For so many people, the joy of canning comes from its creative possibilities. Those stained-glass shelves of jams and jellies! Those beautiful pickles! But I don't have a sweet tooth and we tend not to eat pickles.
For me, the greatest pleasure in canning is utterly prosaic. I like to can dried beans. I soak them overnight, put a cup of soaked beans in a pint jar (or a scant two cups in a quart), top them up with boiling water, add an inch or so of kombu (adds minerals, so they say, and helps with any gassiness) and process in the pressure canner. Not creative, not beautiful, and yet I find real satisfaction in reaching for a jar of these cheap, humble staples, canned so effortlessly in their BPA-free glass jars.
Last night, for the first time, I used these reusable canning lids from Tattler, $11.75 a dozen from Amazon.
They're BPA-free, and you can use them over and over again. All my jars sealed perfectly, and although they're not as pretty as traditional lids - and you can't write on them - I'm a convert. They come in two parts - a plastic lid and a thin rubber ring. You still need to add metal canning bands, but those have always been reusable, so that's fine. A little less waste makes me enjoy my plain little jars even more.