A Step Back in History: The Mason Jar

November 2, 2017

When BOB thinks of Thanksgiving, he thinks of the rich history our country holds. He remembers a time of cultural difference that brought two unlikely groups together. As the fall begins to fade and winter rolls in, families and friends gather to give, cherish and make memories.

We also gather to share meals, and food preservation is a concept which was discussed as early as the late 1700s. What began as a reward from the French army, turned into one of the most popular ways to prepare food in the 1800s. Holding strong even today, mason jars have evolved into a household brand.

“The Father of Canning” Emerged in 1806

Nicolas Appert earned his title as “the Father of Canning” through 14 years of trial and error before developing a canning process that worked. Appert was a French cook obsessed with the need to preserve food. Food waste was a huge problem for the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars. A potentially deadly problem led to a hefty prize for whomever could find a successful solution. Similar to present-day water bath canning, Appert found that ‘exterior air’ was one of the main causes of food deterioration. Depending on the type of food Appert was canning, he would place the food in a glass jar, cork them, boil them and seal them with wax to keep bacteria from entering the jar. As promised, Appert was paid 12,000 francs, equivalent to $2,262 US dollars, by Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military leader, which he used to open the first cannery.

Courtesy of: First Glass Canning Concept

John Landis Mason Died a Poor Man

With the food preservation jar Appert invented, the glass jar was corked and sealed with wax. Flaws in the seal often prevented food from being preserved properly, causing foodborne illnesses. John Landis Mason invented and patented the very first mason jar in 1858. Mason’s design was quite different in that it changed the canning process forever. Mason designed a ribbed neck glass jar with a screw-on, air-tight seal. The air-tight seal made all the difference when preserving foods in these jars. The food could be sealed in the jar and heated to prevent any bacteria. For 21 years, Mason held the patent for his invention of the ribbed neck jars. In 1879, Mason’s patent ran out, leaving the market wide open for other manufacturers to begin producing and selling their own version.

Courtesy of: 1858 Mason Jar Patent

The Ball Brothers

 

Known formerly as the Ball Brothers Company, the five founders consisted of Edmund B., Frank C., George A., Lucius L. and William C. Ball. Edmund and Frank coined the Wooden Jacketed Can Company in 1880 with a $200 loan from their Uncle George and a vision for canning kerosene in tin. The tin cans were holding up for a while until the acid that refined kerosene began to corrode them. The brothers then decided to go with a stronger, more reliable packaging solution – glass. It wasn’t until 1884 that they began producing home-canning jars similar to John Landis Masons’ original jar, which made Ball a household name. In 1888, the brothers moved to Muncie, Indiana from Buffalo, New York, where they could take advantage of the abundance of natural gas reserves vital to the glassmaking process. For more than a decade, Ball grew rapidly, becoming one of the most prolific glass canning jar manufacturers in the U.S.

Courtesy of: Minnetrista Ball Brothers

How Old is My Jar?

Courtesy of: Minnetrista Graphic

Today’s Mason Jars

 

Used as more than a food preservation vessel, crafting, recipes and decoration are just a few of the ways you can incorporate them into your home. From embossed labeling to creative shapes and colors, mason jars have been successfully marketed for more than a century. Innovative designs mixed with a large imprint on the market ensures that these jars are here to stay. Not only are mason jars reusable, they are 100% infinitely recyclable, making your home environmentally friendly. BOB believes in the best food packaging solutions, which is why he offers two of his own mason jars sold by the pallet!

Five Crafts to Satisfy your Fall Aesthetic

October 2, 2017

Fall is one of BOB’s favorite seasons. The leaves are changing, the nights grow colder and sweaters become our best friend. What better way to host family night than with inexpensive do-it-yourself crafts? With these kid- and adult-friendly projects, you’re in for a crafting spree. BOB picked a few crafts he thinks would be the perfect addition to any home’s fall décor!

