Buying labels - the easiest option
Do you have an in-house fourteen year old?
Leaving aside the moods and slammed doors and weird clothes, there are times when having a techno savvy teenager around the house can be very useful. Installing apps on your computer, organising the privacy settings on your facebook page or just explaining instagram, for example, is all in a day’s fun for these youngsters.
Some of the instructions on software packages for programmes to design your own jar labels have fourteen year olds in mind.
I will attempt to set these out on another post.
In the meantime, there are however plenty of attractive and easy to use labels for the rest of us.
These can be bought in both in high street shops and I have also found and added some simple links for purchasing a wider and better choice of labels online.
WHAT TO LABEL
All this may seem obvious but forgetting to include all of the following information on your preserves jar may well bring pain and grief at some point later.
So for each pot of produce you make you will need to include the following on a label:
THE NAME of the produce eg strawberry jam
MADE BY eg you
THE DATE MADE eg 12.4.16
DATE BY WHICH IT SHOULD BE CONSUMED if appropriate
Preserves generally do just that. Chutneys and pickles and will last for at least a year. Jams and marmalades with the sugar content will last even longer as will anything stored in alcohol.There are, however, a few recipes that Beryl states will not last so long eg Apple Butter and for these a date by which they should be consumed must be added.
LIST OF INGREDIENTS
In view of the concern about allergies and food intolerances, if you plan to give it as a gift or to a stall for sale I would also advise listing the ingredients This can be either typed or handwritten.
Not all of this information needs to be on the front of the jar. Some of the boring details dates, eat by, ingredients etc can be included on a second label.
WHEN TO LABEL
Was it plum and apple jam or just plum?
At the height of summer, when you are overwhelmed with produce to preserve, you can so easily forget what you have just included.
Most of Beryl’s recipes call for filling the sterilised jars and covering the filled jar with a sterilised lid as soon as the cooking is completed. This is important to avoid contamination and ensure safe storage.
It is important to check lids if you may are planning to reuse them and discard any if they are damaged or beyond cleaning or if the rubber is damaged.
New lids can be obtained from a number of sources including the pink and blue check from Lakeland.
Ascot-diary lids can supply different size replacement lids
Adding brown paper, hessian, material or a jolly design paper cover transforms the jar into a bright present to offer.
THE READY TO STICK LABELS
In addition to the labels to be found in high street shops, there is a massive range of labels available online. I have found, however , that grouped together on Notonthehighstreet, were the most comprehensive and easiest range of sticky labels, personalised stamps, chalkboard labels, wax seal stamps (yes!), fabric patch labels, and a few personalised stamps and labels
When I started preserves, I also used a range of pretty labels and covers from Countryside Direct
More recently I have adopted the Made by Pippa which are easy to order from Honeytree Post
If you have a preferred source for your labels or labelling, please add you comments below – with photos better still.