Mason jars

Spices in Mason jars

I’m back home in San Francisco now, and when I reached for my jar of za’atar to sprinkle on my hummus this morning, I thought of one more item to add to my list of benefits of Houston over San Francisco, which I posted about a few days ago, and that’s the better availability of my favorite Mason jars.

Star anise in a Mason jar

A few months ago I decided I needed a new solution for storing my spices, which were in metal tins that were starting to get rusted and bent, making them hard to use. I knew I wanted to use Mason jars, which I figured would stand up better to constant use and washing and would be easily replaceable when I needed more. The problem was, I wanted these super-cute squat half-pint pint jars that I found online

Spices in squat pint Mason jars

but they were nowhere to be found in San Francisco. I scoured every housewares, hardware, and cookware store I could think of and had no luck.I discovered that I could order them online from the few sellers who weren’t out of stock, but that the shipping would cost more than the jars themselves, so I wistfully gave up on my favorite jars and decided to go with these smaller, 4-ounce half-pint jars for most of my spices …

Spices stored in half-pint Mason jars

But then, lo and behold, my mom came across the magical squat half-pint pint jars, called “Ball Collection Elite Platinum Wide,” at her local Walmart. She bought me 8 of them  and sent them along. I am so in love with these jars. The wide mouth makes the jars easy to use, and they’re just the perfect size for most spices. And they’re so dang cute!

Saffron in a wide-mouth Mason jar

Unfortunately, when I was in Houston last weekend, and I was excited to stock up on more jars, I was informed that they were a “seasonal item” and wouldn’t be stocked again until next summer.

Until then I’ll have to stick with a combo of the two types of jars …

Spice jars

Though the obsessive-compulsive in me that needs all the jars to match can’t wait until I get a full set of the pint jars. But does that mean that I have to visit Houston in the summer? Oh dear …