Leaf Jars With Candles

Items needed:

  • Mason Jar
  • Leaves (real or artificial)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Flameless Tealights
  • Twine

Getting into the fall spirit isn’t difficult, especially when the scenery is as breathtaking as the smell of apple pie. What once were branches filled with rich green undertones are now painted in an array of fluorescent red and orange. In this craft, we take those beautiful red and orange leaves and put them to great use! To begin, you’ll need to decide how many jars you want in your display. Noted above in the picture, this DIY artist used mason jars as well as old candle jars for her display on the windowsill. Once you pick your jars, begin to lay out all the leaves (real or artificial) on your table. Plug in your hot glue gun; start to place your first leaf inside the jar. Apply each leaf to cover the inside of the jar. Be careful to not burn yourself on the hot glue as you will be applying the leaves quickly. BOB suggests having a few spare glue sticks on hand so you don’t run out in the middle of crafting. Once you have covered the inside of the jar to your liking, begin to tie twine around the mouth of the jar. The last step is to turn on the tealight, put it inside the jar, then put the jar in your fall décor destination.

Courtesy of: SparkandChemistry

Party Utensil Holders

Items needed:

  • Mason Jar
  • Jar Ring
  • Utensil of Choice (forks, spoons, knives)
  • Twine
  • Candy of Choice

Fall themed parties are some of BOB’s favorite to host! This year, he has decided to add a new arrangement to his party decorations. Why use a cup for utensils when you can create a beautiful holder/candy jar all-in-one? For this craft, you need to decide on the sizes of your jars. As pictured, you can choose to put the candy corn, or whatever candy fits your fall taste buds, at the bottom of the jars. To begin, wash your jars thoroughly, and make sure the jars are completely dry before moving onto the next step. Screw the jar ring back on the jar securely, then grab the twine. You can either add decorations to the twine, such as beads, or you can simply tie the twine around the neck of your jar. Then, put your candy in position at the bottom, as pictured above. Finish this simple DIY off with the utensils facing up for easy grab and go!

Courtesy of: Worthtryingdiyprojects.com

Fall Mason Jar Vase

Items needed:

  • Four Pint Size (16 oz) Mason Jars
  • Jar Rings
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Parchment Paper
  • Paint Brushes
  • Twine
  • Flowers of Choice

A craft as simple as this deserves a round of applause. Do you love painting, showing off your calligraphy skills and flower arrangements? If so, then you are sure to love this vase set. Begin by thoroughly cleaning all four of the pint-sized mason jars, as the jars must be cleaned and dried before painting. The lids will need to be separated from the jar and laid on parchment paper. It’s your decision what colors you use, but BOB suggests using typical fall colors, as pictured, in a multi-surface or suitable for glass acrylic paint. Next, BOB recommends using two coats of paint per jar in case the first coat is too light. While the jars are drying, you can paint the lids either the same color or another color of your choice. Once the jars have completely dried, you can either free-hand or use stencils for the letters F-A-L-L on each jar. If you use transfer paper, make sure your letters face the correct way when printing them out with a few test runs on scrap paper. Once the jars and rings are completely dry, to wrap everything up, attach the rings, tie twine around the neck and place your favorite floral arrangement in each jar.

Courtesy of: Etsy

Maple Tree Leaf Globe

Items needed:

  • Mason Jars with Lid
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Twigs or Sticks
  • Twine
  • Silk Leaves
  • 2 oz. Package Metallic Confetti (Red, Yellow and Orange)
  • Tap Water

Searching for the perfect project that’s simple and kid-friendly? Look no further! Help the kids create a globe of their own this fall season. Start this craft off by adding metallic confetti to your jar and then fill the jar to the brim with tap water. Plug in your hot glue gun and grab a few extra glue sticks, as previously stated. Make sure the lid is nice and clean before gluing the twig or stick to the lid. BOB suggests you allow plenty of time for this piece to dry in place. Once dry, line the rim of the lid with plenty of glue. Screw the lid in place gently, as not to break the twig or stick in the jar. While the lid is drying, tie the twine and silk leaves around the lid. Turn the jar upside down and you have successfully created a fall themed globe with the kids!

Courtesy of: Premeditated Leftovers

Balloon Dipped Candy Corn Jar

Items needed:

  • Mason Jars
  • White, Yellow and Orange Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Candles

Another fun craft to create with the kids are these balloon-dipped candy corn jars. These jars are simple yet fun, not to mention versatile in any household. First, cut off the skinny “stem” of the balloons, try to make these cuts as even as possible. For the white and yellow balloons, cut off the rounded end. Do not cut off the rounded end of the orange balloon, though. Pull the white balloon over the top of the mason jar, turn it over, pull the yellow balloon to the center of the jar, then pull the orange balloon around the bottom. Overlap the balloons on the jar to mesh the colors together. Finally, put your favorite scented candle in the mason jar for the full fall experience!

