So I have a somewhat guilty admission to make. Apart from attending a canning seminar-type meeting locally with Little M last fall, where we went over the steps of making and canning applesauce, I've never canned anything. Yup, that's me, the canning virgin.
All of our extra garden produce last year (the little bit we had the year before was all eaten fresh) was all frozen. Blanched first, then packaged into (plastic) containers or (disposable) ziploc baggies. And I was ok with that. I had a little baby, and just the fact that we were harvesting so much food from the garden was more than we could have hoped for. And in the fall, balancing that little baby and all that goes along with a little one (who still isn't sleeping consistently through the night - in fact who has only slept through the night once - night before last!!!), as well as balancing hunting (my husband is really into bird hunting - hence the bird dogs!), work (always busy in the fall as river flows drop and the construction window opens), and just general stuff around the house and property, I was busy enough without adding canning and learning to can to the list.
This year though, I had a canning-related item on my goals list - to can strawberry jam, tomatoes, and applesauce. I've got plenty of strawberries frozen in my freezer, waiting for me to decide on a recipe (low sugar or not, pectin or not, so many choices!), and whether I want it to be freezer jam (which wouldn't meet my goal list objective of canning strawberry jam!), or shelf-stable jam. Then in the past couple weeks, reading blogs talking about canning this and canning that, I realized that there was another decision I should be consciously making.
I read that BPA has been found in the standard disposable canning jar lids, and that there were other options, both in terms of lids, and in terms of the entire jar system. A post by Soulemama was my first introduction to the other options (along with a lot of other great bits of information in her post!). And after further reading and trying not to become overly paranoid, I realized that where I am in my canning life is the perfect time to read all of this information. I have a very limited stash of jars. If ever I was to go Weck, it would be right now.
Weck jars have glass lids, with a circle of plastic (that can or can't be re-used depending on what you read) that goes between the lid and the jar to act as the seal. They have a plastic lid that can be used once the jars are opened and in the fridge (so you don't have to use the metal clips to keep the top on). And they are BEAUTIFUL. I love that they are all glass. I love that they are so pretty.
And although I don't love the price, when I think of the extra money we have spent on glass containers as we try and shift from plastic containers in the fridge and freezer for leftovers and garden produce, I start to think maybe the price isn't actually that bad. Especially considering I would have to spend something anyway to get enough jars, of whichever type I buy. So maybe this is what I should use my birthday money for this year...
Anyone use Weck jars? Anyone else think the all glass thing is great?