101 things to do with canning bands

Okay, so there are only two things listed so far; but I can see these little guys coming in quite handy as I move through other first-time cooking and canning adventures or other domesticities. With each new venture, I’m finding my kitchen ill- or partially-equipped (and my wallet still just as tight.)

Wondering how you can do and try some of these things and not go broke in the process?

Get creative! Here’s how:

I stopped by Target to check out retail-land’s end of season sales on canning gear and supplies. I used my cool coupons provided from Canning Across America’s June giveaway. With those coupons, I saved $12 on six cases of jars. The lids, which cannot be reused after each round of canning, come in sets of 12, usually costing anywhere between $3 to $6 (depending where you shop.) Tucked away on the bottom (clearance) shelf, I found boxes of these replacement lids at 74 cents per package! I bought as many boxes as would fit in my canvas bag.

bands on the left, lids on the right bands on the top and left, the actual lids are whiteI stashed the actual lids in a ziploc for later use, but the bands, the other part of a two-part canning (mason) jar’s top, have multiplied on my workbench. What to do with all these spare bands (besides hiding them away in a big baggie or recycling them?)!?

101 things to do with canning bands:

1. When I made jam last weekend, I ended up in a bind. The canning rack I purchased did not fit inside my 16-quart stockpot. To keep the jam machine rolling, I improvised.

my improvised canning rack my improvised canning rackI placed a bunch of bands so they fit snugly inside the bottom of my pot. The rack keeps the jars elevated in the boiling water bath, and allows the boiling water to completely surround the jars. I’ll explain more of this in my first-time canning post.

2. I realized today, as the bread was undergoing its second rise, that I still don’t have a baker’s rack. Problematic, since the bread really needs to completely cool on some sort of rack. I do have a jillion canning bands, though. Voila!

these will allow my bread to cool, from top to bottom these will allow my bread to cool, from top to bottomMy loaves are unaware that I didn’t go out and spend $15 on a baker’s rack. This rigged-up deal will not work for small cookies or muffins, since they’ll fall through the holes in the bands. Also, be sure to wash the bands before using them as a rack.

this bread's just chillin' on the bands this bread’s just chillin’ on the bandsStay tuned. More nifty tricks to come as I encounter solve-able dilemmas along my path to domesticity…