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About PoorMusician

  • Birthday 10/14/1981

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  1. I use Pomona's Pectin because Ball has corn in it, so I have no clue how this translates to the more traditional pectin. http://www.pomonapectin.com/wordpress/wp-content/themes/pomona/img/pomona-pectin-directions.pdf That's the link to the insert that comes with Pomona's. If you like a syrup that's chunkier (like me!), use the jam recipe, but only use 1/4 of the pectin. If you like the smoother syrup (more like the store) use the jelly recipe with 1/4 of the pectin. I'll say my favorite use is to flavor teas and lemonades. Mmm Mmm Good.
  2. Went to U-pick today for the very first time... May have enjoyed it a little too much. I've canned all the jam/syrup I need, plus I'm freezing puree ice cubes cause they're fun to add to lemonade, etc. I have ~ 5 lbs of berries left. I was thinking I could vacuum can some cookies or something a bit more unusual like that. Try to expand our horizons a little. Any recipes / ideas? Please no corn syrup, I'm allergic. I'm gonna go munch on some choc covered berries now. :-)
  3. Really? I can tell hubby to do his business on the edges of my garden and that will actually help? He'll be so thrilled. Hardware cloth is a good idea. I'm not sure in cold weather Mt Rider, but in TX we'd build our garden beds two concrete blocks high with garden fabric in between the two blocks. The bottom was covered with pool liner and the top with dirt. Mom would fill the liner with water on days when we were allowed to use water. Pieces of rope would bring the water up to the plants as they needed it. One batch of water would last several days since the evaporation control was better. When we couldn't refill we'd save water from doing dishes or taking a shower and use that to water plants from the top.
  4. I've started a new hobby - Warfare Gardening. I've keep losing entire gardens to deer, birds, rabbits, gophers (or moles, not sure), the neighbors' dog, crab grass, flooding, drought, or one year the paper wasps randomly decided to eat everything. I'm starting on my fortifications and would appreciate some feedback. There may be easier methods or I might have missed a potential plague. Here's my plan: 1. Lay out some garden edging/house bricks with enough space for my garden box and 3' walkway on all sides. 2. Cover with chicken wire, then newspaper and level it out with sand (it's not too sloped, but sine I'm being paranoid). 3. Build the garden bed on top with concrete blocks and another layer of chick wire lining the bottom and sides. 4. Fill the block holes with gravel to anchor a house shaped frame made of conduit over the box for netting or clear tarping as needed. 5. Thickly gravel or pave the pathways. 6. I'm moving to the other side of my yard so the neighbors' dog will have to cross my dog's territory (mostly for my own sadistic pleasure). My possible other thought was to sink some potted plants into the edges of the walkway. Stuff like yarrow and lavender that deer don't like. What do you think?
  5. In my defense I followed the Ball recipe exactly, it just didn't tell me not to heat up the water as much as the other recipes. So for future reference, anyone using the Ball bruschetta recipe - put the jars into 140 degree water to process, not 180. I've contacted them and we'll see if they offer that handy hint in the future. :-)
  6. I've bought 2 sets of Ball half pints in the last month and 4 jars (so far) have all lost their bottoms within the first minute of processing the Ball bruschetta recipe. They break off all the way around. I've never had that happen to me, so I'm wondering what's up? What are the odds I've just gotten a bad batch? They don't seem to be cracked. Aaaand any idea what I can do with my quickly growing collection of broken jars?
  7. I was told the absorbers took care of the remaining oxygen inside the jar and that it was very important to have them. WoooooooHoooooooooo!
  8. My understanding was I couldn't vacuum seal without the O2 absorbers. Did I just misunderstand?
  9. Violet, I can't use oxygen absorbers (or plastic baggies or mylar) in food without having a reaction. Is there any other option for me that doesn't involve buying expensive equipment?
  10. Woah! Does this really work? This could save me tons of money buying dry goods in bulk. Sugar? Flour? Well dried veggies?
  11. I haven't. Can't believe I didn't think of that. I've only got the one set. If it works fine with the 15# weight will I just buy a new set or can I use 15# instead of 10#? 90% of this falls canning will be broth based soup, so I'm not too worried about food consistency. The diffuser arrives tomorrow so here's hoping one of these works! Thanks all!
  12. I've confirmed with the manufacturer that my outdoor grill is running below 12K BTU. Just as a curiosity at this point... what's the problem with higher BTUs? Does it heat the system up too quick? I used a friends "canner ready" stovetop as an additional test. I had the same problem there and she does regularly pressure can there (with a jealousy inducing AA canner). So what else could be wrong? Would uneven heat cause this? Is still don't understand what Philbe is saying about the weight not being a good balance.
  13. No problem Mt_Rider! If you come up with any new combinations, let me know! I've done a lot of experimenting with that base recipe and have been pleasantly surprised.
  14. It was a gift that I can't return. I honestly just want to make it work for this fall and show my husband how absolutely wonderful it is to have home canned soup, etc over the winter. If I can do that, then I should be able to set aside enough for a spiffy All-American unit next year. I found a heat diffuser for the propane grill, that should help me lower the heat some more. Hopefully that solves the problem. I just don't understand why it would do the same thing on an electric stove turned down. I guess I can can everything and if it goes bad it'll just stress the importance of a good quality canner!
  15. These are the weights that came with the canner. I've got a 10# on in the video. Turning down the heat just creates a less frequent hissing and spinning. At no point do I get any "rocking". The grill was just what was convenient to show y'all on, I've tried other heat sources too. Philbe, what does "weight isn't balanced" mean? Are you talking about inside the canner or the little weight on top?
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