When the sun was shining, a few days ago, prior to a predicted frosty night, we harvested all of our mature squash and pumpkins. WOW, did we get squash this year, and they were huge! Our main crop of Hopi Pale Grey squash were gigantic, many over 20 pounds and there were plenty of them. We also had Early Butternut, American Tonda, Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato, Mexican Calabeza, Carnival, and Magdalena Big Cheese squash and way up at the berry patch, we had planted Atlantic Giant pumpkins. While they are a C. maxima, like our Hopi Pale Greys, we figure that being way up the hill, through the woods, and more than 700 feet away, they shouldn’t cross.
While David and I harvested the squash in the garden, Will went up to the “pumpkin patch.” A few minutes after we came up the hill with our trailer load of squash, he came down with a HUGE pumpkin on the four wheeler. Now I mean HUGE. He ran in to get the scale and were we surprised when it topped out at more than 93 pounds. Now this is in northern Minnesota, and that pumpkin grew with several on the vine, with no extra care, feedings, or even decent weeding. Just imagine what it would have weighed if we had pampered it! Alternative housing…?
I have chickens and I wanted to know if you could freeze the eggs, and would they be okay for baking?
Yes, you can freeze eggs. You can either separate yolks and white, freezing a few in separate containers, or freeze the whole eggs out of the shell. When thawed, you can use the eggs for any purpose you’d use fresh eggs, but the whites don’t whip as good of a meringue as I would like. — Jackie
Using whey in canning sauces
I would like to know if I can use whey in canning sauces, like spinach dip.
West Monroe, New York
You probably shouldn’t can thick sauces, like spinach dip, with or without whey, as they’re too thick to process safely and ones with sour cream will curdle on processing. — Jackie
Canning book and garlic
Not so much a question as a couple of comments. First, my husband ordered your canning book for me for my birthday! I’m 48 years old, and just learned how to use a pressure cooker. Which I would never bother with if I didn’t have a wood cookstove. I love it, and want to do more, so I asked for your book for my birthday. I can’t wait to get it. I’m sure there’ll be so much to learn and try.
Second, I read the question from your recent blog about garlic tops being dead, and the person dug up a bunch of cloves. Garlic should be dug when there are about 3 leaves left still alive, because the number of live leaves coincides with how many papery layers are on the head of garlic when it’s dug. I read that somewhere, it’s not my wisdom. However, I left some in the ground this year until the tops were completely dead, and sure enough, cloves.
Thanks for your comments. I hope you thoroughly enjoy my book. Interesting about the garlic. I usually pull mine when there are still a few leaves and get whole bulbs, not cloves; maybe that’s why! Sounds reasonable. — Jackie
Pressure canning peas and water bathing pickled garlic.
I pressure canned for the first time and canned peas. I cold packed them into hot jars, poured boiling water over them (did not add salt), sealed them with two piece lids and then processed in pressure canner for 60 min. This is the time my manual said for my elevation of 4800 ft. I think it is a typo as everywhere else I see, it says 40 min.
Towards the end of processing, I could smell pea smell from canner. At the end of processing, I let the canner go to what I thought was zero but it actually was slightly above and when I took the weighted gauge off a ton of pressure was released. So of course when I opened the canner, half the liquid was missing from each jar-siphoned out. When the jars cooled, they sealed but no ping sound. A week later, the peas are still sealed but the water is cloudy and getting white stuff in it.
Are they still good? Did I ruin them by opening the weighted gauge too soon?
Also, exactly followed your recipe to pickle garlic. I did it about 2 weeks ago. I was wondering if it is normal to smell garlic from the sealed jars. I have done the seal test and they are all sealed fine. Though they did not ping when I took them out of the water bath canner. The smell does seem to be mellowing a little.
I think what happened is that you “transposed” your increase for your altitude, reading the extra minutes needed for water bath canning, instead of the extra pressure needed for your altitude. You over-processed your peas, but not at enough pressure to make them safe. Sorry, but they’re probably bad. Peas process for 40 minutes at 15 pounds (weighted gauge), or 13 pounds (dial gauge) with your altitude.
As for the garlic. Yes, it’s normal to smell garlic; it’s so strong! As long as the garlic in the jars looks okay and the jars are sealed, it’s fine. I always wash my jars with soapy water after they are sealed, which reduces any stickiness or odors due to liquid seeping/boiling out during processing. — Jackie
I will be canning minestrone, I know that I should leave out the macaroni. If I fully cook the soup can I cut the processing time in half?
NO. That would be dangerous. Cooking does not equal processing time. That is only the time spent under pressure, in your canner. — Jackie
Canning dried beans
Could you please tell me how much less time in canning dried beans it would take to go from 10 lbs pressure to 15 lbs. I cannot find this information any where.
You can not increase your canning pressure to decrease the amount of time it takes to process a food. You need to process each food for the recommended time, at the recommended pressure for safe canning. — Jackie
How do you can Kohlrabi?
Although kohlrabi is not usually canned, it certainly can be. You would can them as though they were rutabagas. Wash and peel the knobs, then dice or slice them, as you wish. Cover with boiling water and boil 3 minutes. Drain, discarding liquid. Pack hot into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add 1/2 tsp salt to pints and 1 tsp to quarts, if you wish. Pour boiling water over them, leaving 1″ of headspace. Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for instructions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary. — Jackie
Canning pickled eggs
I used your recipe to can boiled eggs. After the seal was broken, the eggs have turned black. Do you have any answer why they would have done this?
Did you keep the eggs in the pickling solution after you opened the jar? If not, they could discolor. Otherwise, I haven’t a clue. They usually turn out perfectly good. Give it another go and see how you do. — Jackie
How long do 1/2 pints of chicken need to process in the canner? You mentioned using 1/2 pints in your new book but I can’t find processing time anywhere – even online.
Half pints are processed for the same length of time as pints are. For chicken, that’s 75 minutes. I’ll add that when we reprint the book! — Jackie
Creases on canning lids
I am a first time canner, and have just canned 7 quarts of tomatoes, the lids seemed to have sealed, however on 3 of my jars there is a crease on either side close to the seal itself, I am a bit concerned that I have done something wrong and want to make sure I don’t kill anyone my first time out of the gate. Anyhow I would sure appreciate any information that you might have.
I had this happen with some Kerr brand lids, when pressure canning. The seals were all fine and the food kept perfectly. I’d assume this is something like what happened to your tomato jars. If they are sealed, I wouldn’t worry a bit. — Jackie