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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: Canning fish and pine nuts

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Canning fish

I would like to try canning white-fleshed freshwater fish (bass, catfish, panfish), as a storage alternative to freezing. I can only find info on canning oily fish, such as tuna and salmon. Any advice?

Richard Cole
Grapeland, Texas

Fish is great canned up. You’ll find instructions on canning all types of fish in my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food, available through BHM. Briefly, here’s what you’ll do: Clean fish, remove head, tail, fins, and scales. Wash and remove all blood. Split fish lengthwise, if desired (or fillet). Cut into 3½ inch lengths. Make a brine from 1 cup salt and 1 gallon ice water. Soak fish in it for one hour. Drain for 10 minutes. Only process in pints and half-pints. Pack fish into jars, skin side next to glass if not filleted. Leave 1 inch of headspace. Add ½ tsp. salt if desired. Do not add liquids. Process half pints and pints for 100 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

Pine nuts

We just acquired property with a bunch of mature pine trees and I would love to collect the nuts. What is the best way to go about this? Went thru 3 years of past magazines and did not find anything on this subject.

Robert / Kathy Hutchinson
Cincinnati, Ohio

If your land is in Ohio, I’ve got bad news; there are no native pines there that produce edible pine nuts.  Most pine nuts found in the US are from pinyon pines, found mostly in the southwest.  Most eastern pines have a very small “nut,” only about the size of the head of a pin, making shelling them nearly impossible. — Jackie

One Response to “Q and A: Canning fish and pine nuts”

  1. Ellendra Says:

    There might not be native pines in Ohio with big enough nuts, but there are varieties of stone pines that can be planted there.

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