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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: Canning rutabagas and Age of eggs

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Canning rutabagas

I need a canning recipe for rutabagas, hot water bath or pressure canning.

Myrle Barnes
Cottondale, Florida

Sure Myrle, here it is. (It’s also found on page 156 of my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food.)

Wash, peel, slice, and cube rutabagas. Cover with boiling water and boil 3 minutes to heat throughout. Drain, discarding liquid. Pack hot into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add ½ tsp. salt to pint jars and 1 tsp. to quarts, if desired. Pour boiling water over rutabagas, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously-simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight. Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary. — Jackie

Age of eggs

My question is about our chickens. They are basically free range, as they decided long ago that they weren’t too keen on the whole hen house idea! Anyway, as free range, while most of the eggs are found in the hen house in the laying boxes, often we find eggs in strange places – our boat, storage buildings with open tops, my front porch! And many other “exciting” places. Generally, when discover a new hiding place, we toss all the eggs – reluctantly, of course. But, today, I discovered a batch of a dozen eggs, and I just can’t bear to throw them out! Living in deep east Texas, our temps have been very mild for winter, and even warm enough some days for shorts & t-shirts (ok, lots of days like that). How can I tell if these eggs are safe to eat or can as pickled eggs – I hate wasting all that food.

Toni McDonald
Jasper, Texas

If these eggs are relatively clean, they are also probably quite fresh. To tell if the eggs are okay to eat, just break them, one by one as you plan on using them, into a cup. You’ll tell if they’re yucky by the look: watery whites and a yolk that is runny. If they are too bad, you can smell them!

I wouldn’t use them for hard boiled or pickled eggs because until you break them open and examine the white and yolk, you can’t tell if they are bad. — Jackie

11 Responses to “Q and A: Canning rutabagas and Age of eggs”

  1. Kris Watson Says:

    I am confused about the eggs. I don’t have chickens, but hope to some day, so I am interested….

    I had heard that unwashed eggs keep longer in storage than cleaned ones. Is it the ambient temperature of eggs found in diverse places that puts them at risk?

  2. Shelby Says:

    Another way to tell good vs. bad eggs: Place your eggs in a pan and pour water over them. The good eggs will stay under the water, the bad ones will float due to the gases that are produced from spoilage.

  3. jackie clay Says:


    Unwashed eggs are necessary for hatching eggs but it’s always best to wash eggs before using or storing them if they are dirty. All commercial eggs are washed, regardless, and stay edible for months in coolers.
    Hen-hidden nests’ eggs will say good for two weeks, regardless of the temperature, provided that they are not cracked, as this is the time it takes a hen to lay a clutch of eggs to set on to hatch. If eggs are fresh enough to begin developing embryos (once the hen sets), they are fresh enough to eat!


  4. Team Riggle Says:

    I own your book Growing and canning your own food, and I’ve used the recipe for canning meatballs. I was wondering how to go about canning meatloaf? I’ve read where some folks say can it raw, others cook it in the jars, but you are the only canning person I trust!!
    Thanks P Riggle

  5. Sherry Says:

    Ail be! I have had chickens for a couple of years but never heard how chickens build their clutches! LOL Thank you so much Jackie for sharing your wealth of information, you are truly a blessing!
    Is it true you can put eggs in water and if they set on the bottom they are good, stand on end they are a little older, float they are too old?

  6. Ellendra Says:

    I’ve heard of the water trick too, was about to suggest it.

  7. Brian Says:

    The float test works. Put suspect eggs in cool water. Toss any that float all the way up. Those that lay flat are fresh. The ones that stand up or rise just above the bottom are still ok but not as fresh.

  8. Janelle Says:

    The water trick works very well. We frequently find stashes of eggs too, and always test them that way. We have so many eggs though that if they stand on end (old) in the water the dogs get a treat on top of their food, but really they would be fine for baking, etc. I have tested store bought eggs with the water trick, just to see what they would do, and they almost always are not lying flat on the bottom of the bowl. Hmmm…

  9. Desiree Says:

    I found this poem that seems pefect for this topic and is a fun and easy way to remember how to spot a good egg:

    Can you eat that egg?
    By Scott Matthews

    If not sure you ought-ter,
    then place it in water.
    If it lies on its side,
    then it’s fresh; eat with pride.

    After three or four days,
    at an angle it lays.
    But, it still is a treat,
    so go on and eat.

    Ten days, stands on end,
    in your baking ’twill blend.
    ‘Cause it’s definitely edible,
    in your baking, incredible.

    But, if it floats on the surface,
    that egg serves no purpose.
    ‘Cause a floater’s a stinker!
    Out the back door best fling ‘er!

  10. jackie clay Says:


    Yep, that’s true. I usually just crack them in a cup, though; it’s faster and you can sure tell a bad egg. Pewww.


  11. jackie clay Says:

    Team Riggle

    I used to can meatloaf, but the latest recommendations are that meatloaf is too dense a product to safely can. I used to can it raw with mixed ingredients in wide mouth jars, taking care to heat the jars in a turkey roaster half full of water, in the oven, until the center of the center jar reached a temperature of 170 degrees, then the jars were wiped clean and a hot, previously simmered lid was put on the jar. Pints were processed at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes. But, again, like pureed pumpkin and squash, this method is no longer recommended. I now can meatballs to use as you would meatloaf. They are safe to can as they are not large and have liquid which steams around them during processing, ensuring that the centers of each one has heated thoroughly enough for safe processing.


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