I’m usually pretty minimalist when it comes to my food preserving tools… My favourites are multipurpose. That’s why I ferment in canning jars instead of crocks or Fidos: I already have many (many, many, many) canning jars, and would prefer to diversify their utility rather than add more stuff to my small home.
Having said that… Sometimes, something comes along that’s useful, and while it may not be totally necessary, it sure is cute!
What I’m talking about are these chalkboard label stickers: I love the way they look on my jars of active ferments.
Now, I’m big on labeling all my preserves… I like to put the date, the type of food, and perhaps even the name of the recipe or batch #, on every jar (or bag) of jam, jelly, sauce, chutney, pickle, dried/frozen fruit or vegetable, fruit leather, soup, etc. that fills my cold storage and freezer. This is important for maintaining quality and ensuring I eat the oldest things first, and also for keeping track of the odd product that really didn’t quite work out (I’m looking at you, inexplicably moldy pickled beets!).
It used to be I’d take a sharpie (permanent marker) to each jar or bag, and just write on the glass or plastic. Then I found a self-inking custom text printing kit at a thrift store, and began using that to stamp out all my labels (and, incidentally, my wedding invitations). For fermentation experiments, however, I was still just writing on the jars with a marker. Until! Until I saw these stickers, and was smitten. They’re large enough to scrawl on the name of the ferment and the date, easy to wipe off when the fermenting is done, and so far seem to fair well in being carefully peeled off and re-applied to a new jar when necessary.
And… They really are cute, aren’t they?