The only jam I buy with any regularity is Bonne Maman strawberry preserves. It is a perfect product. It’s sweet and tart, with discernible pieces of berry, and it comes packed in a Bonne Maman jar, another perfect product that I hoard like a little jar goblin.
It’s hard to explain what makes the jar so perfect. Is it the cheerful red and white picnic table patterned lid? The way it sits in the the hand, just hefty enough to give a lend a little gravitas without feeling too precious? Or is it the fact that you can use them over and over, in a multitude of ways that range from strictly utilitarian to overtly whimsical? Jar Mug
I think it’s a combination of all of the above, coupled with the fact that, should you break one, all you have to do to replace it is buy (and consume) more delicious jam (oh no). Here are seven of my favorite ways to repurpose Bonne Maman jars, in no particular order.
If you like drinking out of twee-ass mason jars, you’re going to love drinking out of Bonne Maman jam jars. They’re more charming than a mason, with a wide, stout body that’s perfect for holding a cocktail with a big fat cube, and they come with their own coasters (cheerful little lids). As I’ve mentioned previously , it’s the perfect picnic cocktail glass, an excellent backyard wine vessel and—when you screw the lid on—a neat little to-go cup.
It never hurts to have an emergency cocktail around, particularly if ethanol is your preferred coping substance. I’ve spoken of the beauty of the emergency libation before , but to re-cap:
Sometimes I forget about the cocktail by the time Friday evening rolls around, but I always remember it when I need it. Nothing quells an emotional emergency quite like a cocktail, but crafting a cocktail in the middle of an emotional emergency is not ideal. Having a bunch of ready-to-drink cocktails sealed in little jars is intrinsically good, is what I’m saying. It’s exactly like meal planning, except with alcohol instead of chicken breasts.
High-ABV cocktails work best, as those with juice or higher overall water contents can freeze, so stick to the classics (like Manhattan’s or martinis). Just make the cocktail like you usually would, dilution and all, then pour it into a jar, close the jar, and stick it in the freezer.
Speaking of libations, you can use an almost-empty Bonne Maman jar to infuse your booze with the flavor of Bonne Maman jam. Add an ounce and a half of your favorite spirit to the jar, shake shake shake, then strain the jewel-toned liquid through a fine mesh sieve. Drink it like you would any fruity booze, but don’t overlook the “something and soda” genre of beverages.
Almost-empty jam jars make great impromptu “fruit on the bottom” yogurt cups . Just scoop your favorite yogurt (or ice cream) on top of the last tablespoon or so of jam, then get to twirling, swirling, and spooning yogurt into your mouth. Don’t want yogurt right now? Screw on the lid and pack it in your lunchbox.
I haven’t used a whisk (or fork) to scramble eggs in at least three years. I always use a jar, preferably a Bonne Maman jar. Shaking the eggs produces the most uniform scrambles, without any annoying white streaks, while also aerating them to help form big, fluffy curds.
Just like with eggs, you can use a jar to emulsify oil and vinegar into beautiful, silky vinaigrettes that just refuse to break. As I’ve mentioned previously (years ago), it’s a very elegant, holistic salad-dressing system:
You just pour, scoop or dollop your favorite vinaigrette ingredients into the jar, seal it, and shake until you have a homogeneous-looking mixture. Then you pour it on your salad. Then you eat your salad. Oh no, you made too much dressing? It’s a good thing it’s already in a sealable container. Just pop it in the fridge until you make another salad...
Engraved Whiskey Bottle As much as I love my opaque Pyrex dishes, I’ve found that I am much more likely to use and eat food if it is stored in clear containers . Bonne Maman jars are perfect for storing small amounts of dried goods, sauces, salad dressings, homemade dips, and random leftovers, like the last bit of mashed potatoes. They’re also dishwasher safe, stack beautifully in the fridge, and look cute in the pantry (thanks to that darling little lid).