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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning carnitas and putting fish in compost

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Canning carnitas

I make carnitas using the following recipe all in crock or casserole then bake or crock pot about 2 hours. Then drain, shred, reduce liquid then glaze and brown the meat. DO you think I could split up the recipe in quart jars and pressure can, then pour into skillet and cook (shredding meat) until browned and reduced?

1 4-pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks (don’t trim ALL the fat off!)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 small onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups water
1 lime and juice, halved
1 orange and juice, halved

Natalie from New Mexico

Yes, you can. Just keep the liquid for adding to the canned meat in the jars and remember to process the jars at 10 pounds for 90 minutes. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude. Enjoy your carnitas! — Jackie

Fish in compost

I always have a compost pile in my backyard ( I’m a city dweller). Well my neighbor added some raw fish to it (trouble maker) and now I have flies and maggots in my pile. It smells awful which is how I found it. What do I do now with it? Do I have to start all over or will it work its self out?

Brandy Gunderson
Wyoming, Michigan

Your neighbor was probably just trying to help. What I would do is to dig a deep hole on the edge of your compost pile and bury the rotting fish. Then just stir the area where it was. It’ll be fine. After all, raw fish was what Native Americans added below their corn and squash hills to make them grow! It doesn’t smell when buried. Just tossed in the compost it stinks to high heaven! — Jackie

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