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Ask Jackie headline

Click here to ask Jackie a question!
Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: using a fermenting crock for meat and peeling Hopi Pale Gray squash

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Using fermenting crock for meat

My husband would like to cure some meat in my German fermenting crock. Will my crock be safe to use again for cabbage? It is glazed on the inside.

Jean Ann Wenger
Fairbury, Illinois
Yes, your crock will be safe to use for cabbage and other vegetables after doing the meat. Just wash it out with hot soapy water, rinse it well, and you’re good to go. — Jackie

Peeling Hopi Pale Gray squash

Is there a secret to peeling Hopi squash? Chisel, handsaw, chainsaw, etc without whacking a finger? Yep, I’m sporting a couple of band aids. Finally got out my large sawtooth knife and got the job done. Canner is full. Had little left and had it for lunch. It’s delicious. Also how to preserve the seed?

Robin Putman
Coolville, Ohio

Sorry you are injured! These squash DO have a tough rind, which is one reason they keep so well. What I do is to put the squash on a cutting board then take a heavy-duty butcher knife and poke it in at the “waist.” By doing this gently, it doesn’t shoot out. Then I rock it back and forth, cutting it in half. Once in half, I remove the seeds and “guts.” I then stand the squash half up on the cut, flat side and repeat the process, cutting each half in half from stem to blossom end. Now lay a quarter down on the flat side and cut a one-inch slice off. Repeat until all of one quarter is done. Then lay each slice down on the cutting board and trim off the peel by cutting down to the board. From then on, it’s an easy matter to cut one-inch cubes off each slice.

To preserve the seed, just squeeze the strings off with your fingers and lay the seeds on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Put the sheet in a warm, dry location and they’ll dry nicely. Stir around once in a while so they dry evenly. Once very dry, pour into an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic bag. Watch for any condensation droplets for a week or so. If you notice any, pour seeds back onto a cookie sheet and dry more (if you don’t they’ll mold). I’m so happy your squash did well for you. Ours did too — we harvested s90 squash! — Jackie

One Response to “Q and A: using a fermenting crock for meat and peeling Hopi Pale Gray squash”

  1. Debra Brown Says:

    Just wanted to add that I use my meat saw to cut all large and hard rinded squashes. Very easy and I don’t hurt myself this way. Try it-works really well to cut the larger squashes and get them down to manageable sizes.

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