Wednesday, August 22, 2012

mason jar juice and some rambling

Mason jars are the new yuppie thing to have in your kitchen.  People use them at parties for drink glasses at weddings for candle holders.  It's the new country chic way of serving liquids or decorating.  All of us city yuppies want to feel apart of the farm-to-table/taking food back to the source trend.  Type mason jar into Pinterest and you'll see what I mean.

I am feeling more and more separated from the yuppie I once was.  I was a little bit shocked to count out how many years it's been since I was a young professional in my pea coat and sensible (and sometimes not so sensible) high heels commuting by Metro into DC for work every day.  It's been 5 years!.  So much has changed.  Justin and I used to meet at our little house after work, baby the dog for a few minutes, make a smart smoothie, throw on our hip gym clothes and go pump iron at Golds Gym before we'd come home and throw something from Trader Joe's into a skillet and call it a night.  Friday night we went out drinking (it was our off night at the gym). Man, we were yuppies.

Life has flip flopped since then.  Three children later and living most of our married life overseas has turned me into a completely different person, wife and mother than I pictured I'd be when I graduated from college with my fancy consulting job.  I'm happy for the change.  Possibly I'm a better, certainly more well rounded and less selfish, person because of it.

Now I own Mason jars. And not because I want to get in on a trend.  Farm to table isn't a fad in Ethiopia.  It's just life.  All the food we eat (minus our consumables we brought with us from home) only stops briefly at the grocery store on it's journey from the source to my skillet...ending in my family's bellies.

I haven't canned anything in these jars.  I actually purchased them for the purpose of making juice or keeping herb infused water in the refrigerator. Justin kind of rose his eyebrows when he saw me unwrapping the jars the other day.  "What, are we working at Ned Ludd's this summer?" was his quip.

He might have been skeptical then but when he came home to fresh iced teas and juices he wasn't complaining.  Who doesn't love options to quench their thirst?  I was getting pretty tired of luke warm water from our distiller.

Yuppie or not, you'll enjoy it.

Here is where you can buy the 1 Liter Mason Jars
(sugar syrup-one parts white sugar, one parts water warmed until the sugar is dissolved)

From left to right in photo above:
Iced spiced Indonesian tea:
Brew 22-24 oz of strong spiced black tea.  Fill the mason jar half full with ice.  Add tea to jar and 1/4 cup sugar syrup.  Stir and taste.  Add more syrup as needed.

Iced Jasmine tea with honey:
Brew about 22-24 oz of strong jasmine tea (green tea would be good as well).  Fill the mason jar half full with ice.  Add tea to the jar and 2 Tbsp honey.  Stir and taste. Add honey 1 Tbsp at a time until the sweetness is to your liking.

Lemonade: Juice 4 1/2 medium lemons.  Remove seeds and pulp if you aren't a fan of pulpy lemonade.  I like the pulp so I kept it.  Pour lemon juice in to the mason jar and fill with water almost to the top.  Add 1/4 cup sugar syrup and stir.  Taste and add more syrup as needed. Slice the remaining half lemon into rounds and add to the jar.

Watermelon juice:  Seed and cut half of a medium watermelon. Place the flesh in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the juice into the mason jar through a funnel covered with a fine strainer.  Use a spoon to stir the juice in the strainer so the pulp and any bits of seeds stay up top and the juice flows through.  Continue until the mason jar is full.  Any of the pulp that is in the jar will rise to the top as the juice settles.  Spoon out the pulp if you want so you are left with the juice or simply shake the jar before every time you pour.  Our watermelon is very sweet so there wasn't a need to sweeten the juice.  But you can add sugar syrup to this juice if needed.

The possibilities for the 1 Liter mason jars are endless for drinks and juices.  Iced coffee or chai, sun tea, ginger lemongrass juice, orange pineapple, cucumber basil infused water...absolutely endless.

I'd love your ideas too please!


Natasha said...

Mason jars ARE so hip now -- I noticed a lot of ideas for mason jar wedding decor on Pinterest when I was planning my wedding in the spring. (We ended up using mason jars as candle holders at our super-casual rehearsal dinner bbq.)

It's so crazy to think about how much my life is going to change in a few short weeks when we finally depart for post! I can't even imagine what our lives will be like in 1 year, let alone 5. It's exciting!

Sara said...

Natasha-I bet the candles were gorgeous inside the jars. It's such a simple yet pretty look. Much better than the vase with sand rocks or water that was popular when I was planning my wedding in 2004. I'd love to plan a reception again. All the flowers and place settings...and the wine. I'd have good wine this time!

It is super exciting to embark on a new adventure. We started ours with one child so I can't imagine the adventures my husband and I could have had if we were just the two of us. My advice would be to do as much as you can travel and trekking wise before you have a child. Just get it out of your system. Don't get me wrong, we love traveling with out girls but it's a very different experience! Good luck Natasha
P.S. I was searching through your blog the other day and loved the wedding scrap book you did!

Natasha said...

Thank you! I'm hoping to keep a scrapbook for each post ... but who knows. I guess a blog is sort of a virtual scrapbook!