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12 Responses to Contact Us

  1. Ann Smith says:

    I just learned guidelines have changed regarding jam making. I have been making jam for 45 yrs and have never waterbathed. This is jam making week at my house. Yesterday I made 3 batches of jam in rapid succession using my normal technique. All sealed, however I decided to waterbath them. (Within 1 hr of placing jam in jars) Upon placing the filled, sealed jars in water, the domes popped back up. I processed according to guidelines, removed jars. All resealed. Are they ok? Frustrated. Need to make more jam this week and trying to decide if I skip waterbath method with the rest.There is no appearance of compromise of the jars( water in jam)

  2. Becca Dixon says:

    Struggling with my jelly. I made excellent jelly years ago. Starting again and it takes forever to cook. OMG help a girl out

    • Bee says:

      Hi Becca –

      First question is, are you cooking at a different altitude? That makes a difference. Another issue can be whether you’re cooking with electricity or gas. In my experience, gas stoves heat faster and cook hotter. Is there a particular recipe you’re having trouble with?

      • Becca Dixon says:

        No same zone. Always used electric. My recipe says boil 1 minute. I’m telling you it takes 20 min. at least, or I have syrup. I’m a pretty good canner and this has me crazy. I’m making plum jelly.

        • Bee says:

          Well, I can only think of a few more possibilities. I’m assuming that as an experienced jam maker, you haven’t changed the ingredient ratios – more sugar makes the jelly softer. Does it gel when you put it in the fridge? If so, store the jars in the fridge for a few days; they may do fine on the shelf after that, but if not, keep them in the fridge. Maybe there’s a misprint in the recipe? Are you using commercial pectin? If not, your plums may not have enough natural pectin to jell, especially if it’s a different variety from what you normally use. A one- or two-minute boil with pectin makes sense, but a 20-minute boil is more likely without pectin. In either case, you could try adding some under-ripe plums or crabapple juice. You could also try adding more pectin (start with a tablespoon or you may have plum rubber!) The only other thing I can think of is that while pectin technically doesn’t “expire,” it might be too old to work with a short boil.

  3. Brenda Gillman says:

    I have a recipe that was my grandmothers it was called Jim Jam it has to cook slowly for 1/1/2 hours after it cools I’m suppose to put it in jars and put parifin wax on the top, can I just put in jars while it is hot and put canning lids on the top to seal?

    • Bee says:

      Brenda, as long as the jam is hot and the jars and lids have been sterilized and are still hot, that should work fine. Sounds like an interesting recipe!

  4. Lance says:

    We are getting ready to calve out our milk cow. What do you do with the baby when it is born? Let it nurse on the mother?
    Take it away and bottle feed it?
    Or leave it with the mother but dont let it suck by buying something so it cant suck? so the mother can lick it and take care of it?

    • Bee says:

      Hi Lance –
      There’s no fool-proof method for keeping a calf from sucking and it just stresses the cow and calf, especially in the first few weeks after birth. You can either leave it with mama or take it away and bottle feed it. I have a strong preference for the former, for several reasons. First, it’s much easier on you, the cow and the baby. Second, you ensure that the calf is raised naturally, which is really important for its health. The first few days, the cow will produce colostrum, which the baby needs to build up its immunity and to get the extra rich milk to help it jump start growth. Second, the nursing position is just right for the calf to get milk into its primary stomach, (cows have four) and begin to populate the rumen with the microbes it will need to digest grass properly as it gets older. Finally, nature really does know best — a calf kept with its mama learns to be a calf, not a pet that may cause untold problems when it gets much older and bigger. The other advantage to having a cow with the calf is that the calf is your relief milker; I have always run the calf with the cow and still continued to milk the cow once a day. She will adjust her production to the double demand. Should you need to go out of town for a day or so, or come down with the flu, the calf will keep right on nursing, and you can pick back up on the milking when you get back or get better. If you are inexperienced, I would not recommend you bottle feed. If you’re looking for more information, this ( is a really good website for all things cow; the folks who frequent the discussion forums are hands-on homesteaders and small farmers with lots of experience. Good luck, and please let me know how things are going for you!

  5. Jan Steinman

    Are you getting as many comments as you’d expect?

    I tried to comment on two of your blogs, and got “Fatal error: Call to a member function add() on a non-object in /home6/jefferu1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/feedblitz-membermail/feedblitz_membermail.php on line 163”

    • Ell says:

      We are dillgently working on our learning curve with this blogging gig, learning that paitience is a virtue if you can stand the wait! Thanks for the comments!

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