June 25th I wrote you about canning “dry,” pre-cooked bacon and you asked for a report: I did a “modified” Enola Gay version (issue 127), cooking the bacon in a 350 degree oven just about 10 minutes to get it to shrink and shed most of the fat while still remaining pliable, then I canned it (90 minutes @15# for 5300′) following Enola’s method. The only difference is that I used parchment and made sure the “open” ends of the folds pointed down. This let the remaining grease settle in the jar. When I opened a jar yesterday after almost two months the bacon came right out, was not brittle, and unfolded without tearing. This was regular cut store bacon, not thick cut. Fried right up and melt in the mouth. Worked fine for me.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Thanks for the information, Dan. I appreciate it a lot, as do many readers, I’m sure. We’re always learning! Thank God. — Jackie
You mention in Ask Jackie (nest boxes; Issue #131, Sept/Oct 2011) about adding milk to organic chicken feed powder for chickens … what can you put in the powder from organic goat feed, that you have left over in the trough, that they will eat it all?
Thorn Hill, Tennesee
Mix up a little molasses in some warm water, then sprinkle that on the feed and stir it around. That should do the trick. Do make sure that it isn’t left for any length of time in the trough; it will get moldy. The goats should clean it right up like candy. — Jackie
How are your Cornish Cross chicks turning out? When you get a chance will you post some pictures of them? We have a dark Cornish rooster, five barred Plymouth Rock hens and 6 white Plymouth Rock hens. None of the chicks that have hatched from this cross look anything like the ones you order from the hatcheries. They have really big bones and seem to be growing fast but none are white or meaty. Do I have the cross right? Should I have Cornish hens and a Plymouth rooster? Does the color of the birds matter?
Frazier Park, California
Ours, too, are not uniform. They are large boned and quite hefty, although not as big as the commercial Cornish Rock crosses. But that’s okay. We want meat chickens that are actual chickens, not artificial-types that can’t even LIVE! No, the color of the birds does not matter; they’re all good to eat! Ours are growing slower, but are doing nicely on plain old mixed grain with about a 14% protein, plus what they can dig up in the orchard. They’re old fashioned, but we’re satisfied and will repeat it again next year. — Jackie