Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exalting the humble.

There is one kitchen item without which my kitchen wouldn't really be mine. I speak type of the Mason Jar.
I have a prodigious number of these. All my friends and family know to keep a sharp eye for these and to give them to me. Mostly I get the ones that are pasta sauce size (24 oz, I think), but about 25% of the time I get larger or smaller ones.
There is a reason why I love these jars and it has to do with one of those kitchen loyalties of mine: My Oster blender.

Y'see, dear Internet, upon the neck of the Mason jar, the base (containing the base, gasket and blade) of the Oster blender fits P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y. So, I often cram things into such a jar, thread on the Oster base, put it on the blender and -- zap!-- I have pesto. Or chimichurri, or soy/sesame marinade or roast vegetable salsa or whatever without getting the blender's jar dirty. I take the Oster base off, screw on the lid, and store. (Let the record show, your honor, that I have been doing this for decades before magazines aimed at stressed suburbanites who dress out of those museum/public television catalogs came up with the notion.)

Beyond this, I like the way the jar looks with other, non-blendered edibles. I just marinated a whole mess of Gaeta olives and stored some triple concentrated chicken stock. In the top shelf of my underwhelming, underachieving, came-with-the-house refrigerator I have over 15 different jars.

I also use them to store/show off bulk spices, give away assorted rubs and spice/herb mixes, store some kinds of dried pasta, etc.

But that Oster blender, that makes everything so.much.better.


Posted by Joke at 11:57 PM


  • Blogger Suse posted at 1:00 AM, March 23, 2007  
    That's brilliant.

    Oh how I wish my own life were so beautifully coordinated.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:17 AM, March 23, 2007  
    It just worked out that way. But when people admire it all and tell me how organized I am, I choose not to disabuse them of the notion.

    Well, except just now.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 7:09 AM, March 23, 2007  
    Hey! I have an Oster blender! I should try that sometime. My mom cans so she has a pooload of those jars. I'm going to quit giving them back now.

    Oh, and that magazine to which you linked? Waaaay back when it premiered, I got a free issue and hated it on sight. And I have never felt the need to reconsider that opinion, even though I think I'm the only soccer mom in town who doesn't love the thing.

    Of course, I'm also the only soccer mom in town who lacks a fondness for Oprah, so what else is new?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:35 AM, March 23, 2007  
    ...and you don't dress out of those museum & PBS catalogs, I bet.

  • Blogger Sarah O. posted at 9:53 AM, March 23, 2007  
    Being the kitchen gadget freak, I must have one of these.
  • Blogger blackbird posted at 9:59 AM, March 23, 2007  
    I've never used my blender.
    I don't like Oprah, have only a vague notion of the garb you mention, but love mason jars and use them for all kinds of things.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 10:07 AM, March 23, 2007  

    You realize you ar hurting your blender's feelings, don't you? Here it is, 425W to 650W at the ready, eager to chop, puree, frappé and/or liquefy at your beck and call and you snub it?

    One day you'll have need of a frozen tropical slushy beverage and it may betray you.

    Repent! Repent!


    P.S. Besides, the Mason Jar/Oster thing would be like playing matchmaker to two wonderful people. Only you can't with hot liquids, because picking glass shards out of your skin and hair puts a damper on kitcheny fun.
  • Blogger daysgoby posted at 1:56 PM, March 23, 2007  
    Lovely. There's something really nice about foods stored in glass, isn't there?

    Apropos of nothing, did you get any helpful suggestions about your boys' bathroom?
  • Blogger Tere posted at 2:36 PM, March 23, 2007  
    What a great idea. I must say, your level of organization and pre-planning is admirable. I need to get myself together and blend up a mess o' goodies.
  • Blogger Caro posted at 8:36 PM, March 23, 2007  
    I don't have an Oster blender but I never thought of using the jars for storing things.

    I like the way it looks.

    I haven't canned in a while so it would be nice to use them for something.
  • Blogger CHICKLETTE posted at 8:47 PM, March 23, 2007  
    Wow JOKE!! Your information about this has just changed my life!! I truly mean it, there are so many things (home-made blue cheese dressing just to name one), that I no longer make because I utterly despise cleaning out that blender pitcher. I don't have a dish washer and it is a big pain to wash. Dressings that are creamy and gooey are such a mess to try and clean up. I can't believe that every cooking type show isn't spreading this info around. Tell your lady to give you a GREAT BIG HUG from me!! This is WONDERFUL news!!
  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 2:42 AM, March 24, 2007  
    I had to come back and look at the photos of the jars and the blender to understand this. (Sorry. Yesterday was hot where I live and my brain melted) NOOOOOOW I get it.

    Do they fit just through happy accident or on purpose? Because if it's an accident you are a genius to have figured it out.
  • Blogger Sarah O. posted at 12:50 PM, March 24, 2007  
  • Blogger tut-tut posted at 6:54 PM, March 25, 2007  
    I cannot believe I didn't realize this. AND I have the original little Oster jar that came with my mother's Osterizer and didn't realize what it was for. Thank you for this post.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 11:02 PM, March 25, 2007  
    See, it only looks like organization and foresight. It really is an awareness of how lazy I am and what I'll want in the immediate-ish future. So, I have all these sauces and marinades and things in jars waiting for me to do stuff.

    Then I come home, throw something in the skillet or the pasta pot, dump something from a jar and voila! yummy goodness.

    I also learned that it takes 5% more effort to make a huge batch of something that will last forever, so I do that.

    Wait until I get all bloggy about infused oils.

  • Blogger julia posted at 7:17 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Dood! That's genius. I keep Mason jars, too (much to TCBIM's chagrin) and it never even crossed my mind to slap one on the blender to whip up something small.

    I use mine to store beans and rice and stuff, too. It's esthetically pleasing when I open up my cupboards and see rows of jars in them. I feel all frugal and housewifely and shit.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 9:58 PM, March 28, 2007  
    I just feel foody-ish. But I know what you mean.

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