Storing dry cereal

Since I do not care for hot cereals, will dry cereal ie: cheerios, rice krispies stay fresh if I vacuum pack them in jars? Do you have any idea of a shelf life for them? (I can even cheat and do the sweetened cereals, and eat them dry.)

Beverly L. Giroux
Oxford, Maine

Most dry cereals will keep, unopened, for a couple of years without getting stale. I don’t think you’d extend the shelf life by vacuum packing it. Do you like good granola? That’s an option, using ingredients from your storage pantry that nearly everybody loves. I make several varieties which can include not only rolled oats and honey but also chopped dried fruit, nuts, sunflower meats, coconut, and spices. We like it both with milk and dry as a snack. — Jackie

Dog food

I make my own dog food using long grain brown rice and store bought canned chicken. I forgot to take it to the freezer so it sat at room temperature for about 16 hours. It is in the freezer now, awaiting your answer. Can I save it by canning it or should I just discard it and start over? I just received your latest canning and cook book and am enjoying it.

Keren Swift
Niles, Michigan

Sorry, but I’d be very hesitant to feed my dogs, or my family, a meat product that had been sitting out at room temperature in the summer, for that long. It could harbor some nasty bacteria. I’m tickled that you liked the new books! — Jackie

Pickled hot dogs

I wanted to ask you your opinion on canning pickled hot dogs. The pickled egg recipe came out GREAT! My family loves them and they have a good shelf life of about 6 months if they last that long. Some opinions on the pickled hot dogs say that they will turn out mushy if canned. But no one really came up with a solid answer. I don’t want to refrigerate them if possible.

Milton, Florida

Sorry, but I’ve never pickled hot dogs. (I don’t really like hot dogs, anyway, so this has never entered the realm of my canning.) I have canned them, and they did turn out fat, but tasted okay. I’ve also made my own version of sliced hot dogs and beans, which the kids liked a lot. They really didn’t turn out mushy. — Jackie