Ask Jackie Online by Jackie Clay Published 060805

Ask Jackie Online
By Jackie Clay

August 5, 2006
Jackie Clay

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Bread as cattle feed

My brother and I have retired and acquired a small property. We are raising ten cows with their calves. We have a friend who has a bakery and after each day has unsold bread, buns, etc. that he usually throws away. Now he gives this bread to us which we give to our cows once a week.

Question: Do you feel it is wise to feed bread on a regular basis to our cattle? It is winter here in Brisbane, Australia. Can you foresee any harm at all to our animals in continuing to feed them bread?

Eric O.
Esorth at

I, myself, have regularly fed bread and other baked goods to my livestock; cattle, poultry, goats and horses. You will have no problem and they relish these treats. The only cautions are to begin feeding a little at a time (a few loaves to cows) and gradually work up to more. If they eat too much, they sometimes develop diarrhea or can bloat. If the bread comes in a plastic bag or wrapper, be sure to unwrap it and place the plastic in the trash. Cattle will eat plastic and it will often cause a blockage in their digestive tract that can only be remedied by surgery.

A friend of mine once was talking to me on the phone and suddenly said she’d have to go. “My cows will be done with their pizzas and need to get milked.” (She got damaged, baked pizza crusts from a pizza factory free to feed her dairy cows.) It did sound pretty strange, though!

" Jackie

Canning tartar sauce?

How do we can tartar sauce? My girlfriend has a great recipe and we want to know how to put it up so we can give it to family and friends for gifts. Can you please let me know?

Sue Wiese
Swiese at

This is one I don’t know, Sue. Any readers out there with an answer for us both?

" Jackie

Bleeding Beets

This is the first year I’ve had enough beets to can so it’s the first year I canned them. I left 1” of tops on when I cooked them, packed them in pint jars and filled with cooking liquid, sealed and pressure canned them for 30 minutes. But when done, they had bled much of their color out. I am hoping that after sitting, they will pick their color back up again from the liquid. Is there any way to prevent this? Or what could I have done wrong?

Also, I really like a pressure canner (mine is a large Presto) to have both a dial and a weight. That way you can listen to it from the other room or while you’re doing other things, and you can “hear” when the pressure changes.

Linda Willis
Avynhall at

Please don’t go in the other room or do other things while you are canning. (Preparing more food to process is fine, in the same room.) This is what causes pressure canner accidents, giving a bad name to all pressure canning. When you use the canner, stay right with it.

As for your bleeding beets, when you pre-cook them, not only leave a little of the tops on, but also the root. When you slip the skins off, you can then trim the root. If you cut the root off before pre-cooking them, it opens them up to bleeding. Also, some varieties of beets bleed more easily than others. If you try a batch, leaving the root on, and they still bleed, next season use a different variety that states “does not bleed.”

" Jackie

More Sauerkraut

A lady in Kentucky gave this super easy sauerkraut recipe to my husband and we have made it twice with no ill effects. We pack our shredded cabbage in dry sterile jars and cover with distilled water and add 2 Tbsp. of pickling salt. We then just tighten the lid and store for 6 weeks before cooking and eating it. The jars never seal and this makes the best sauerkraut I have ever eaten. Of course, we cook it thoroughly before eating it, but I still wonder if it is safe.

Vicki Daugherty
Vdaugherty at

This is an old-time way of making small batches of kraut. It is just as safe as making a crock full. You can also use new flat lids and can this kraut to keep for long-term storage. The reason few people use this method is that it only makes a few jars at a time and you must re-handle each jar if you wish to can it.

If you do can it, make sure that each jar rim is wiped clean and that each quart is filled to within 1/2” of the top with liquid (you can make a weak brine by adding 2 Tbsp salt in a quart of water). Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

" Jackie

More Sauerkraut

It seems to me at one point I read an article on how to can sauerkraut by the quart or pint. No crock. Search as we might, we just can’t find it again.

Amy & Ben Terril
TreetheVintner at

To make sauerkraut by the jarful, shred your cabbage. Put 5 lbs. of cabbage and 2 ounces of salt into a large pan and mix thoroughly with your hands. Pack solidly into canning jars to with 1/2” of the top. Fill with cold water to within 1/2” of the top of the jar. Put on lid, screwing the ring down firmly tight. Let ferment for 4 days. When fermentation ceases, wash the outside of the jars, tighten rings, if needed, and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Be sure you start counting when the water in the bath returns to a full boil.

" Jackie

Canning garlic

We grow a lot of regular garlic and elephant garlic. We have been looking for a recipe for canning garlic in a water bath or pressure canner but can’t find anything. Can you give us some recommendations for preserving garlic? I’ve seen that little garlic jar in the stores, so there has to be a way of preserving garlic.

Anthony Haeckl
Elksnort at

I have one recipe for canning garlic (you can also pickle it very easily). To can garlic, either peel and can cloves whole or chop it fine. Then add just enough water to simmer it in for 5 minutes. Pack into half pint jars to within 1/2” of the top and fill to within 1/2” of top of jar with hot water that it has been simmered in. Wipe the rim clean and place a hot, previously simmered lid on the jar. Tighten a ring down firmly tight and process in a pressure canner for 40 minutes.

" Jackie

Making sterile dressings

On the Backwoods Home Forum we were talking about making sterile dressings out of old sheets. I was asked to add info because I am a RN. We thought that you or perhaps Mrs. Emery wrote an article about using a pressure canner and some foil to sterilize and seal material for a sterile dressing. Any thoughts on how to do this?

David Stoakley
d.stoakley at

You can easily turn your newly washed, cut-up old sheets into sterile dressings. Yes, you can wrap the wrapped dressing-to-be in foil and place it in a 350° F oven for 3 hours or better still, you can pack the wrapped dressings into a wide-mouth canning jar and process for 15 minutes in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure. The advantage of using the canning jar over the foil is that your sterile dressings will stay sterile for an unlimited time once the jars are sealed. In the foil, there is always a chance of bacteria contaminating the dressing over time.

The old-fashioned way to sterilize dressings was to boil them for 15 minutes, then hang them to dry in the bright sunlight. Not real sterile, obviously, but good enough for most applications.

" Jackie

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