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

Archive for November 7th, 2012

Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning cheese and making cornmeal from popcorn

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Canning cheese

I just canned cheese for the first time. I did mozzarella and colby. The mozzarella turned brownish orange and the colby turned a lighter orange than normal. They almost look the same. Did I do something wrong? I cubed the cheeses and melted them in the canning jars in a water bath until they were melted. Then I put on the lids and processed them in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes (half-pints and pints)

Diamondhead, Mississippi

This color change is nothing unusual. The cheese is still fine. It’s sort of like the color change on cheese you’ve grated and put on a pizza; it gets more orange/brownish in color. I water bath my cheese for 60 minutes just to be safe. — Jackie

Making cornmeal from popcorn

I saw the comment about being able to store popcorn to use in emergencies for corn meal. Could you please expand on how you would make corn meal from it, and some good recipes?

And glad to hear Lace will have a calf.

St. Louis, Missouri

It’s easy to make cornmeal from popcorn. Nearly any grain mill that will grind wheat into flour will also grind popcorn into cornmeal. Even the cheaper ones will work but of course the better ones will grind more grain into nicer meal faster than by hand. Any recipe (check out those in my book, Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook) using cornmeal will work fine using home-ground cornmeal from popcorn. One tip: if you grind your own cornmeal, it’s best to only grind up a small batch at a time because it is whole grain meal, it tends to get rancid in long-term storage. This is why I store popcorn — not the meal.

We’re totally ecstatic that Lace is going to have a calf, too! — Jackie


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