Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Glass is durable

What I miss since the introduction of mass produced plastic bottles, is the durability of glass. It's solid and easy to clean over and over again. So whenever I do the grocery shopping now, I strive to buy what I can in glass. It often means spending a few dollars more, but I look for the longevity of the investment, because I can re-use glass in my kitchen.

Empty glass bottle

Enter a bottle of blackcurrant cordial syrup. It's finished now but it's been laying around my kitchen bench top, reminding me it could have a purpose. I had actually cleaned a few more bottles I was sourcing cork stoppers for (there's always a back-log of activities behind my ongoing projects) all because I decided to ditch the "plastic" bottle I was storing oil in. The reason I hadn't ditched this particular plastic bottle yet, was it's convenient size.

Metal canister

I buy oil in bulk, in large metal containers - 4 litres worth. It's economical and I like the fact it's not stored in plastic. While it meets a lot of my criteria (it even looks attractive on display) but it's terribly unforgiving on the wrists if you have to drizzle a small amount in a frying pan. That's why I was keeping the smaller plastic bottle for. I don't have a picture of it because it's long gone now and good riddance to it. I kept it way too long.

For months since however, I've been trying to find a suitable glass bottle for storing the oil instead. I wanted something to stop the oil dripping down the side of the bottle once it was poured. I looked and I looked, I even looked in second-hand shops for oil pourers people may not have wanted any more. Nothing was presenting itself as a solution...I guess not the instantaneous sort I suppose, for I had the solution all along. The blackcurrant cordial bottle...

No drip top

It already had the plastic top with the dripless curved lip. Why hadn't I thought of this before? To be honest, I hadn't looked too closely at the top of the bottle, as I was going to do with it what I do with all my bottles - ditch the original tops, for cork or plastic screw tops. You can buy either at a home brew shop. Did you know you shouldn't keep re-using metal screw tops on your glass bottles? They can grind the glass and the glass can harbor moisture that stains the metal. That's why I ditch most of the original tops.

Patience pays in dollars and sense

But now I feel much relieved, as I have my smaller glass bottle stored beside the stove, ready for cooking again. Being made of glass, it's not only durable but easy to clean the outside with a damp cloth - because we all know how fat loves to spit when you're frying something!

What's more, I well and truly got the value from the higher price I paid for the cordial in a glass bottle. So next time you go shopping, don't just think about what you need to buy, but consider the storage it comes in. You could be buying two solutions for the price of one.


  1. I also reuse glass bottles. We put our olive oil in a glass wine bottle which my husband bought at auction from former winemakers. We went to the kitchen store and bought tops intended for pouring oils that fit in bottle necks snuggly. They have a name but I can't think of them. You see them in coffee shops that flavor their coffee with syrups.......
    If I have spare canning jars, I use them to store leftovers as well. I try to not buy too many bottles because I have such a wide array of them but we also don't notice too many plastic jars on the supermarket shelves as of yet-which is odd when I think about it.

    All my dehydrated foods go into spare jars as well as dried goods like flour, oatmeal, things like that. It keeps the pantry moths at bay. Plastic containers don't do that.

  2. I know the pouring tops you're speaking about. I was going to look for them brand new, but I was hoping to find some second-hand first.

    The cordial bottle presented itself as a solution,in the meantime. Thanks for verifying their availability however, as I was only guessing you could purchase those pouring tops.

    Glass jars and bottles are really quite versatile in the storage of food items. I try not to hoard too many, but they're just so darn useful. :)

  3. I've gotten to the point of knowing what I need so I will splurge for a bottle like you did. For example, I need small vinegar bottles to make flavored vinegars. We recycled alot of those when we moved so I have to build up a collection.
    That cap you showed....I have one but can't get it off the bottle without cutting into it and rendering it unusable. Lesson learned.
    Yes, those wine stopper things are widely available in sets of three over here. They were cheap too, less than five dollars I believe.

  4. Olive oil should be stored in the dark to keep it fresh. Next best thing is dark glass. I don't store mine next to the stove but in the shelf next to the stove in the winter and in the refrigerator in the summer.

    At a yard sale a woman gave me four dark green bottles. I then decanted my olive oil into those and put all in the refrigerator. The top of the large bottle of olive oil was metal and cheap and now turned instead ot tightening. Air is another thing that will make olive oil go rancid. So, problem solved with free bottles.

    Pretty glass captivates me. I love if for storage, too. Now, maybe I will buy more pretty bottles that are holding over-priced

    I am going to have to investigate those tops that fit into bottles. I took back a bottle with the pour cap because it failed.

    If I drank wine, I would buy some of the pretty wine bottles I see.

  5. There's a whole wonderland of glass to the collected, isn't there Linda. I have to stop myself sometimes, as I'm sure I could easily become a glass storage hoarder.

    I'll have to put the bottle in the cupboard above the stove, as I didn't realise the light would effect it.

  6. I didn't know that about metal lids, and I've had an epiphany about storing olive oil too (I also use the 4 litre tins) - I'm going to use an old green wine bottle. Now just have to find the right sort of stopper...

    (Hi, btw, I just popped over from Little Eco Footprints.)

  7. Hi Kirsten, thanks for dropping by and for leaving your comments. :)

    I supsect you'll be able to find those bottle stoppers (pourers for liquids) from either Robins Kitchens, or a commercial supplier for the hospitality industry.

    Just look up "catering equipment" in the Yellow Pages, to find what may be available in your area. My next stop is Robins Kitchens, as we have one here.

    Good luck on the bottle hunt though. They're perfectly re-usable, as long as there's no obvious chips or cracks.

  8. Oh, and LindaM, I forgot to say I was going to try and lift the cordial bottle cap off, at one point, but as it didn't come easily I left it alone.

    Thanks for letting me know it's a cut and discard job, as I won't try to lift these in future.

    I'm just fortunate my brain clued in on the fact I could use it for storing oil instead. ;)

    I love those little bottles you're thinking about too - they look like old medical supply bottles and often come in light blue. Or at least they're the ones I'm thinking of.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.