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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning frosting, squash vine borers, and canning brown rice

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Canning frosting

I am an avid canner. And I love your advice and wisdom in canning and homesteading. I was recently given a bulk 12lb container of chocolate frosting. Is it possible to can this frosting? I know I can freeze it, but I love to have canned foods especially when the electricity goes out.

Shirley Toney
Liberty, Mississippi

I’ve never canned frosting and would think that the shortening/margarine in it would separate out and change texture with the 60 minute water bath processing time — that’s what I’ve done with chocolate ice cream topping recently. You might try a pint and see what happens, using that time. I may be wrong. Let us know! — Jackie

Squash vine borers

I just received the Hopi Pale Grey squash seeds you sent me, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can’t wait ’til spring to get them planted! My question is about squash vine borers. I seem to have problems with them every year, would floating row covers help? I read in a previous post that you said the row covers would not affect pollination that much either. I use row covers on my squash plants but only until they start blooming and then that’s when the bugs hit, so I think I will try leaving them on longer if they will still set fruit. Also are there any preventative applications to deter borers?

Whitewater, Colorado

You are welcome! The most important thing to get rid of borers is to completely gather and burn all squash/pumpkin vines in the fall to get rid of over-wintering insects/eggs. If you just till them in come spring, you make your infestation worse. They also over-winter in the soil so rotating the spot where you grow pumpkins and squash with other non-susceptible crops helps. You can also take an old pantyhose and lightly wrap it around the lower stem of the plant. It prevents the borer from boring into the stem at the base of the plant where they often first appear. — Jackie

Canning brown rice

I read in a recent issue of your Ask Jackie questions that you can your brown rice to keep it from going rancid as quickly. How long does brown rice keep if you can it?

Gwen Koskinen
Celina, Texas

Brown rice, like nut meats, keeps for years without going rancid if processed for 10 minutes at 5 pounds pressure in a pressure canner. Before processing, just spread it on a cookie sheet and gently bring it up to a very warm temperature; you don’t want to “cook” it in the oven. Then quickly pack in hot, dry jars with a new, previously simmered lid that has heat dried, then process. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Q and A: canning frosting, squash vine borers, and canning brown rice”

  1. Momma Says:

    I had no idea that canning brown rice would extend its life that long. Nor did I know canning nuts would do the same. You are brilliant! I’m so glad someone put the topic out there for you.

  2. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    Thanks, but I can’t claim to have “invented” canning nutmeats and brown rice; it was in one of my old, old Ball Blue books!


  3. Janet Lee Says:

    I had too much German chocolate frosting for my cupcakes so I canned two 1/2 pints in a water bath to see how it worked. It’s been one month, still not long enough to test it out yet.
    Have you ever canned that frosting?

  4. Kathy Says:

    Can you just throw some brown rice into a soup recipe and can it? No cooking first?

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