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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 blue potatoes, Amish coleslaw, and pickled eggs

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Canning blue potatoes

We just dug our “All Blue” potatoes. They were prolific. I’d like to can them, but I’m not sure if I can leave the peeling on. I’m wondering if it will make the canning water a weird color. Have you ever canned blue potatoes? What would you recommend?

Sarah Axsom
Natchitoches, Louisiana

Yes, I have and I’ll say that they don’t make a pretty canned potato. You’re right; the water does get a murky purple. I’d use them fresh or store them in your root cellar. — Jackie

Amish coleslaw

I made the Amish Coleslaw last year and really liked it. This year I made a batch and thought it had too much vinegar taste, so my head of cabbage must not have been big enough. I was hoping that you could convert the “large head of cabbage” to # of pounds, or number of cups of shredded cabbage. Also, do you use distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar for your coleslaw?


An average cabbage head weighs about 7 pounds. Then you core it so it weighs less, depending on the size of the core. I mix up my brine and taste it. If it needs more sugar, I’m not shy about adding it. Once you have the brine right, add spices and pour over your shredded cabbage. I use white, distilled vinegar as darker apple cider vinegar discolors the coleslaw. It is also stronger in taste. — Jackie

Pickled eggs

I have found a delicious recipe for refrigerator pickled eggs:
Boil and peel 12 eggs and put into a heat proof container.
4 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly. Pour sauce over eggs. Let cool. Put container in fridge for 72 hours to let eggs absorb the sauce.
Can this pickling solution be re-used after all of the eggs from the 1st batch are eaten? Glad to hear your seminar went well. Sounds like you had a great new friend help out.

Judith Almand
Brandon, Florida
No, it’s best not to reuse pickling solution as it can absorb moisture and other things from the eggs. Our seminar is in August but I’m sure you’re talking about the Des Moines Self Reliance Festival where I did have a great new friend to watch the booth while I spoke and help me during the rush times. — Jackie

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