Perhaps you’ve heard the old rhyme that goes something like this:
“For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of the horse, the man was lost. For want of the man, the battle was lost. All for the want of a nail.”
Well, in our case, it was a tiny 3/8″ steel ball bearing. And when we lost it awhile back, our bulldozer track couldn’t be tightened up and our new dozer came to be a temporary yard decoration.
David’s been a busy guy lately, with football practice every night, games on Tuesdays and Thursdays, youth group at church on Wednesday (after football practice!). He’s even missed his first two fall
sessions of karate lessons. So between that and the rain, we didn’t get a chance to put in the tiny ball bearing until two days ago, between rain storms. It was simple; take off the cap screw, drop the ball in the hole, then pump grease into the tightening fitting. It WORKED!!!! Yeah. All right! So David just had to go use it. He went down and moved the big pile of sand and light gravel from a sand pit he’d discovered down by our horse pasture.
The sand and light gravel was a bonus; he was just clearing a flat spot for us to row up 16 big round bales to have handy for winter feeding for our horses. Now we have a small mountain of fill for some of the rocky potholes down our driveway. It was so much fun to watch that crawler working again! Thank you again, Nortrax of Duluth, for sending the bearing!!!!
You know, it’s kind of funny; when Bob and I moved to our first remote mountain cabin in Montana, just about everyone we knew warned us that if we lived “way up there”, David, just a few months old,
would grow up to be “shy and backward around people”. Yeah. Right. I’d hate to have him more outgoing; he’s everyone’s friend, involved in so many outside activities that sometimes I have to look at a recent picture to remember what he looks like. (Well, MAYBE that’s an exaggeration…..) So don’t
believe everything well meaning folks tell you about living in the backwoods with your young children!
I was wondering if there is a way you can make ketchup from going bad with out refridgeration. Can I just add more vinagar to make it acidic, or do I have to re-can ketchup in smaller jars?
Thunder Bay, Ontario
The best way to save large amounts of ketchup is to gently heat it and ladle it out into hot, sterile jars. Water bath process the pints or half pints for 10 minutes to ensure a seal. I’ve done this when I bought several #10 cans at a fire sale and discount store for $1 a can. That supply lasted us for years, reprocessed as above. — Jackie
Pressure canning shrimp
We are looking for a brine recipe so we can pressure cook shrimp. Any suggestions?
I’m assuming that you’re planning to pressure can the shrimp? In that case, make your brine from 1 C salt, 1C vinegar and 1 gallon of water. Bring the brine to a boil in a large kettle. Boil shrimp in brine for 10 minutes. Dip shrimp out into cold water. Drain, peel, and remove vein. Rinse in cold water. Make a canning brine out of 1 gallon of water and 2 Tbsp salt. Bring brine to a boil. Add shrimp and bring back to a boil. Pack hot shrimp in pint or half pint jars ONLY, to within an inch of the top of the jars. Ladle hot brine over shrimp, leaving 1 inch headroom. Remove any air bubbles. Process jars for 45 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. (Check canning manual to see if your altitude requires any pressure adjustment for your altitude.) –Jackie
Canning peppers mistake
Jackie, as I was in the middle of canning sweet peppers, I ran out of cider vinegar and used some regular drinkable apple cider in its place. Is this an o.k. substitute?? I did add a small amout of white vinegar with it, but since I like my cherry peppers sweet, I figured it was close enough to the real thing. I heated the liquids together, with my peppers, as I normally would, and added a pinch of canning salt. Good idea, or not???
Andrea Del Gardo
Myrtle Beach, SC
NOT, NOT, NOT! No, you can nit substitute apple cider or cider vinegar. Before you go to can a recipe, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Sorry, but your peppers are not safe to eat; they are not acidic enough to keep them pickled safely. You would have been better off to refrigerate the peppers until you went out and bought more vinegar. OOPS. — Jackie
Freezer shelf-life for figs
How long do figs last in the freezer?
East Palatka, Florida
The recommended freezing time for figs is a year. They may last longer than that if very tightly packaged to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn is from air seeping into the freezer package during storage and makes the food taste and smell nasty. — Jackie
Yellow jacket problem
Dear Jackie, Somehow some nasty yellow jackets have built a nest in my compost bin. They are very vicious and I cannot figure how to get rid of them. Since we have free and endless water supply, I let the garden hose water them for a week, but they are still there! I do not want to spray them with insecticide for fear of contaminating the compost. Any suggestions?
Interlaken, New York
You can try trapping them. A simple trap is to take half a can of pop and leave it near your compost pile. They love the sweet taste, go in and drown. This often gets the whole batch. If not, you can sprinkle a good dose of rotenone garden powder on their nest after dark when they aren’t so active. This usually does the trick and won’t hurt you or your garden next year. — Jackie
Thickening soup for canning
I would like to know if you can use instant potato’s to thicken potato soup for canning.
You could use SOME instant potatoes, but canning manuals caution us not to make any recipe TOO thick as it can affect the time for safe processing of that food. You don’t want it to be like the “concentrates” sold as “cream of potato”, etc. in the stores. But a little bit to make it less watery is fine. Then if you want it thicker later on, you can always add more or else a butter/flour/milk white sauce to thicken it and add additional taste. — Jackie