Saturday 2 April 2022


Nobody is really sure why US Marines are called Jarheads - there are at least 3 theories

  1. their original uniforms had high, stiff leather collars so it looked like their heads were popping out of a jar
  2. in WW1, they used mules to transport their kit, and 'jarhead' was a nickname for these stubborn, determined, hardworking animals. It became a moniker for the Marines themselves.
  3. adopted in WW2, the 'high and tight' military haircut with nothing at the sides, and more on top, makes their heads look like glass jars with lids on. 
Personally I have no idea what to think. I looked this up, because I've been sorting my storage jars this week, and I do like to know about word origins. 

I already have two large Hornsea storage jars - labelled PORRIDGE OATS and NOT OATS.  I found another one in a CS in Dereham this week. I actually came home and measured the space to see if it would fit before I bought it. Here they are on the shelf now. 

But if you look carefully, you will see the new one is slightly different - it doesn't say "Biscuits". Which does not matter in the slightest, because i do not keep biscuits in them anyway. I felt that rice was the most useful thing to have on hand by the hob.

My rice was previously in a glass clip-top jar. I've been building up a collection of these for years now. The rice went into the Hornsea, and I decided to empty some wholemeal flour into the jar. Then I noticed the glass lid was chipped in three places. That is not a good thing to happen. I didn't want to throw away the jar though.

That's when I remembered that as I unpacked my jars after the move, one of my big jars broke - and I discarded the broken glass, but kept the lid and the seal. Yes!!! a perfect fit, and now my flour is labelled and in the cupboard with the rye flour etc. 

The good news is that, unlike Pyrex, my chipped Kilner jar lid is fully recyclable in the glass recycling. And yes, you can buy replacement rubber seals for the wooden lids of Hornsea storage jars online - but you can also strengthen the seal without buying a new one. Simply ease off the rubber seal, put a rubber band or two in the groove at the base of the lid, and replace the original seal on top of them. This will make it fit more snugly, giving an airtight closure. 

Do you have a favourite set of jars for storing kitchen staples?


  1. I had no idea that the US Marines were called jarheads!
    I do have a set of matching jars in which I store my tea bags and sugar, but, I use a bunch of mismatched glass bottles, jam jars, etc., to store most other kitchen items.

  2. The tea/coffee/sugar sets are very popular here too

  3. I have a set of sloping glass jars with wooden lids in a wooden holder. They contain rice, oats and white sugar. The lids tend to fall off if knocked and I have sometimes wondered if I should think about a different set of jars, but it isn't really a big deal.

  4. When my grandmother died suddenly, my grandfather (a trained chemist who worked in a lab) was horrified to find rice in the cornishware jar labelled sugar and currants in the jar labelled flour. It was because the packet size fitted the jars better. I didn't know that about the seals. I had more or less given up on a jar and I shall have to go back to it.


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