Last week, I wrote about some of my favorite canning tools and the reasons they might just make good holiday gifts for the canners in your lives. This week I want to feature some of the odds and ends that aren’t canning necessities but make a jar-filled life a little bit prettier and more fun (of course, I intended to get this posted on Monday, but that knock-out flu I had has put me behind in my posting. So sorry!).
First on the list is Weck Jars. They’re good for canning, for dry goods storage, and if you spring for a set of snap-on plastic lids, they make fantastic leftover containers. Because they’re a bit pricier than your average box of jars, they’re an indulgence, but isn’t that what the holiday season is all about? Once hard to find, they’re now available for online order from the U.S. distributor, Kaufmann Mercantile and Mighty Nest, and in Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel stores.
For someone who has all their jar needs met, what about a pretty ladle? It’s good for filling your jars, scooping up servings of soup and chili and it looks fab sticking out of a crock of utensils. Available from Kaufmann Mercantile, it costs $32 and would be fun tucked in a stocking.
I love my stainless steel funnel. The one I have is made by RSVP and I use it all the time. Not only is it useful during the canning process, but it’s also great for filling jars with dried goods and helping pour leftover soup into storage jars. I even take it to Whole Foods with me when I use my own container for bulk foods, because it allows me to funnel the food into my jars cleanly.
If I didn’t already have a stainless steel funnel, I might opt for this one, because it has a strainer that can fit into the base should you need it. That would be an awesome helper for those moments when you find yourself pouring stock into jars and want to do a final strain.
Drink toppers are another fun gift for jar lovers. I’ve written about these a lot lately, so I won’t go into crazy depth about them, but they’re great. There’s Cuppow, EcoJarz, and a lid specifically for iced coffee from the Mason Bar Company (they’ll also sell you a straw if you want a plastic one. I like these stainless steel babies better).
Once you turn your mason jar into a drinking cup, you need something to absorb the moisture and heat. That’s where a jar cozy or sleeve comes in. There are so many different Etsy shops making these. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Mason Bar Company (cute hand-crocheted cozies from the folks who sell the drink lids mentioned above).
- Greyslater (sleek waxed canvas sleeves).
- Fine + Dandy Knits (hand-knit cozies made from organic cotton, pattern is available).
- One Robin Road (charming cozies made from recycled sweaters. No two are alike).
- Cadron Creations (hand-crocheted cozies made to fit a variety of sizes, including the newly reissued pint & half jars).
- Two Tired Bike (mason jar sleeves made from recycled bike inner tubes. Great for jar lovers who adore their two wheeled transportation).
- Hide and True (hand-stitched leather sleeves. Spendy, but gorgeous).
- The Stowe (another leather sleeve, this time with a built-in handle).
Finally, the ultimate gift for jar loves is the Jars to Go tote from A Tiny Forest. Since I first wrote about the original two-jar bag, Kim has expanded the offerings in her shop to include a four-jar bag and single sleeves that fasten up over the top of the jar (perfect for packaging up super-special gift jars).
And since no gift guide is complete without a giveaway, here’s what I have for you today. There are two giveaway packs and we’ll have two winners. The first is from Kaufmann Mercantile and consists of a six-pack of 1/4 L straight-side Weck Jars and that lovely white enamel ladle pictured above. The second is a four-jar Jars to Go tote from A Tiny Forest in Kim’s signature blue-striped fabric (like this one).
Here’s how to get in on the giveaway:
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite edible or culinary stocking stuffer (my favorite edible stocking stuffer is Pocky and my favorite culinary stocking stuffer is this little microplane nutmeg grater).
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
- Giveaway open US residents only.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I cannot accept submissions via email.
Macadamia nuts and a Toblerone dark chocolate bar! 🙂
Hmm…edible would have to be either clementines or chocolate oranges. We used to get both in our stockings as kids.
I’ve never gotten a culinary gift in my stocking, but I would love to get my great-grandmother’s potato masher in my stocking one of these days. I have purchased a great many, but none of them (or my KitchenAid) work as well as her old metal one with the wooden handle with only remnants of the red paint from long ago. Alas, my mom is refusing to give it up. 🙂
My favorite edible stocking stuffer to give is either garlic, a shallot, or an onion! I work at a vegetable farm so I have plenty of these to sneak into stockings. To receive, it has to be Reeses trees. I never buy candy other than dark chocolate bars, but I cannot resist those tasty treats (something about that perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter)!
I loved getting that red rock hard cinnamon candy in my stocking. Spicy and looked like broken shards of red stained glass…hmmm!
For sweet and savory, rock candy and a garlic press! Two essentials
My favorite gift — which I’m happy to say family and friends now request — is my homemade jam. I make several kinds to suit folks’ tastes. An inedible gift would be a lovely wooden spoon.
I love light chocolate maple creams, either homemade or Esther Price.
We stuffing stockings with cuppows this year!
I love peppermint bark as my edible stocking stuffer item and would love my own thermopen for jamming and candy making in my stocking!
My favorite edible stocking stuffer is dark chocolate. As much as I love making things, it is hard to top really good chocolate.
I love good chocolate in a stocking. My parents put nuts and clementines in our stockings when we were young; I didn’t love it then, but a good clementine on Christmas morning is pretty great.
Grapefruit spoons! Seasonal, and so useful.
My favorite lime juicer broke this year after many years of service (and lots of gin and tonics), so I’d love it if one appeared in my stocking. And if some of my friend Kathy’s homemade toffee showed up in there, too, I’d be very happy indeed.
Favorite edible would be assortment of teas or coffees from one of my favorite little shops in town. Non-edible would be handmade wooden spoons (all different sizes).
I’m so glad you know about eco jars! My lovely friend Joe Fischer helps run that company and I was so thrilled when I heard they were finally in production. My entire extended family this year has requested that I make them plum butter. I was experimenting at the beginning of fall with recipes and definitely nailed it now I can’t get them to stop asking for more. So I think that will be the stocking stuffer of the year.
My favorite edible stocking stuffers is any kind of truffle. I really love the nice richy smoothness they bring, but can never bring myself to pay an outrageous amount for them (well maybe every once in a while), but they are wonderful.
My favorite edible stocking stuffer growing up was the Lifesavers candy book. I haven’t had any edible or culinary stocking stuffers in far too long. Perhaps I’ll change that this year. ;*
I actually still love getting oranges in stockings! It was always really refreshing to get one – especially when it seems I always overdid with junk food, so a healthy orange was a nice treat.
My favorite stocking stuffer would be dark chocolate (though watching The Lorax with my family at the moment so maybe that ought to be Fair Trade, responsibly harvested dark chocolate) and my favorite non-edible culinary stocking stuffer would handmade pottery made by a friend of mine.
Can you handle a Chanukah twist…it’s chocolate coins and little wooden tops, called dreidels…I still give them to my grandson and we have a rolicking good time!
My favorite edible stocking stuffer is dark chocolate sea salt caramels! I love to give and receive those! My favorite culinary gift is now a heart shaped wooden spoon, I’ve given one to my mom and my sister now, it’s so cute and who doesn’t like a wooden spoon?
Great giveaways! Happy Holidays!