Archive for August, 2013

5 Tips to Make an Excellent Jam

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Making excellent jam is really quick and easy and anyone can do it. You only require a few basic pieces of equipment that you may already have in the kitchen; a large pan, a wooden spoon and of course some empty glass jars.


The Duchess of Cambridge recently revealed that she loves to make fruit jam at home while she’s waiting for Prince William. Kate Moss also loves home-made preserves and is launching her own brand of plum conserve made from fruit grown on her Cotswold estate.  How about you, are you making any preservers this summer? If so, here are some excellent tips from Friends of Glass on how to make your jam top notch!


Start with Tested Recipes

For best results, always use tested recipes from a reliable source. Measure ingredients carefully and follow the directions exactly. Do not change the amount of sugar or fruit. Do not substitute one type of pectin for another.


Use Glass Containers

Glass containers are good for jams because the glass won’t react with the acidity of the fruit. Glass is also preferred since you can see the contents. Here are Jamie’s food team’s top tips on how to sterilise and prepare your jars.


Jam Gifts

In late summer, farmers’ markets come alive with sun-ripened fruits. Why not share their flavours with gifts of jams artfully presented in glass jars? You can also add a pretty cloth over the lid to give your pot of homemade jam a vintage feel.


Make Small Batches

Making small batches means that it will take less time for your fruit to be cooked to softness. The less time the fruit is on the stove, the fresher its final flavour will taste.


Get a Jam Funnel

If you’re a bit of a messy cook, it’s a good idea to get a jam funnel. It’s so easy to use, just sit it inside the rim of the jar and it will stop the jam dripping down the side and onto your worktop.


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Coca-Cola glass bottles are still the favourites

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We were excited to hear that Coca-Cola returned to glass packaging after sales of soft drinks in glass bottles grew by 2.6%*. The company was one of the first soft drink makers to use glass packaging when they introduced Coke back in the late 1800s. The distinctive contour bottle design was inspired by the curves and grooves of a cocoa bean and even today, it’s one of the most recognised icons in the world – even in the dark.


With consumers all around the globe becoming more aware of the benefits of glass when it comes to health, taste, quality and the environment, it’s no wonder Coca Cola has a passion for glass.


In fact, we wonder if this move is directly linked to the company’s plans to cut the carbon emissions linked to each of its products by 25%. Did you know that glass can actually lower your carbon footprint compared to other packaging* materials?  Industry research shows that only 4-5% of any form of packaging’s carbon footprint comes from transportation and the full product cycle has to be assessed in order to determine its sustainability credentials.  With glass being 100 per cent endlessly recyclable, it’s hard to find a better choice for nature!


If you prefer drinking your Coke or soft drinks from a glass bottle, we’d love to know why? Is it because you like to recycle or is it just because it tastes better in glass? Tweet us @glassfriendsUK or get in touch on Facebook.


* According to market analysis firm Nielsen, sales of soft drinks in glass bottles grew by 2.6% for the year to the end of April 2013

**O-I’s Life Cycle Assessment

7 Tips for An Unforgettable Garden Party

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Get the most from your backyard space this summer by transforming it into an outside oasis for entertaining. Here’s the low-down by Friends of Glass on how to transform your outdoor space into a ‘glassy’ space to create an unforgettable experience for your guests.


1. Chill beverages in galvanized buckets filled with ice. This saves room in the refrigerator and makes it easy for guests to help themselves whenever they’re thirsty.



2. Add a vintage feel to your party by using glass jars as drinking glasses.



3. Decorate your garden with hanging glass bottles and flowers. Here is a quick and easy tutorial how to do it.



4. Make DIY glass lanterns. Learn how to make them here.



5. Pre-made/pre-chilled cocktails in glass jars.



6. Small jars are great for making up batches of salad dressing for garden parties, just put the ingredients in, on with the lid and shake.



7. If you’re looking for cupcakes that scream summer, these strawberry lemonade cupcakes in a jar from Glorious Treats is just the thing!



Have you got any garden tips, ideas to share with us? Please tweet @glassfriendsUK or get in touch on Facebook.