February 02, 2019

My Life in Mason Jars

By Kate Ward
My Life in Mason Jars
One of my New Year's “attempts” (resolution sounds so heavy) is to try and eat lunch. Living in Dallas and having three kids at three different school campuses means lots of driving. Which translates to eating two out of three meals in the car. I can guzzle water like a frat boy downs beer, but I seem to forget to eat until it’s 5 pm. By then I’m just hangry and resort to Pringles and a handful of almonds until dinner’s ready -- hence the New Year’s attempt. To make things more complicated, I try to eat paleo--no dairy, sugar, or gluten. The recipes below are easy to make and store, plus they check the boxes for my paleo restrictions. I have quite a few and will be sharing more next week, as well.
Over the last year I have tested and accrued some fab recipes that you can make Sunday and take out of the fridge during the week-- all in Mason jars. Why Mason jars, you say? Because they are cheap, come in bulk from my local grocery store, are easily washed and come with their own tops. They look cute when they are stacked up or photographed. Come ON who doesn’t love that cute pink pudding pic? See recipes at the end of this post. 
Now as a practical mom there are many other uses of the Mason jar that I’d love to share with you. 
1) Emergency vessel for your child’s broken off tooth. When said child knocks out a permanent tooth and you can’t get him into the dentist to repair it over the weekend, store the tooth in milk, in a Mason jar with the top on until dentist is ready to return tooth to its rightful place. Replace the milk every few days. I got this delightful chore while my son’s gums were healing from the swelling for two weeks. When you have boys, this becomes as common as stitches, which are also common. If you are pregnant with a boy, start watching more shows like ER. You are going to need the practice to get over any squeamishness about blood and gore. 
2) Stand-in therapist for your kid and alternative use of glitter for God forsaken slime.  Meet the Mindfulness Glitter Jar. 
4) Stand-in therapist for yourself. Let others in your life know that you are staying “in your Mason jar” and won’t be taking on their emotional baggage today, thank you very much. Then close your eyes and envision yourself safely tucked away in your Mason jar while your (fill in the blank) child, boss, fundraiser co-chair, chronically complaining friend, great aunt, etc. rants and raves away. You can see that they are upset and you can be empathetic, however, you are separate from them and do not need to take on their emotions. Besides, you can’t be any help to them if you are in the same negative space, right? Screw on that lid, baby. 
5) Punishment/reward system. When one of my kids was younger and thought it was a good idea to disassemble and ransack a buddy’s entire closet; I stripped away all things they loved and made them fill a Mason jar with cotton balls for each chore, act of contrition, whatever until it reached the top. Yield? One repentant child--until the next temptation--but hey, it bought us six weeks of good behavior!!
Base for Chia Seed Pudding

1 can of full fat, unflavored, unsweetened, coconut milk
1 medium to large banana
1/4 -1/2 cup chia seeds (This is based on preference. The more you add, the thicker your pudding becomes). 
Put all ingredients into your food processor and blend well. Pour into three Mason jars, cover and refrigerate. After an hour the chia seeds will thicken the mix and become soft. Keep in fridge until you are ready to eat. 
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding 
Remember eating chocolate pudding snacks after school? Oh my stars, this is just like it!  Add 3-5 TBS cacoa powder (not cocoa powder...Navitas is my fave), to the above pudding base. (Five TBS is for a super rich chocolaty taste). 
Mexican Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Add 1.5-2 TBS cinnamon to the above
Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding 

Add 1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

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