Vintage is the new buzzword for old. It’s true that everything old is new again, especially if it has a certain retro or vintage vibe to it. The stuff our parents threw away because it was ugly, or no good, or didn’t fit in anywhere…what I wouldn’t give to have some of those things now.
Over the weekend I was gifted with vintage canning jars; four dozen jars that had been in storage for decades, packed carefully between layers of yellowed, crisp newspaper. The jars are Ball and Kerr, mostly pre-1960, some from the 1970's, as far as I can tell. Some are in excellent condition, others have a few nicks and scratches, not enough to warrant tossing them, but they won’t be up to a hot water bath again. Those jars, the ones likely to break in the pot, are still perfect for dry storage. A pantry full of jars is much prettier, and more efficient, than one filled with rubber-banded plastic bags and boxes that won’t stay shut. I can see exactly how much rice is left and if there are enough split peas for soup.
Of course, the decorating and other storage options are endless too: flower vases, candle holders, buttons, marbles, pens. Some people use them for drinking glasses, but I prefer my wine glass with a little less heft.
Not all of these jars will make it to my pantry. Even fewer will end up in the canning pot. I’m finding homes for some of them with canners as crazy about old glass as I am. I’m glad they didn’t get thrown away.