I’ve been canning…and shooting photos for the new book — 6 Comments

  1. I am excited to check out the new book! I am hoping for a tid bit of something new too. I’ve been canning and gardening for 30 years but find there is always something new to try; a new recepe, a quicker or more efficient preperation trick, or even a new plant to try.
    I did get som Hopi Pale Gray seed and I’m excited to try it. I plan to share the seed I’ve got with family and friends too so they can try it and save their own seed. Keep up the good work Jackie. We do appreciate your efforts.
    Dinah Jo

  2. I am so excited…can’t wait for your new book. I love the Starting over one. I had all the magazines and most of the anthologies, but so nice to have all your articles in that series in one book.
    You are such a hero to me. I don’t say that easily. I love that you are real and I strive to be more like you. Thanks for all the inspiration. My little farmette is small, but we are getting there.

  3. I’m a soapmaker and the recipe from issue #84 has some issues, that may be why their were problems with the soap batch. Firstly, the oils should be weighed rather than measured by volume since various oils have different weights (and even the same oils may have variations from batch to batch). Have a pair of googles or safety glasses handy when handling the lye–if it gets in your eyes it CAN BLIND you. NEVER NEVER NEVER add water to lye!!!! the chance of a lye bead or granule jumping around and ending up where you don’t want them is way higher and dangerous! Always add the lye to the water. Add to all of this, Red Devil lye was discontinued several years ago (fallout from the illegal methamphetamine industry that uses lye and made the Red Devil name synonymous with meth making) and most products available from the store are not 100% lye. Roebic has one that is pure, but is not available everywhere. I get mine online from AAA Chemical, but many smaller suppliers also carry it along with other needed items for soaping.

    Sounds like not only did it not come to trace but it is possibly lye heavy or water heavy as well. To tell if your soap bar is lye heavy (excess lye that wasn’t used up in turning the oil into soap-aka “saponification”) do the “zap” test–barely touch your tongue to the soap, if it gives a zap or tingle like a battery does their is too much lye. It can be fixed but that’s a whole ‘nother project. If it’s water heavy then it will dry some but not enough for a hard bar. Stick blenders are the tool of choice for blending the soap to trace, they shorten the hour to about 15 minutes or less depending on oils and additives. Lard also makes a softer soap, with very little cleansing ability. Grace’s second recipe uses coconut oil (available in many grocery stores) which gives cleansing properties to soap and is used in most soap recipes.

    Good places for someone to start soaping are Miller Soap ( ) Teach Soap ( ) and for playing with recipes and checking to see if a recipe you find will work– Soap Calc ( ) . If you get serious about soaping (it’s a lot of fun and can easily become addicting) there are tons of great groups that will help you out, especially Yahoo’s Southern Soapers.

  4. This is so great, Jackie! I can’t wait to get your new book. I love hot water bath canning but haven’t dared to try pressure canning. With your book in hand, I will! And as a fellow author, I know what a great feeling it is to send everything off to the publisher and get back to living. Congratulations!!!

  5. re – soap making…does take some tries to get an understanding of the look and feel…but it will eventually dry (use cake racks) and then I grate (three times) and finally mold them, try olive oil and adding essential oil on the final milling…two good sized batches last for a year or more!

  6. Gail,

    Consider using a dutch oven to bake in. I’m refering to the haeavy cast-iron pots with legs and a lid with an edge around it. You should be able to set it on top or your wood stove and place a few coals on the top to get it to bake evenly. Using it inside on top of your wood stove is kind of risky, build a small fire outside and use it there. It is pretty easy to learn if you are willing to put a little time in it. It is possible to make cakes, biscuits, breads and even exceptional cobbler in a dutch oven.

    If a dutch oven isn’t possible, you might have success with some recipes that call for steaming bread. I have succesfully cooked corn bread in a rice cooker (all I had to cook in at the time). I put the prepared batter in a ramekin, put it in the steamer, added water about half way up the ramekin and turned it on. It worked well, had the consistency of baked corn-bread and was moist. There are old yankee recipes for steamed brown-bread that I grew up on which are to die for.

    Good Luck,