Labels for Jam

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As usual, we came back from New York with loads of jam.  I like to take advantage of the rhubarb that grows everywhere…I get some from Steve’s Uncle Bob, from a plant that is over 60 years old.  That plant came from an even older plant–over 100 years old now and still growing–that was on the farm where Steve’s mom grew up.  This year, I also found some glorious NY apricots, plus I harvested mint for jelly in the neighboring pasture.  Between all that canning and the jam I had left behind, we had a big pile of jars that needed labels.

Last summer, I ran out of adhesive labels and thought that I might try printing some of my own.  I found a few online (some favorites are here and here), and then realized that I could just use a little clip art and make them up just the way I liked.  The real discovery was using kids’ washable glue to attach the labels, something I did only because it was what I had on hand.  Many of the labels I found are designed to be printed on Avery adhesive labels, but all I had was paper.  And what a revelation!  Instead of spending all that time peeling and scraping to get the label off when I was washing the jars, they slipped right off.  So now I am entirely sold on the paper and glue approach.

Of course, Anna agrees entirely.  Glue, in large quantities if possible, is much more fun than stickers.

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My favorite labels, I think, were these printed from Martha Stewart, lovingly hand-lettered by Maggie.

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It really was a big project, literally dozens and dozens of jars to label.  Before too long, the girls’ enthusiasm for labeling faded, and instead they began playing a game in which the various jars were sisters or princesses or some band of characters having all sorts of adventures.  Meanwhile, I kept plugging and got the last few labels glued on.

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And now that dwindling pantry isn’t looking so bare!