There are perks for living where it gets -35° — 7 Comments

  1. Nancy,

    First of all, does your canner require 6″ of water in the bottom? I’ve never heard of a pressure canner that took that much; usually 2″ is about normal. Excess water may have caused excess pressure, causing the seal to leak. But then, to lose most of 6″ seems excessive. I’d try it again and if you lose that much again, replace the seal (even new ones can be no good). Check to make sure steam is not leaking out somewhere else. My old canner developed a leak in the emergency relief petcock; it didn’t seal down tight and the canner wouldn’t even get above 6 pounds pressure. I cleaned it out and now it works fine. Must have been some goop inside it. If your canner just won’t hold steam, it’s time to spring for another one.


  2. Re: Cold Goats

    Something we have found that works with our girls is to either cut old sweatshirt sleeves off and put them on your goats or we often find fleece vests at yard sales and these also keep our girls toasty. Just make sure that the body of the items are not too big or they will get their legs caught inside. We live in western Maine and last week we hit -35. Also be sure to provide lots of warm water for them to drink. Hope this helps

  3. Jackie, I love your articles. I always go to them first in the magazine. I am 52 and seems I am starting to homestead again. I have no idea where you get your energy but you must be a power house.

  4. @Heating pad for rising
    I have been making my own bread this winter after getting hooked on it with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. Prior to that I couldn’t make bread to save my life.

    To get mine to rise in a too cold house, I put it on a metal cookie sheet instead of a wooden pizza peel and I put a microwaved rice bag under it. These are free form loaves and they tend to spread rather than rise with the heat from below but, it does work. I have also used the bags under loaf pans.

    @No Microwave
    They are also helpful with defrosting, something someone else mentions. I defrost on a large cast iron griddle. The more surface area you can get in contact with the metal the faster things like meat will thaw out. Putting the rice bag adjacent to what you are defrosting to just warm up the metal can speed up the defrost. Just don’t let your rice bag get wet or yucky.

  5. Yes, Nancy we are very close! I live between Stronghurst, and Carman.
    As for your question, do you see steam escaping? Water lots of time will evaporate during canning but 6″ does seem like a lot! Hope Jackie has an answer for you!

  6. Two things, I canned some ham and bean soup today. I only had three quarts and they sealed good. But my canners are all old and I had to replace the rubber seals. Today the canner had about 6 inches of water in it when I started and when I opened it up 90 minutes later there was almost no water in it. Not enougth to cover the floor of the canner. Do I need to find a different kind of seal or what do I need to do?
    Angela Billings, I live in Dallas City/La Harpe area. We are very close.