I’m the kind of woman who becomes a whirling dervish of organization on January 1. Christmas is over, it’s time to undecorate, my energy is restored from some good ass-sitting at Christmas, and damn – there’s usually a lot of extraneous shit and mung all over this house from our busiest work months of the year (October – December), holiday wrapping and food prep, trying to fit too many things into too few hours, and that general “screw it” attitude that sets in amidst all that.
On the first day of 2015 I found myself in the kitchen, trying to make it look like a crazy lady hadn’t ransacked the place (shhh). I had just made a batch of homemade yogurt with our raw milk right before it spoiled, and was on to finding jobs for all the jars of who-knows-what that seem to accumulate during party season. On the door of the fridge were the remnants of four varieties of jam leftover from making hamentaschen cookies, each with maybe three tablespoons of contents.
So I did something that seemed a little Pinterest-y at first, but as I thought about it, made a ton of sense for a lot of reasons. I spooned the leftover jam into the bottoms of several 4oz canning jars, and layered the homemade plain yogurt on top. Boom – homemade fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts. Was it rocket surgery? No. But this simple solution did a few things:
- It used up the jam that every previous year had been thrown in the trash (we’re not toast people). It also gave a purpose to those little tiny 2oz jams that have been accumulating in my pantry.
- It turned the tart, plain yogurt that I sometimes don’t reach for into something with a little more character, meaning I’d be more likely to grab one before an early morning workout or as an afternoon snack.
- Sitting next to the pair of Chobani cups of yogurt in the fridge, I realized just how much packaging waste comes with the single-serve plastic cups with foil tops. The glass jars and metal lids, however, could both be washed and re-used.
- Compared to many single-serve flavored yogurts, my DIY versions had far fewer stabilizers, sweeteners, colors, and preservatives. Make these with your own homemade jam, and you’re in even bigger business – they could be 100% local and organic.
- These little guys give you freedom to play with variety. One kind I made used orange-rhubarb marmalade – have you ever seen that flavor in the grocery cooler, especially when biggies like Wegmans keep nudging out brands like Stonyfield (organic, tons of flavors) to fill the shelves with their own crap?
- Kevin pointed out that if we were people who actually left the house for work in the morning, these little beasties could withstand being tossed into a bag with a much better outcome than the easily-perforated foil-topped versions.
Am I the first person to think of doing this? Probably not. Am I one of the first to think about it so much after the fact? Maybe. And that’s okay.