Rice bran oil

I have recently found a source of Rice Bran oil (they say it is as healthy as olive oil with a high smoke point) and was wondering if I could extend the shelf life of it by heating it and putting it into jars. If so how long do you think it would keep?

Marshall Owen
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

I have never used rice bran oil, let alone tried to preserve it. You can try heating it and pouring it into smaller hot jars and putting on a hot, previously simmered lid like you do lard and see what happens. I wouldn’t do a big batch until you are happy with your results. — Jackie

Pond algae and dill pickle recipe

We have algae on our pond. It is much worse this year due to the extreme heat and no rain. The pond is about 3′ deep. How can we deal w/this w/out using chemicals that will harm fish, wildlife, and us? I understand if it completely covers the pond surface, it could smother the fish due to lack of oxygen.

Also I have a great dill pickle recipe from the 70’s. Back then we used jar rubbers and zinc lids, no processing, just letting them set to “pickle” on the counter. I know we should water bath now but will the heat of the water bath take the crispness out of the pickles? The recipe calls for alum to help crisp the pickles.

J. Eylar
Savannah, Missouri

There are several products on the market that will kill pond algae without harming fish, etc. One company is Drs. Foster & Smith who have a big supply of backyard and homestead fish pond supplies. Type in pond algae control in your browser and you’ll find many different companies who offer products. Choose a product that is not toxic, although most are not as they are meant to be used with fish in the pond.

Yes, the heat of the water bath does often take the crisp out of pickles. Most old ways consisted of bringing the brine to boiling, pouring over raw cukes, then quickly sealing the jars. They sealed (mostly) without water bath processing. Today, experts want to keep us safe from any possible chance of harm so they recommend processing pickles in a boiling water bath to be safe and make sure the jars seal. — Jackie


  1. Barley straw works on pond algae. The Drs Foster and Smith make money selling floating barley straw devices. Seems to me you could stuff some barley straw into onion bags and recycle some plastic water/soda bottles as floats. You’d have to go to their site to figure out how many you would need for your size pond and how often to replace them. Hope this helps. Taras

  2. Brenda,

    I know you were joking but I need to caution others who may take you serious; never introduce non-native fish to your pond as first off it may be illegal and second, it’s possible that they may become invasive. Besides those reasons, most pet store algae eaters are tropical fish and wouldn’t live in a homestead pond.


  3. Brenda,

    Yes I have used grape leaves and really can’t say I was impressed with them keeping my pickles crisp. Other folks swear by them. Give ’em a try and see what you think.


  4. on the crispy pickles, if you chill the cukes in ice cold water for 2 to 8 hours before canning/pickling, they stay crisp.

  5. J.Eylar
    Have you thought about going to a pet store and purchasing algea eating fish for your pond? chemical free…lol.

  6. Since canning pickles was brought up I am wondering if you have ever used grape leaves to help keep them crisp and if it really works?

  7. We have a bit larger and deeper pond. Due to the drought and heat, we have had a layer of what looks like red wax on the surface of the pond. We are using a sump pump and a pipe with holes in it to aerate the water. Does the job and we haven’t lost any fish. The red disappears with the agitation of the water. When we have rain and cooler temps at night, we don’t have problems with whatever that red is.

Comments are closed.