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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning cheese and not quite a steer

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Canning cheese

I have tried many of your canning recipes. This week I have been doing cheese but am having a small issue. The first time I did cheese that I had already made and was cold, so melted and put in my canning jars and followed your instructions. It sealed well but the cheese separated.

Last night I made cheese and put it directly into the jars and then processed according to your instructions and it was better but neither batch seems to “set” back up again. This is homemade Velveeta but I got the impression that you have done this before maybe I am wrong. Do you have any suggestions or what am I doing incorrectly?

Angie Reed
Ruthven, Iowa

I have canned Velveeta and cheese sauce but not homemade Velveeta. If your recipe is the same as mine it calls for milk and perhaps this is why yours isn’t setting back up. Try refrigerating it after giving it a few turns upside down and back to mix it. Hopefully this will do the trick. — Jackie

Not quite a steer

We bought a weaned calf last year which is about 14 months old now. My son just noticed something wasn’t right and did not look like a steer all the way. Upon inspection, he says he still has one testicle. Question is, can we still at his age sneak a band on him, or do we need to call vet out which will be expensive.

Al Mcilrath

It is often difficult to band an older calf. Some emasculators won’t open large enough for an older calf although the more expensive ones will or have a flat band that you can adjust as to the size of the bull calf. Then there is the restraint. If you have the man power to restrain him and have an elastrator that will fit, you can certainly do it. Another option is to use an emasculatome that pinches the cord and blood vessels to the testicle. The best brand is a Burdizzo. One caution is to be sure to place it correctly. It should be well above the testicle and clamp only the rope-like cord and blood vessels, NOT the center septum dividing the two testicles. Once closed, wait a few seconds and release. The testicle will slowly shrink in size and castration will be complete. — Jackie

5 Responses to “Q and A: canning cheese and not quite a steer”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I would think that at 14 months old the steer? would be old enough to butcher. And having not been with a cow the taste of the meat should be alright. What taste that is going to be is already there, isn’t it?

  2. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    We usually butcher our steers at about 24 months of age or about 1,000 pounds, whatever comes first. Bulls taste the same as steers but are harder to handle and more dangerous to be around in general. Of course he could be butchered now but there would be less meat.

  3. Debbie B Says:

    Is there a chance the other testicle is up inside, which could pose a danger if he is castrated and people think he is a steer and might let there guard down? This happens with horses and my vet would not cut the one hanging until he could get to the one inside as he would still be a stallion.

  4. Nancy Says:

    I see. If we have holstene we keep them longer but beef, around a year old, they are gone.

  5. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    It is always possible. But with cattle, it’s more unlikely than with horses. Usually with cattle, someone just missed one or pinched the same one twice.

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