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Jackie Clay

Q and A: cooling with no fridge, growing winter squash, and measuring flavored oil

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Cooling with no fridge

Yesterday I arrived at our hunting trailer to prepare for a family canning bee only to discover that the fridge is dead. We do have one six-pack sized fridge that is working, but I don’t see how we’re going to be able to fit all the things that need to chill overnight in it. Most of the recipes that need refrigeration are for pickled items, do you think it would be okay to let them sit on the counter overnight? The trailer is air conditioned.

Nancy-Jane Steele
Summerville, South Carolina

What I would do is to sit the pickle bowl in a larger container of ice water overnight. Usually if you chill your pickles in ice cold water/salt, you can leave them on the counter overnight unless is is hot in the building. — Jackie

Growing winter quash

In the past we have had pretty good luck with some of the winter squashes here in the desert southwest. However, I have tried for the past three years to grow winter squash (Banana, Jarrahdale, Hubbard) with no luck, not a single fruit. The plants grow very well and spread with healthy leaves and only male flowers. I thought for sure last year that the new hubbard seeds would produce several nice squashes for yearlong storage, but it only produced male blossoms. This year I’ve planted Jarrahdales, and the are loaded again with only male blossoms, so it looks like I won’t be getting any squashes this year either. Do you have any suggestions. It’s not that hot yet (only 102-108 degrees. Would the heat have something to do with female blossoms not even appearing at all? What about soil problems?

Dallen Timothy
Gilbert, Arizona

Squash that produce only male flowers are usually stressed. It is normal for squash to produce only male flowers when the squash begin flowering. Then they start producing female flowers for the existing male flowers to pollinate. Stresses to avoid with squash are: planting too late in the year and having high heat while they are quite young, too many weeds or squash in the hills, not enough fertilizer (squash is a hungry crop!), or not enough water. Check out your garden and see if any of these conditions are present and help them out if you can. You can EAT the male flowers, battered and deep fried. They are good. Hope you get some girls soon! — Jackie

Measuring flavored oil

Can you tell me how many drops of flavored oil equals 1 teaspoon of extract flavoring?

Ann Hazelett
Litchfield Park, Arizona

There are about 60 drops of flavored oil in 1 tsp; you may have to add more or less to taste. — Jackie

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