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For the past few years, I have been canning things. I have also tried my hand at making cheese, dehydrating things and of course I enjoy woodworking, too. Building up an arsenal of tools to make these things, or to keep making these things, can take a little while. Here is a selection of gift ideas for canners and urban homesteaders.
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Mason Jars are something you can never have enough of. They walk out the door for good when you give them to your new neighbour, or your co-worker. Plus, you never know when there’s going to be a clearance sale on something delicious at the grocery store. You’d hate to find yourself short of affordable mason jars!
Are those Mason Jar Labels cute?! There are a whole heap of labels out there to choose from, for prettying up your creations, before risking handing them out to friends, or giving them away as Christmas presents.
Mason Jar Rings and Lids are another constantly needed supply. Invariably, I am out of one or the other and have to buy a ton more. The odd sized jar ring I have always seems to get rusty on me, too.
Nice Jar Tongs beat the pants off of no jar tongs or cheap jar tongs. That purple pair in the picture is spring loaded, massively reducing your chances of dropping a jar and shattering hot glass and contents all over.
Plastic Mason Jar Lids come in a HUGE variety of styles. There’s the plain screw top lids, which make it easy to put things in your pantry, there’s the sippy cup/coffee cup type, or there’s ones with a spout and a snap shut closure. neato.
Sharpies are the way to label things when you can’t be bothered to create labels. You can still use fun colours, though. It’s important to know if you picked the chili apple sauce or the regular type.
This Label Maker is so cute in orange! They make more professional labels, that you don’t have to hand write. Plus, you can use a label maker for so, so many things! I highly recommend getting one with a QWERTY keyboard. I didn’t and I really regret it, it’s so, so slow to find all the letters!
My Mom says that my Grandma says you have to cool everything on top of a Wooden Cutting Board. Don’t tell my Grandma, but we use a towel or a tea towel most of the time. Even if you’re not cooling things on a big cutting board, you’re chopping and cleaning things by the dozen, so a giant cutting board is super-handy.
Canners are processing things in bulk, and having a Nice Knife makes the whole process much, much more pleasant.
Have you ever seen how much Pickling Salt goes into pickles? It’s a LOT!
There’s more to canning than strawberry jam and grape jelly. Pick up some Cookbooks as a gift and discover delicious new flavours.
If you have never seen jam and jelly made, you are probably living in blissful ignorance about the amount of Sugar that goes into such things. It’s usually 50/50 fruit and sugar in jam. My spouse was shocked and appalled.
Pectin is the stuff that makes canning set up, aka how fruit juices turn into jellies. Pomona’s makes a no-sugar required one, which is pretty nifty.
Aren’t these Mason Jar Lid Coasters cute?
Are you a woodworker, who knows a canner or an urban homesteader? Put your skills to work making these really awesome stackable wooden crates which hold mason jars. Here is a youtube video showing you how. They are really not difficult at all, but oh so useful. Maybe you can trade some of these crates for some of our gift ideas for woodworkers?
Are you a canner? What are some of your favourite things? (I hope you sang that in your head, like in the Sound of Music.)