A few weeks ago, my husband and I were visiting World Market specifically to pick up a few particular items, and - because we know ourselves well - we'd agreed with one another not to buy anything that wasn't on our list! No cool funky little storage bin, no 'I didn't know this existed but now I neeeeed it' household gadget, and most definitely, no amazing snack items we'd not seen in years.
So, when I tripped over a rack of Jarware accessories - BPA Free, recycled plastic inserts that turn your mason jars into everything from a tea infuser to a piggy bank - I was charmed but resolute to look into them later and not buy them.
I almost tried to talk him into one or two - these things are very inexpensive! We both agreed that the juicer in particular was a very cool idea, but we had agreed, so no... not today... We felt so virtuous, we took ourselves out to eat and spent a lot more than we would have if we'd just bought the juicer.
That's what we do.
A couple days later, I was given the opportunity to review a few of their items and, huzzah! One of them was the juicer! So the virtue really worked out for me this time!
Jarware sent me three items to try: the juicer, the tea infuser, and the travel cup lid. I set about rounding up a couple jars to try them on, and happily got to work.
The infuser and travel cup lid both required a regular sized jar mouth, while the juicer goes onto a wide mouth lid.
Some of their other products (such as the Coffee Spoon Clip) connect to the jar itself, rather than to a lid.
Unfortunately, I ran into problems with both the infuser and the travel cup lid. With each, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the insert to fit evenly into the ring of the lid, and as a result, it wouldn't screw evenly onto the jar.
Since each of them are intended to be tipped when in use (you'd turn the tea infuser jar upside down while steeping), a wrongly screwed on lid would be a significant problem!
I didn't want to give up easily, and fought with it off and on for a couple days. Because I have arthritis, I assumed this might just be me, and asked my husband to give it a try. And he has, several times, without success.
On their website, the FAQ mentions this issue, saying,
"WE KNOW INSTALLING YOUR JARWARE CAN BE A LITTLE TOUGH SOMETIMES, BUT DON’T FRET!
THE PLASTIC USED FOR OUR JARWARE ITEMS AND THE SIZE OF THE RIM CAN VARY EVER SO SLIGHTLY DURING PRODUCTION. THESE SMALL VARIATIONS CAN SOMETIMES COMPOUND AND MAKE CERTAIN ITEMS EASIER TO SNAP IN, OR VICE VERSA HARDER TO SNAP IN.
IF YOU ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY, PLEASE RUN THE BAND OVER HOT WATER FOR 30-60 SECONDS AND THEN TRY TO SNAP IN THE JARWARE.They even include a video showing you how to do it!
JARWARE LIQUID ITEMS (COCKTAIL SHAKER, TEA INFUSER) NEED TO HAVE A TIGHT FIT AND WILL REQUIRE SOME EXTRA FORCE. AS SUCH, THE PRODUCT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE REMOVED FROM THE RIM AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED PERMANENT."
So, we tried it again, repeatedly, heating the ring band, and while it helped get the drink lid all the way in to look at it, the jar still leaked when tilted.
We had even less luck with the infuser lid - no matter what, it was just not going to go into that ring!
From the text I quoted, I am guessing that perhaps a different unit might work better (we did switch out rings about a half dozen times to make sure it wasn't that), and since they are very inexpensive ($3.99 for the drink lid and $9.99 for the tea infuser), I might be willing to try them again, however I think if enough people are having issues like this, maybe it'd be best to pre-insert them into a ring and sell them that way?
In spite of those two going awry, the the one I was most interested in, as I mentioned, was the juice extractor, and this one was a roaring success!
Now, we have a few juicer extractors already - a few, because they are never pleasant to use! Either you need to have very strong hands to get anywhere, or they're just a giant mess.
I found the Jarware Juicer ($5.99) to be very easy to assemble, use and clean. It slipped easily and firmly into a widemouth jar ring, which was then readily screwed onto the jar.
I was able to juice each lemon thoroughly, with all seeds and pulp falling into the juicer crevice as they should, while the juice itself fell neatly into the jar - all ready to be used or stored away for later use!
Clean up was also a breeze - the juicer quickly comes off the ring and one firm shake got all of the pulp and seeds out of the crevice and into the trash or compost bin, so the juicer can be hand washed or tucked into the top rack of the dishwasher.
I have since used it several times, which alone tells me how much I like, it because over the years I have made all sorts of excuses to avoid having to squeeze fresh citrus in spite of having several tools to help me do it.
In my opinion, this one winner makes up for the two that didn't work out - I'll keep trying with them, but since I wasn't able to make them work, I can't recommend them. If anyone's tried one of them and successfully gotten to to connect to the ring and attach to a jar without leaking, please share your tips in the comments!
The juicer, though? Grab one the next time you come across them - or get a few and keep them on hand for stocking stuffers.
You can buy Jarware products locally in select stores, or directly from their website, with free shipping for orders $29.99 or more. Jarware products are also available on Amazon.
Now that I can quickly squeeze up some fresh juice, I celebrated by making one of my favorite potato dishes to go along with some Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Cucumber Salad: Greek Potatoes!
Greek Potatoes are rich with broth and lemon - lots and lots of lemon. They are great as a side, although our local Greek restaurant serves them as an appetizer because they are that good!
6-8 medium sized waxy potatoes
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano (fresh if you've got it, but dry will do)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth
Traditionally, you should peel the potatoes but I don't - just scrub well and chop into 1" chunks. If you think about it, stab the chunks with a fork a few times, the better to infuse them with the lemony marinade.
Combine everything in a container that can be turned upside down (or use a large ziploc bag), and let marinate at least 2 hours - longer is better! Flip every so often to make sure every potato is able to soak up that lemony goodness.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Turn potatoes into a large casserole dish, marinade and all, and let them roast for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to crisp on the outside (only a little!). They will still be saucy.
Serve with sauce spooned over them - enjoy!