I have your cookbook and want to try canning some milk. Have you ever done it in smaller quantities than quarts? I was thinking I’d like to do half-pints. I think that’s a quantity that would be more useful and less wasteful for me. If so, what adjustments to the time and pressure do you make?
I would process the half-pints for the same length of time (10 minutes) and pressure (10 pounds) as quarts. I’ve done pints like this and they turned out fine. I’ve not done half-pints though. Let us know how they do. — Jackie
All male blossoms on squash
I have grown winter squash in the past, including Hopi Pale Gray. This year I planted banana squash. It is growing well with lots of blossoms already. However, it appears that all the blossoms are male. I have had this problem before. Last time I planted winter squash, I didn’t get a single squash, although there were lots of blossoms (all male, of course). The plants look healthy, but they don’t seem to be setting female blossoms. I planted this year in a different garden than in the past…it has quite fertile soil. The temperature here in the Phoenix area has not yet been that hot. Today it’s 96 degrees, and it hasn’t yet been over 103. Any suggestions? Is there something I can do force the plant into producing female blossoms. I’m at a loss with this one, and I’d love to have some winter squash this year. Could it be my seeds? The last time I planted with no female blossoms was also banana squash.
Squash vines respond to stress by producing only male flowers. This stress may be heat, drought, or infertility. Crowding is another cause often seen when folks buy squash plants from a nursery that are too large. Squash seeds should only be planted in a pot four or five weeks before being set into the ground outside. Most nurseries like to sell much larger, even blooming, plants. And these large plants are rootbound, which causes stress. Some things you can do to encourage your squash to set female blossoms (so you get fruit!) are to surround the plant with several inches of rotted manure. Then be sure to water your plants every two days, making sure they get an inch of water each time. Soaker hoses are a big help here. It’s amazing how much squash likes water while actively growing.
It’s not your seeds. Hopefully, these tips will correct your problem. In the meantime, pick a few young male blossoms, dip them in batter, and fry them. They’re delicious and reducing the number of male flowers encourages the vine to produce female blossoms. Don’t overdo it to be sure you have enough male blossoms to pollinate the female flowers. — Jackie