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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canned fried apples, farmhouse floors, and canner

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Canned fried apples

I grow lots of apples and also get more than I can use from my neighbor. My favorite dish to make is fried apples. In a skillet I melt a couple Tbsp butter in a quarter cup of water, then cook my apple slices til tender and add a bit of lemon juice then however much brown sugar looks right. Not much of a recipe, but that’s how I cook! Would there be any problem with pressure canning these fried apples? I’d like to use pint jars. I have been hesitant to can them since I always used “approved” canning recipes like those in your book.

Mary
Lancaster, Kentucky

Sure you can put up your fried apples. I wouldn’t fry them totally tender though, as they might mush down during processing. You would water bath these apples using the “normal” canning times in a boiling water bath canner you would for plain old apple slices. Mmmm, they sound good! Mom used to make fried apples like that only she also added sliced onions. Sounds a little weird, but sure tastes good when done! — Jackie

Farmhouse floors

We are planning to move to our homesteading farm this year and are in the process of fixing up the old farmhouse. Floors take a lot of abuse on the farm and I was wondering what you have found to be a good wood floor treatment to withstand the inevitable dirt, water, snow, etc. They are tongue and groove oak floors with maybe a finish under some wax. I’m not looking for beauty, I want durability.

Carol Bandy
Hightown, Virginia

What I’ve found works best is several coats of oil-based polyurethane, applied a couple days apart. Then use throw rugs in higher traffic areas to help protect the floor. A doormat outside and inside helps a lot as you can shake off the grit and dirt from time to time to keep it from damaging the finish on the floors. I’m tickled you are nearing your move to your homestead. Isn’t it fun to work toward your dream? Wow! — Jackie

Canner

You’ve talked about your canner that is the no-gasket kind. In the catalog pictures, these appear to have a dial gauge and a separate pressure regulator. Can you set the pressure regulator to 5 or 10 or 15 lbs. pressure and so don’t have to watch the gauge for 90 minutes (or whatever time is needed) and keep adjusting the burner heat to keep it on the proper pressure? If this is the case, do you think on a canner with a non-automatic pressure regulator that it could be replaced with an automatic one so you wouldn’t have to keep watching and adjusting the heat?

Donna Herlihy
Wentworth, New Hampshire

There really isn’t an “automatic” canner. Those with a weight come the closest but those also have to have the heat adjusted so that the weight jiggles and lets off steam only a few times a minute, not constantly. Sorry, but when you can, you need to be nearby and monitor the pressure for best results and also for safety’s sake. — Jackie

3 Responses to “Q and A: canned fried apples, farmhouse floors, and canner”

  1. Donna Herlihy Says:

    Thanks Jackie. I was thinking it would be more like watching a water bath canner. I’ll stick to what I’ve got and just keep knitting while watching. Donna Herlihy in NH

  2. David Pierce Says:

    In the Farmhouse floors you suggested oil base poly. I have done two floors, one with water based poly and one with oil base poly. Believe it or not the water base poly seemed to do better than the oil base and the smell of the water base was much easier on the breathing. The oil base poly smell seemed to linger much longer. They both held up very good. Just food for thought from past experience.

  3. jackie clay-atkinson Says:

    David,

    Thanks for tellling us of your experience. I’m sure different bases work different for different woods, climates and people. If not, they probably wouldn’t have both. The smell is definitely better with water base, but my water base poly only lasted for 4 years in our bedroom and I’ve had oil base last that and longer in high traffic areas. Again, thanks for telling what worked for you!

    Jackie

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