Top Navigation  
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM

Link to BHM

Ask Jackie headline

Click here to ask Jackie a question!
Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Order from Amazon. Order from the publisher, save 10%, and get FREE shipping.

Jackie Clay

Hopi Pale Grey squash, Jalepeño jelly, and Canning meat

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Hopi Pale Grey squash

How do you get your Hopi Pale Grey squash to ripen in your climate? I am south of Detroit and last year they barely made it. I planted them in mid-June. Great job on your homestead. Why don’t you square the logs up on your bandsaw mill for the loft in the barn? Keep up the great work..

Petersburg, Michigan

We have no trouble getting Hopi Pale Greys to mature here. If I have the time and room, I start the seeds inside, in cups, four weeks before setting them out. If not, I just direct seed them in warm soil, about June 1st. They grow real fast and mature nicely for us. Try planting them earlier, as you live a zone or two warmer than we do.

Will didn’t square the logs as logs left with more rounded sides are 25-30% stronger than those that have been squared and we plan on putting tons of hay in that loft. — Jackie

Jalapeño jello

How do you make your jalapeño jelly? I just made some using the liquid pectin — per recipe — and it didn’t work. We have sweet jalapeno sauce.

Margie Buchwalter
Bowersville, Ohio

I use the recipe in the Ball Blue Book, but use 1 package of powdered pectin or 1/3 cup bulk, instead of two pouches of liquid pectin (Certo). This is 3/4 lb. jalapeño peppers, 2 cups vinegar, divided, 6 cups sugar, green or red food coloring (optional), and 1 pkg. powdered pectin.

Seed and stem peppers. Puree peppers and 1 cup vinegar in blender. Combine puree, 1 cup vinegar and pectin in large pot and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add pre-measured sugar. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

This makes a hot, hot pepper jelly, depending, of course, on what variety of jalapeños you used. — Jackie

Canning meat

As a kid I remember the wonderful beef my mom canned; so convenient to prepare quick meals (soups, stews, hot roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy). YUM!! She is now 89 years old and can’t remember how she did it, whether she packed it raw or browned it and packed it hot, or whether she just added water and salt to create the delicious broth. Which method do you prefer? I also remember that she made sure to pack at least one or two small bones into each jar. Do you know why she would do that? Our local grocery store is having great buys on beef chuck roasts and I would like to take advantage of the great prices. The canned meat is so much more tender than frozen, not to mention quicker to prepare for a meal. I plan to purchase your canning book soon but thought this may provide a quicker answer. My mom also canned delicious sausage. Does your book have a method/recipe for canning sausage? I apologize for being so lengthy. I cannot imagine accomplishing all that you do and certainly appreciate your time, and thank you so much for your input.

J. Phillips
West Virginia

I brown my meat lightly, then add water to the pan drippings to make my broth. I used to pack my meat raw, but found that by using the broth I got a more tender, juicier meat. I have no idea why she included the small bones; perhaps for the flavoring of the marrow?

Yes, my book does cover canning pork sausage, in patty form on page 173. Basically, you season (lightly) your ground pork, shape into patties, and lightly brown them. Then pack hot patties into hot wide-mouth jars (pints work well), then make broth from pan drippings and pour over patties, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult our canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Hopi Pale Grey squash, Jalepeño jelly, and Canning meat”

  1. zelda Says:

    Jim – I’m in a climate like yours and Jackie’s. My Hopi Pale Grey squash are not ripening either and I don’t know why – or maybe I just don’t recognize a ripe one. This is my first year growing them. Mine sure don’t have the blue grey color I see in pictures. My seed came from Baker Creek. I started the plants indoors in RootTrainer cells, transplanted them at 4 weeks old in June to WallOWaters. They grew well, no wilting and no problems. Took the WallOWaters off, and they continued to grow. Some of the vines are close to 15 ft long. Squash are very large, roundish or football shaped, healthy and beautiful to look at. But here it is mid-October, and the skin sure looks kind of bright green to me. Maybe the seeds Jackie uses are ones she has selected over the years she has grown this squash? Or her seeds came from a different source? I’m going to cut one of the smaller ones open tomorrow and see what it looks like inside, will bake it if it looks ripe. But just wanted you to know that you are not the only one with Hopi Pale Greys that don’t look ripe. I’m thinking I will look for a different seed source for next year.

  2. zelda Says:

    Jim – My green skinned Hopi Pale Grey squash are for sure not ripe. I’d guess, based on the appearance of the inside, the one I cut open is about 4 to 6 weeks away from being ripe. I’m baking it to see whether it might be edible, but it won’t keep in storage. Winter squash need to cure after you pick them, so you could also try curing your green ones to see if they taste better. Canadians grow Hopi Pale Grey, there are aeveral seed sources online. I’m going to order seeds from a Canadian company next year and see how they do. If you want to try that, remember that it takes one to two months for seeds to get through customs, and order early. Next year you can also try growing the squash on black plastic, just as you would a long season melon. Cut Xs in the plastic and plant the plants in the hole made by the X. If you want to try a squash similar to Hopi Pale Grey in appearance, including the blue grey skin, I’ve grown Blue Ballet, Hokkaido Stella Blue and Sweetmeat for years and had dependable crops from them. Mine have kept until February or March. If you want a very, very sweet storage squash try Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert.

  3. Michelle Says:

    I didn’t realize that leaving the sides rounded would make them so much stronger. That’s good to know. Thanks Jackie! :-)

  4. zelda Says:

    Jim – all the information I’ve gotten says winter squash ripening is directly related to temperature so do everything you can think of to increase the temperature around your squash plants. If the ambient temperature doesn’t support ripening, you have to do things to fool the squash. The darker your soil is and the better it drains, the sooner it will warm up in spring. If you put down black plastic or large rocks around your plants it will help warm the soil and raise the ambient temperature. If you can build a rock wall behind or around your plants (my winter task) that will also help. I’m sure that the long, unusually cold spring where I live was a factor. Even though my plants were in WallOWaters and seemed to be doing OK, the roots were probably cold. I always put 2-3 largish rocks inside the WallOWaters with my squash, pepper, eggplant and tomato plants and leave them for the growing season because the rocks will warm the soil and the air temperature. Hay bales around the plants will help protect them as will frost blankets over them, in spring and fall (I had Agribon50 frost blankets on mine but it apparently didn’t compensate enough). If you’ve ever had powdery mildew, be proactive and spray the plants before it shows up because mildew will shorten the life of the leaves. As you get toward the end of your growing season, cut back on water but not to the point where the leaves wilt. As far as anyone knows, this squash is from an arid, rocky, very hot low organic matter alkaline soil area and they shouldn’t need what we consider optimal growing conditions. Water stress will often cause squash, peppers and tomatoes to ripen – the plants interpret that as a danger signal that they’d better hurry up and ripen so there are viable seeds. And of course, select seeds for early ripening. If you know someone who grows this squash, ask for seeds from the first ripe squash, select them from your own crop or plant seeds from different commercial sources and select for early ripening.

Leave a Reply

Please DO NOT ask Jackie a question here.
It will not be answered.
Go to the top of the page and use the
"Click here to ask Jackie a question!" link.


Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.