Where to put washer

My automatic washer died and I have a chance at buying a working Montgomery Ward wringer washer plus the covered metal washtub set for $75. My question is should I put it in my utility room where my current hookups are, or am I better off putting them on the back porch where I have more room but may have to run a hose to the machine? (I am a newbie to this and I haven’t looked carefully yet to see how you run the water into it.) It doesn’t have to be in the same place as before because I don’t own a dryer. When my washer died I had a clamp-on hand crank wringer and I washed clothes in the bathtub. But putting jeans through the hand crank is killer on my wrist!

Michelle Plamondon
Kaleva, Michigan

Good buy Michelle! Even as I write, I’m doing the wash in my old Maytag wringer washer. I’d ask a couple of questions; do you have a pump in your new washer to empty the washer? If so, you could put it in the spot your old washer stood and use the same drain and fill hose (or a little longer one). If it has a pump but you’d rather have more room, you can certainly put it on your porch and simply pump the dirty water out onto your lawn or flower bed by fastening a garden hose onto the washer hose via a simple male garden hose/barbed or regular pipe thread connector. I’m sure you can figure it out. Then you could use a longer hose to fill your washer. I’ve done that plenty of times, often just using cold water to wash in. Those old hand crank wringers are hard to use on jeans and heavy blankets! — Jackie

Canning potatoes

Is there any special way to can potatoes? Precooked or raw? Whole or cut? Peeled or unpeeled?

I was brought up in an old world family, where cooking and canning was left to the woman (sorry if it sounds sexist, but that was the times), I am now trying to catchup after 26 years in the military. I still remember Green Eggs and Ham C-rations.

I love your blog, it gives me alternative ideas on the homestead. My home, barn, and trainers were built in 1900; fourteen years after Great Peshtigo Fire (most will remember it as the Chicago Fire).

Brian Stujenske
Peshtigo, Wisconsin

You can put up either whole small, quartered larger, or diced potatoes with equal ease. When you put up small, unpeeled potatoes as new potatoes, the skin easily slips off if you wish when you open the jars to use them. With quartered or diced potatoes, I peel them. While you can put them in the jars heated (not really cooked), which is what most books recommend, you can also dice them and put them in raw and pour boiling water over them and seal, then process. The potatoes stay a lot more solid and don’t get as soft that way.

You sure aren’t the only guy who cans! Will’s dad did all the family canning and our carpenter friend, Tom, cans up a storm. And from this blog, there are a whole lot of other guys out there who can tons of food. Join the club! I think it’s great! — Jackie


  1. Talking about men canning, my husband cut up a bushel of green beans last year for me to can. My mother used to do this as she lived with me but she passed away in July, 2012 at 93 yo. My son helps me can applesauce by running the victoria strainer which I have trouble doing due to repetitive motion injury. Even though they don’t do it all their help is enormously appreciated.

  2. I used to can the small potatoes that they USED to throw away. I put them in the washing machine to wash them and then put them in the jars with salt and boiling water. My husband loved to take a jar of those and a jar of canned meat and make a soup when he was out camping.

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