Courtesy of: Kristin Appenbrink, Brit + Co

BOB loves how he can use mason jars in all aspects of his life. Now he wants to hear from you! Find any of these crafts inspiring? Plan on trying out a few? Tag us on Twitter, @BOBforFOOD, with your favorite fall design for a chance to be featured!

Top Five Reasons Glass is the Perfect Package for your Fresh Food

September 20, 2017

BOB here! As we enter the fall season, it’s about that time to start wrapping up your garden season. As the colder months move in quickly, some fruits and veggies will be out-of-season and scarce on store shelves. What better way to keep that fresh from the garden taste than preserving your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables in glass containers? BOB has compiled a list of the top five reasons why glass packaging is the best solution for preserving your garden produce.

Garden to Table

Glass packaging is pure and natural, preserving the taste and freshness of food. In fact, according to EcoFocus Worldwide (2017), 90% of consumers favor glass because it preserves the taste or flavor of the food it contains. Glass is the only food and beverage packaging that doesn’t require a plastic or chemical liner, so there’s no interaction between the container and the product inside. When packaging your own foods, the air-tight capabilities of glass are extremely important, as they alleviate microorganisms that normally break down foods quickly. By packaging your fruits and vegetables in glass, your food is safeguarded against moisture, oxygen and odor invasion. In fact, glass is the only widely-used food packaging granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) status of ‘GRAS’ or Generally Regarded As Safe.

Glass is 100% Recyclable

With a history that spans more than 2,000 years, it’s no secret that glass sets the environmental standard for packaging. BOB believes that protecting the environment is just as important as protecting our food. Consumers also agree. According to a recent study conducted by SurveyUSA, 91% of consumers say that recycling is an important part of conserving natural resources. After all, glass is made from 100% natural, sustainable raw materials found in the U.S. – recycled glass, limestone, soda ash and silica sand. And, glass recycling is a closed-loop system, creating no additional waste or by-product. BOB encourages you to recycle your glass containers. If you don’t know where to locate a recycling facility near you, visit Earth911 and use their recycling location search.

No Surprises

Today’s consumers also care about how food is packaged and preserved. In fact, 85% of consumers say that some packaging can leave undesirable chemicals in their foods and beverages, while another 64% have changed what they buy to reduce their exposure, according to EcoFocus Worldwide (2017). Clearly, glass is the healthy packaging choice. Glass is impermeable and highly inert, meaning it will not rust, corrode or leach into foods or beverages.

Your Wallet Will Thank You

Think about it, fresh cut strawberries last one to three days in the fridge, which doesn’t allow time to enjoy the fresh-picked taste. Glass packaging can handle vacuum or high-pressure sealing, protecting foods from spoilage and bacteria. In canning communities, it isn’t uncommon to question how long home canned jars can be stored away for the future. BOB suggests using your home canned goods a year after sealing, due to food deterioration over time. This does not, however, include opening the jar, then resealing it. With out-of-season produce increasing in price, canning your favorites while in-season allows you to enjoy them year-round without breaking the bank.

Equipment

Canning is not cut and dry, which is the appeal for most people. A well-known benefit to canning is that you decide what is in all of your recipes – no additives or preservatives – just fresh, high-quality food. Although canning requires cookware items to begin, sites like FreshPreserving.com offer beginner kits for as low as $20. It is important to educate yourself on the specifics of food, such as bacteria or microorganisms, before beginning one of the following canning methods. A Pressure Canner is used for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats and poultry, which requires more heat to kill off microorganisms. This process takes longer, but is necessary to safely preserve the contents in the jar. For foods with high-acid levels, such as fruits, jams, jellies and salsas, Water Bath Canning is the best method. The acid levels allow you to use this quick alternative as the foods kill off unwanted bacteria. Whether it be from your garden or the local farmers market, canning allows you to save more than just your monthly grocery bill.

When it comes to preserving your produce, glass packaging is the optimal choice. Glass is the trusted and proven packaging for health, taste and the environment. BOB would love to help you preserve all of your favorite seasonal produce. You are invited to request a sample today of his beautiful glass bottles and jars that are proudly made in the USA.

Bon appétit!

