10 Kitchen Essentials We Rely On

Mason jars of rice and almonds with the Cornucopia Brand white plastic lids
Photo: Michael Hession

Cornucopia Brands White Plastic Standard Mason Jar Lids ($10 for 24 at the time of publication)

What to do with your empty mason jars? They make decent drinking glasses, of course, but one-piece lids like the Cornucopia Brands plastic mason jar lids turn them into handy storage containers. (To be clear: Plastic lids like these are for storage, not for canning and preserving food.) They are much easier to open and close than the two-piece canning lids the jars come with, and they’re easier to find in a drawer. I use my extra jars to store spices, dried herbs, and acidic foods, and to make individual servings of overnight oats that I can bring to work. I find the lidded jars useful outside the kitchen, too, for keeping fiddly bits of hardware organized and for storing solvents to degrease small parts when I’m working on my bike. I’m sure they’d be handy for arts-and-crafts supplies, as well. Just be aware that they’re not always 100 percent leakproof (some people add silicone seals for peace of mind), so use common sense when transporting stuff. My oatmeal has never spilled inside my bag, but I wouldn’t risk carrying coffee.

—Tim Heffernan, home editor

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