I’m at that point in the season where I’m tired of putting up. Grant and I canned about 40 more pounds of tomatoes over the weekend, and I’m ready to not look at the canner for at least a few days. I know how much I’ll appreciate all of these goodies all winter and spring, so that makes it all worth it. But. I’m still tired.
At any rate, I realized over the weekend how often I used one of my favorite tools in the real food kitchen: the dry erase marker. I try to make big batches of stuff if at all possible, and then freeze the rest for later use. I use this method for big batches of stock, beans, and rice, which makes for very quick meals on a busy weeknight. I like to freeze in glass jars because 1) no plastic leeching into our food and 2) they’re imminently re-usable. So long as you use a jar with straight sides, you can freeze stuff in glass. Just be sure to leave at least an inch or two of headspace for whatever is in the jar to expand. The wide-mouth Ball jars are perfect for this. Or, be like me, and tell your friends and family to save their jars for you instead of putting them in the recycling bin!
Back to the markers. Since I reuse the jars so many times, I can’t put labels on them, or they’d be covered in labels in no time. Plus, that seems a bit wasteful for something that is just for me. I figured out that the dry-erase markers work perfectly for labeling – just write on the lid or the jar itself. Then when you use it next, it’ll just wash off in the dishwasher, ready for next time. I keep a skinny dry erase marker in my spice cabinet for easy access (and to keep away from the crazies!).