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Jackie Clay

Q and A: purple carrot, powdered cheese, removing air bubbles before canning

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Purple carrot

I was wondering if you have ever seen a carrot which on the interior is shades of orange and purple? I can’t seem to find what the name of it is. It’s said to be delicious and so pretty!

I grew snake gourd vines here in IA clear over to the neighbors house! I find in my climate gourds don’t seem to be as thick walled as the southern states. What do you think? Have a great winter. I can see you’re swamped!

Floyd, Iowa

The only carrot with purple in it that I’m aware of is called Purple Dragon or just Dragon in some seed catalogs. The outside is reddish purple and the inside is streaked with purple/orange.

Plants, like your gourds, perform differently in different climates. Maybe they’ll be bigger, the fruits hotter, thicker, or smaller. Sometimes you can tweak them by adding more manure, using a hoop house to provide more heat, etc. I figure that if you can grow something, you might find ways to make it even better no matter where you live. Have fun dreaming of spring! — Jackie

Powdered cheese

I got some powdered cheese for making sauce. It is very grainy when I make it. What am I doing wrong?

Nancy Foster
Dallas City, Illinois

Do you use water to mix with the cheese? Some cans say to do this and I don’t like the taste or texture. I use milk, even dehydrated milk, mixed up first sure makes a nicer sauce. I use mine a whole lot in day-to-day cooking. — Jackie

Removing air bubbles before canning

I just now took 7 pints of veg/beef/rice soup out of my canner and realized I did not get the air bubbles out prior to canning. I did try to look up the answer but only find reference to folks seeing air bubbles in jars after canning. What to do? I have been following you for years and only recently started canning.

Diana Curry
Spring Hill, Florida

If the soup looks okay and sealed, I wouldn’t worry a bit. We never used to remove air bubbles from jars but then the experts started telling us that it was necessary. It does help keep the liquid from blowing out of the jars, leaving food safe but high and dry on top. — Jackie

3 Responses to “Q and A: purple carrot, powdered cheese, removing air bubbles before canning”

  1. ss Says:

    The purple carrot seeds are available through Johnny’s seeds in Maine, they have a wonderful selection, and a nice catalog to order from, they also have the rainbow variety, I grew some last year and have a nice mild flavor too.

  2. Deb Says:

    Love your column Jackie. I have learned the addictive habit of pressure canning from you. Purple Haze carrots are available from Fedco Seeds also of Maine. pretty and good.To get a catalog 207 426 0090 or order online at Good variety and lots of organic and heirloom seeds. Great prices quality and service. Happy Growing.

  3. Ann Marie Says:

    Pinetree Garden Seeds ( and Baker Creek ( both have a purple carrot called Cosmic Purple. It is purple on the outside and orange on the inside. I have got some of these seeds planted but I can’t send pictures until harvest. Hope this helps!

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