Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The Finnish Diet?

Back in 2008, my friend Lesley said she was having a Finnish Summer. I thought she meant a trip to Helsinki - she actually meant a finish summer- one where she planned to finish all her craft projects, so she could start the autumn with a clean conscience, and clean craft room - nothing hanging about waiting to be completed. I told Bob that in March we would be on a finish diet - attempting to eat up everything in the freezer, and the pantry. 

For a long time now, I have been accumulating glass clip top jars for storing dry goods. Vintage 'Le Parfait' and Kilner, and newer IKEA and Wilko. Mostly from Charity shops - a run through the dishwasher, and a fresh rubber seal and they are fine! 

But they are heavy even when empty. I had a number with just a small amount of rice, flour, lentils etc left in them. I decanted the contents into plastic boxes, and set the jars aside to wash and pack. Warning! Those fittings are not interchangeable - it took two of us 35 minutes to match up 4 jars, 4 lids, 4 seals and 4 pairs of wire clips!

Bob made me promise to label the parts next time I took them to bits for washing! But now the jars are packed, and we will work our way through these boxes [noodles, rice, couscous, lentils...]
I am very fond of pretty tins - especially ones where the design is printed on the metal, and not a paper label stuck on afterwards. These seem much more common in Europe than over here - I have a lovely French biscuit tin, and a can which held lobster bisque, a Spanish paprika container, and a Belgian coffee tin. But British ones seem less common - apart from the occasional Christmas Special or commemorative tin. Waitrose pilchard tins are fun- but the picture is on the lid which gets discarded and they are rather small to keep things in. My Mamade tins are in use as pencil pots, but again, they have no lids. Liz keeps her fancy teas in Tate&Lyle tins -green Golden Syrup and red Black Treacle. The iconic "lion & bees" design dates back to 1883
This is one of my favourite tins - bought on holiday in Belgium in 2001, from the Delhaize supermarket. I have refilled it with fairtrade cocoa countless times in the last 20 years. The Belgian Delhaize brothers started their grocery business around 150 years ago, choosing the lion for their logo, and the motto 'unity is strength'. Back in the Victorian era [when packaging first became a big thing] they commissioned artists to design beautiful labels and posters [much like Pears Soap did over here]
Aren't these amazing? I suppose nowadays people want their labels to be functional and informative - with words like essentials/basics/special/deluxe 
and traffic light warnings, and calorie counts.
I remember the year these first hit the shops - late 1980s I think. They were £1 a tin. A number of generous church members gave them to us at Christmas. We had fourteen tins stacked in the corner behind the tree! I have one tin left, and like many people, I keep basic sewing supplies in it. 

Poor Rosie- she was so disappointed the first time she saw the tin at Cornerstones, and thought it was full of cookies!
Do you have a favourite tin? Are you a zero-waste glass jar fanatic?  And have you kept tins for 20 years simply because you think they are lovely?


  1. I do like to reuse tins and glass jars, etc. Nothing as pretty as your tins, though. Those Danish butter cookies are among my favorites and, I, too, would have been disappointed like Rosie was, to find sewing supplies instead of cookies! :D

  2. First time to comment on a blog. I have the first baby formula tin my Mum bought when I was born. It's a Cow & Gate tin and is from 1967

    1. Thank you for commenting Anne! Baby formula tins are brilliant. My father had dozens of blue and white 1950s "National Dried Milk" tins in his garage, containing screws and bolts and hardware. How I wish I'd still got one of them.

  3. Angie, I know you are moving soon the Cornerstones. I hope your move will be problem free. Our last move was not good, I landed in hospital 3 weeks before we were due to move, got out a week before....having had a pace maker fitted. My husband had to do all the running about etc. Thankfully youngest son and eldest daughter helped him with things like curtains rails, putting stuff up and hanging curtains. Moving is not something we will be doing any time soon!!

    1. Thank you so much - I'm so sorry to read about your complicated move. We're both doing our best to keep well! Unlike previous moves, we arent allowed to have friends round to help us, or go out to them for meals etc - which makes it a bit harder. But we will get there. And this will be my last move, I hope.

  4. For several decades, my tea bag (PG Tips) container has been a tall. square shaped D. Lazzaroni & CO. Amaretti Di Saronno biscotti tin. Pretty design and colours. Honestly can't remember a time when it wasn't on my kitchen counter behind the tea kettle. A bit faded around the top from handling, but still holds a tight seal. Company has been around since 1888.

    1. I keep my chopsticks in a tall Amaretti tin. Their tins are so pretty, as you say

  5. My Mum bought me a huge tin of Amaretti for my birthday, the tin of which is beautiful. However, I'm still a little perplexed why as I don't like Amaretti. (She also bought me a jar of Orange curd and I don't like that either....)
    I've got various biscuit tins I use to purchase pasta in from the Zerowaste shop (usually fancy M&S) and various pretty Twinings or Whittards tins which house tea plus a Betty's tin for my Earl Grey- all of which have been gifts. A lovely boy in Year 1 gave me a beautiful tin of Mozart Kugeln for Christmas and CBC is really enamoured of both the sweets and the tin. I'm not keen on almonds (except You!) or Marzipan so it worked out fine with me. My mother in Law bought me a Posh (overpriced) hamper for my birthday and everything is in fancy tins, jars and bottles. I've probably got enough in there alone to keep me going a long time.
    I have the same matching lid problem with all the plastic takeaway tubs in my cupboard- can't seem to find a match! I even numbered them with a sharpie but it faded!


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