Apartment Therapy Re-Nest has the coolest post about how to re-use spaghetti jars. See the link above and below for Apartment Therapy Re-Nest’s 10 top ways to use them (copyright Apartment Therapy).
I’ve been doing this for 4 or 5 months now and I was thinking about posting the idea, but then got nervous that it seemed too “recycle-y” ~ in a bad way, i.e.: too cheap to buy actual canisters after we put most of our kitchen items in storage for a prayed-for, pleaded-for, divorce-in-the-offing-unless-for kitchen renovation. I can’t stand open boxes or bags of pasta, sugar, flour, oatmeal, etc. on shelves (New York City vermin can too easily end up as a new roommate), so I stuff the aforementioned in zip-lock freezer bags and store in the fridge. Which is so small, and those items take up so much room, it’s just ridiculous.
My husband, Philippo, LOVES ravioli with marina sauce A LOT, more nights a week than I care to admit (I don’t even try to make our own sauce; call me anything you want, but tomato sauce lover cannot be one of them). So, we started washing the used, empty jars, peeling the labels off and using them to store the sugar, the brown sugar, the raw sugar Tito uses for his coffee. And then came the dry pastas, the sea salts, the oatmeal. Anything we could pull from the fridge to create more cool storage and keep tight, dry and safe in a jar on a shelf.
I did buy one Ball jar at a discount shop on 14th Street (one of my fav haunts, until they commanded staff to stand at your elbow while you pondered if a $2.99 corner shower shelf would fit your bathtub corner and if you actually needed it…nothing more off-putting than pushy sales staff or, worse, non-helpful staff who are there obviously to watch you to see if you plan on stashing that $2.99 shower shelf in your pocketbook. I think I’ll have to stop supporting their establishment.)
Years ago, when we were spending more time in Seattle, I yard-sale purloined a bunch of Ball and Mason canning jars, all various sizes, and was using them for drinking glasses…they’re great for the iced coffee I MUST have every morning, perfect for water glasses and lovely as a flower vase.
My super creative friend kee uses them as tea light holders for al fresco dining at her country house (see second pic above). I think this is a Martha Stewart idea, too, from a while back.
‘Basghetti jars are great (“‘basghetti,” because that’s how I pronounced “spaghetti” as a little tyke and somehow it stuck like cooked linguine on a wall!). The jars look great on an open kitchen shelf (see our kitchen pic above, mind you, NOT renovated YET), fit practically anything and everywhere and are a wonderful way to recycle and be a bit greener in your everyday life.
Below, all thanks to Apartmentherapy www.re-renest.com:
“1. Water for the dog at the dog park: our dog gets exhausted from all the play, and if BPAs aren’t good for humans, they’re probably not good for her either.
2. A drink shaker or cold drink storage: add some lime juice, fresh ginger, basil or some cucumber to a jar of water, put the lid on and give it a little shake. Then stash in the fridge until you need some refreshment, or use one to make your cold-brew coffee!
3. Breakfast to go: add oatmeal, dried fruit and a little flaxseed to a jar and toss in your pack. Once you’re at work, at some hot water, mix well and enjoy.
4. Leftovers: instant non-plastic, non-leaching, non-staining, BPA-free container for food. Great for soups.
5. Storage of bulk foods: re-use what you’ve got for storing sugar, flour, grains, rice, etc. from your local grocer’s bulk food section.
6. Organization: during our ongoing green renovation, we’ve amassed various screws and nails of all sizes. The jars help keep things organized, are very durable and clear so you can see what’s inside.
7. Gifts: we had an explosion of okra this summer. We shipped off our little darlings in these jars to our happy neighbors.
8. Make your own flavored olive oil: fill a jar with oil, add some herbs like rosemary or lemon verbena, cap tightly and let sit for a few days. Then enjoy over salad or on pasta.
9. Ribbon or string/yarn/twine storage: cut a hole in in the top for a twine dispenser or slit for ribbon dispenser.
10. Piggy bank: cut a slit in the lid, decorate with a ribbon or recycled wrapping paper, and let the cents add up.”
© 2009 Apartment Therapy