Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Mason Jar Picnic

Doesn't everything look better when it's put in a mason jar?  I have been reading about people making mason jar meals (which you can read about here and here) and I loved the idea.  I just knew salads and berries could be taken to a whole new level if they were put in mason jars. Last week I was taking Kate and her friend to Wasaga Beach for the day and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a mason jar picnic.

I bought two different sizes of mason jars and got some groceries to make the following: a salad; berries; blueberries with yogurt; guacamole with tortilla chips; banana chocolate chip muffins; juice; and water with ice.  

We loaded everything in the cooler and headed off to the beach. 

We set the table with pretty tablecloths and matching paper napkins.  I chose a red and yellow colour scheme as I thought it looked very summery - and I happened to have tablecloths in those colours that seemed a good size for a picnic table. Tablecloths are my favourite thing to thrift and both of these came from thrift stores a few years ago. 

We laid out our feast and dug in - well not before snapping a few photos.

I made bean salad to use in the mason jar salad meal.  It included the following:
1 can wax beans, drained
1 can green beans, drained
1 can chick peas, drained
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar 
salt and pepper

The trick to mason jar salad meals is to put the dressing at the bottom of the jar and then add vegetables into the dressing that are firm and hardy and can benefit from marinating.  Then layer the more delicate vegetables - like lettuce and spinach - at the top so they are not in contact with the dressing and not getting squished by the heavier vegetables.  Shake the salad just before eating to mix the dressing with the rest of the salad.  The mason jar meals can last several days in the refrigerator and some people have been making a bunch of them to use for lunches all week long.

To make our mason jar salads I put some of the bean salad at the bottom of the jar along with two tablespoons of the oil/vinegar mix that the bean salad was marinating in.   Then I added the following (in order going up):
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
chopped carrots
sliced cucumber
chopped red peppers

When I tried the salad at home I added a sliced egg on top, but I had run out of room in the jar on the day of the picnic so I just brought whole hard-boiled eggs along to eat with the salad.  

We also ate blueberries and yogurt for lunch.  Later in the afternoon we ate the berries, the muffins, and had the guacamole and tortilla chips.

We had juice and iced water to drink.  The ice also helped keep everything cool.

I had no idea that playing in the waves for several hours could be so exhausting.  There are no photos of the beach as it was very windy ... and wind is good for waves, but bad for cameras since there was sand in the air.  

The combination of a great picnic lunch and swimming in wild waves made it a perfect summer's day.

Have you ever made a mason jar meal?  Do tell.  I'm dying to try some other ones.

Pin It

Linked to Summer Link Party at Ginger Snap Crafts,
Show and Share at Southern Lovely,
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence,
Simply Creation's Home Party at Simple Home Life,
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating,
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming,
WOW us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style,
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense


  1. What a pretty setting and it all looks yummy. Looks like a fun day.

  2. Lovely! Everything looks yummy and the table looks so pretty. We love Wasaga day trips too.

  3. Grace,
    What a wonderful idea for mason jars. I love the way the table looks, and those berry jars are especially delicious looking. I have so many mason jars which I purchased for a recent baby shower. I used them to serve pink lemonade with pretty straws. Now I am going to try your idea. Perfect.


  4. What a fun idea! And I'm totally drooling over this lovely tablecloth. I have tons of mason jars in my basement from past canning adventures, so I think this is a great way to sue them.

  5. Grace, you are truly amazing. I loooooove this post!

  6. Another fine use for the amazing Mason Jar. Did you know you cake bake cupcakes in them? There's another idea for your next beach picnic!

  7. This is the cutest idea for a picnic. :D Thanks for posting the bean salad recipe. I love me some bean salad during the summer!

  8. What a great idea! Looks like you had such a great time. :) Kit

  9. I recently made Strawberry wide mouth jars, and took them on a picnic for dessert. I was thinking that must have been a heavy cooler/basket? I like the idea of taki a few things in jars...but not sure I could manage the whole meal! Looks lovely. Love your tabelcloths.

  10. Sorry...meant to link the recipe....

  11. I think this is about the coolest thing I've seen all summer! Easy, fast, packable, sturdy in the wind (paper plates would have been a nightmare) and so fun. I haven't ever made anything in a mason jar. I've seen the cupcakes cut in half with the frosting in the middle and thought they were very cute. Pinning this!

  12. That is such a cute idea! I love all the different mason jar fillings. It looked completely adorable too with your vintage tablecloths.

  13. I've been loving all the mason jar ideas. I am slowly converting my pantry dry goods over into mason jars. I read an article today about a lady who got rid of her "tupperware drawer" and converted it to mason jars. She now stores even leftovers in them in her fridge. Your picnic is beautiful, Grace. Gorgeous tablecloths, and a real yummy picnic menu.

  14. LOVE this idea! The mason jars looks super adorable with the table cloth :) Looks like you guys had a great picnic day! I want a picnic day now :)

  15. Very cute - Love this idea! Thanks for commenting on my blog and leaving me the link to this!

  16. Really cool idea! I love it! Thanx for sharing!

  17. Really this is a fantastic idea for plan picnic.