Mason jars are a storage staple

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It is entirely possible that I just googled the term “clever condiment storage.” I blame Pinterest for that.

I spent this morning cleaning out the refrigerator. Like many modern families, we currently own a refrigerator that is only slightly larger than our first starter home.

I’m serious. We had to sign a waiver when we ordered it promising that it would fit into the house.

If it ever stops working — Heaven forbid — I think we can repurpose it as a storage shed or small garage. Something useful like that.

Invisible food

In the meantime it serves the dual purpose of housing all the leftovers we aren’t going to eat, and cooling the room by dint of the many hours spent with the doors flung open staring into the bright lights.

Always, of course, the lament is that there is “nothing to eat.”

Somehow we can spend $200 at the supermarket and still have nothing to eat. This is confusing since when I clean out the refrigerator I find no end of the food choices to throw away.

I decided that the only obvious explanation is that somehow between the purchase and when it becomes a science experiment, all the food in there is rendered invisible.

It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

Pinterest

Thus I turned to the purveyor of clever things — Pinterest.

Pinterest is the internet darling of craft, cooking, fashion, home decor, about a million recipes mixing candy bars with whipped topping, and weight loss tips.

It’s a complicated place. Pinterest wasted no time in assuring me that I was doing food storage — and virtually everything else if truth be told — all wrong.

We were storing produce in the bags it came home from the grocer in.

Our dairy products were mingling with other products and not even corralled in attractive bins.

Worse, our condiments and dressings were stored in the original manufacturer designed container. What is this savagery?

Mason jars

Obviously, mason jars were needed — stat.

Mason jars are the darling of Pinterest. They are used for everything. Crafts, home decor, party favors, garden art, desk organizing, and fresh food storage.

Oddly, I didn’t run across too many articles about canning. Go figure.

I dutifully gathered up our hodgepodge of Mason jars and sliced fruits and vegetables into them. I have to admit, it looked nicer than crumpled plastic bags.

Next, addressed the dairy items. Cream cheese isn’t supposed to be green right? Into cute lidded jars fresh cheese went.

Finally, I faced off with our condiment collection. Collection really is the best term for it.

Apparently, we’ve been amassing large amounts of ranch dressing and mustard just in case of embargo I guess. This is what led me back to Pinterest.

Once our refrigerator looked like an art piece, I couldn’t have a crusty mustard bottle mucking up the works.

Storage

Guess what? There are endless possibilities to store things. I’m pretty sure I lost hours comparing the merits of various flip tops and squeeze caps. Glass? Plastic?

Finally I sighed, logged off, and considered one fact: the people who make mustard for a living have undoubtedly put thought and expertise into mustard dispensing design.

Who am I — or Pinterest — to second guess their prowess?

I wiped off the bottle, put it back, averted my eyes, and shut the door. I still don’t regret my half day spent tackling the inner organization of food storage.

Within the first hour of our newly cleaned and jarred existence, both Boywonder and Girlwonder had happily grazed through a variety of foods they had previously neglected.

Now instead of “there’s nothing to eat,” they can fling the doors open and cool the house while pawing through all those bins and jars.

Currently the only thing we can find at a glance is the mustard.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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