Really. Will and I are picking wild raspberries up on our ridge. They are really good this year—large and juicy. Usually they are hardly worth picking, but this year they’re wonderful. So we pick a couple pails full then I make jam from them. We’ve done this several times so far and boy oh boy is the jam good. We DO have to sample it! Last time I was alone picking in a patch on one side of the road. I’d about finished it when I heard a branch snap across the patch from me. It was a bear! Not a big bear, but a bear, nevertheless. I quickly decided that he/she could have the rest of the berries while I went to pick with Will in another patch. The bear looked up and kept on eating berries. Hey! We ALL like ’em!
Our storage shed is coming along nicely. We now have the roof mostly on the second, HIGH bay. I had to take Mom to the dentist and when I got back, David and his girlfriend, Hannah, were on the roof…with Spencer, our Labrador! It seems that when they were up with Will, working on nailing down the OSB, Spencer had started climbing up the aluminum extension ladder! He’s one smart dog, for sure. He made it all the way to the top, with some encouraging. But after Will took this picture, he had to carry him back down. And Spencer weighs over 65 pounds! We’ll have to watch him around ladders in the future. Or teach him to climb back DOWN them!
Antenna for picking up AM/FM radio
I have 40 acres in Rauch, MN, just west of you. What do you have for an antenna to pick up AM and FM radio? I don’t care about getting TV, but I like to listen to the radio at night when I am up there.
Daniel R. Washick
Saint Francis, Minnesota
We have no special antenna for our radios, which are el-cheapos; just the antenna on the radio, and we get good reception on several AM and FM stations. Try different spots in your cabin. It sometimes makes a difference. Hi neighbors! — Jackie
Canning squash soup
Can I can a homemade soup consisting of summer squash, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes? I am trying to avoid freezing it to conserve freezer space.
Yes, you can. You’ll process this soup at 10 pounds pressure (unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 and must adjust your pressure to suit your altitude if necessary), quarts for 85 minutes and pints for 55 minutes. Not only will you save freezer space, but you’ll have an “instant” meal, only requiring heating to serve! — Jackie
Homemade cheddar cheese
I was wondering if you had ever made cheddar cheese? If you have would you mind sharing your recipe please. Does cow’s milk or goat’s milk make the best cheddar cheese? Thanks for sharing all your wisdom, reading BHM takes me home when I’m far from it.
Currently stationed in Germany, but my heart’s always in Arkansas.
Yes, I’ve made cheddar cheese. It’s a little fussy, but not really hard to do. Either goat or cow milk will make good cheddar cheese. Here’s a recipe I’ve used from the book GOATS PRODUCE TOO (VOLUME II) by Mary Jane Toth:
2 gallons whole milk
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk or 1/8 tsp. Thermophilic DVI culture
1 tsp. liquid rennet
1/2 cup cool water
Warm milk to 88 degrees. Stir in 1/2 cup buttermilk or culture. Let milk set to ripen for 1 hour; keep temperature at 88 degrees. Add 1 tsp. liquid rennet to the 1/2 cup cool water; stir into milk for 30 seconds. Hold temperature at 88 degrees. Allow milk to set and coagulate for 45 minutes.
Cut into 1/4 inch cubes; let rest for 20 minutes. Stir gently while increasing the temperature, slowly, to 98 degrees over a 30-minute time period. Keep at 98 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until curds no longer have a custard-like interior. Let the curds settle to the bottom of the pot.
Pour off the whey and put curds into a colander and drain for about 10 minutes. Break curds up into a pot. Add 4 tsp. salt. Mix well.
Let salted curds set in the pot for 1 hour, stirring every so often to keep the curds separate. Keep warm during this process by placing the pot into a sink of hot water. Keep the temperature at about 98 degrees.
Line a cheese press with cheesecloth, scoop the curds into the press and fold over the extra cheesecloth. Place a wood follower on top and press at 15 pounds pressure for 20 minutes.
Remove from press and turn over. Put back in press and apply 30 pounds pressure for another 20 minutes. Remove from press. Redress curds in a clean cheesecloth and press for another 2 hours at 30 pounds. Lastly, remove the cheese from the press, redress, and press at 40 pounds pressure for 24 hours.
After pressing, remove from the press and air-dry several days, until cheese is dry to the touch. Turn several times daily while drying. When dry, coat the cheese with cheese wax. — Jackie