept the price you’re quoting and get her out of here!” I thought that was funny!