Canning pear butter
I made some pear butter this past summer and it is really thick. If it is too thick can it fall in the same category as pureed squash?
Newport News, Virginia
No, because pears are a high acid food and because you add sugar, a thick product is perfectly safe to can and eat. (Pumpkin or squash puree is a low acid food and thick low acid foods are now considered at risk to can.) Eat and enjoy! — Jackie
Storing brown rice
I would like to know if you have any good information on storing brown rice.
Because brown rice is a whole grain, which does contain some oil, it does not store the best long-term. It will become rancid after a few months — or even sometimes a few weeks — once the bag is opened. It’s best stored in either a refrigerator or freezer. In case of emergencies, when the freezer or refrigerator no longer operates, you can then take the brown rice out and it will still remain good for quite awhile. Keeping it either in the original bag or container or in an airtight package, such as vacuum packing, will keep it even longer. Even though we prefer brown rice, we store a lot of long grain white rice as it will store for decades without any problems if you keep it in an airtight container. — Jackie
Approximately how many cords of wood do you use during a winter?
Suzanne Paquette Richards
We use about 8 cords a winter but remember that we burn our wood stove in the living room and our wood kitchen range as well. (And not all of this wood is prime hardwood; we burn any dead wood that we harvest in our woods, including balsam, pine, and poplar, as well as black ash, a hardwood. In burning “lesser” woods, we not only are given heat but it also lets us clean up our woods as well. We even burn a lot of small-diameter poplar. Right now we are cutting up a whole lot of this that Will stacked two years ago, from clearing a good chunk of our new forty acres. Much of this small wood is two to four inches in diameter, wood which most people would shove into a pile and burn. But it’s great in the kitchen range and heats the house very nicely during the daytime. — Jackie