Five Things to Explore at Natural Products Expo East

August 8, 2017

Baltimore will host this year’s Natural Products Expo East where the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy product industries come together to showcase how they’ve changed food options. With so much to do in a short amount of time, BOB wanted to give you a few highlights about what he plans to check out while at the Expo!

Pickled Pink

Pickled Pink Gourmet Products are packed by hand, using the freshest and most unique ingredients. Cucumbers, jalapenos and watermelon are perfectly mixed into a blend of spices to make sophisticated, sweet and sassy treats. Each flavor, Sweet Gourmet Pickles or Gourmet Jalapeno Pickles, is packaged in its own airtight glass jar to preserve the fresh out-of-the-garden taste. This product can be served over a bed of lettuce or paired with your favorite sandwich.

Buchi Kombucha

Buchi Kombucha’s journey began in 2009 when they moved into a retired wine distribution warehouse to create the first commercial kombucha brewery in the southeast. At Buchi, “Conscious Commerce” is one of the building blocks of their business. It means putting people, community and the planet before profit. Growing in popularity over the years, they have gained a tribe of workers who share the same thirst for life, as well as for promoting their business for healthy benefit, not for monetary value. Being one of a few kombucha breweries in the U.S., the Buchi Mama’s have had plenty of time to perfect their recipes. Growing up around farmer’s markets encouraged them to package their products in only 100% recyclable glass, which preserves the true taste of each flavor. This packaging also allows them to remain loyal to their values by eliminating the amount of waste produced by plastic each year. With the ability to spread this movement, Buchi Kombucha travels to tradeshows, such as the Natural Products Expo, to showcase how their products are creating a sustainable, healthy beverage for all ages.

Natural Products Business School

Before the expo festivities begin, BOB recommends checking out the Natural Products Business School (NPBS) where you will gain experience from real-world professionals in your field. The NPBS is a full-day learning opportunity to provide entrepreneurs with targeted, in-depth solutions to common business challenges. Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of hint, Inc., will provide her keynote address while Culture Architect & Brand Strategist Rachel Shayne will serve as moderator for the day. Several seasoned professionals are set to take the stage throughout this session to give attendees a new outlook on the business world. A networking lunch is provided so you can make connections before the show floor even opens! You may register online to join in on this one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Check out Kona Grill while in Baltimore

Walking around the event is sure to make you hungry. BOB recommends checking out the Kona Grill while you’re in Baltimore. Decked out with a temperature controlled patio, Kona Grill offers an amazing sushi bar, an intimate dining room, and is located next door to the Baltimore Convention Center. Various dishes are offered at Kona Grill including options for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets. Cocktails, sake, draft beer, red and white wine, oh my! This menu includes an extensive list of drink options. In addition to the various specials offered, Happy Hour is offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday;  9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 10 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Plan your visit today!

Free Things to do in Baltimore

After you’ve visited all the exhibits on your list at the Natural Products Expo, take some time to explore Baltimore, “The Monumental City.” With a variety of outdoor monuments, this city allows you to take a step back in time. Babe Ruth, Edgar Allen Poe and Frederick Douglas are of the many historic figures available to explore. A series of murals are also offered around the city to promote artistic ability as well as positivity. To instill a sense of pride, make Baltimore neighborhoods more attractive and provide employment to local artists, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts (BOPA) have commissioned beautiful wall murals that range from colorful stories to somber tragedies in history. With more than 250 murals, it is difficult to miss these works of art that captivate the city.

Hope to see you in Baltimore!

Bon appétit!

Welcome to BOB’s Blog

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog. I’m BOB from BuyOurBottles.com, and making glass food jars is my passion. After talking with friends in the specialty and handcrafted food world, I learned that it can be difficult for craft food producers to find quality, glass jars and containers in quantities that fit their needs. I want to change that. How, you ask?

Well, with BuyOurBottles.com, you’re dealing with the guy who makes the glass jars. So, if you have any questions, my team and I have the answers. Our jars are sold by the pallet, so you don’t have to order a full truckload. You can pay with your credit card or PayPal™ – just another way I’m making it easier for you.

I’m heading to New York City to the Summer Fancy Food Show on June 25-27 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to spread the news about the launch of food.buyourbottles.com. If you’re going to be there, I’d love to meet you. You can send me an email at food.sales@buyourbottles.com so we can schedule a time to chat.

I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Summer Fancy Food Show!

Bon appétit!
BOB