Teddy Roosevelt’s “Sasquatch” story.

This tale is from Theodore Roosevelt’s book, The Wilderness Hunter written in 1893.
He heard it second hand from a man who said it happened to his friend. So maybe third hand. It takes place on the Salmon River in Idaho.
———————————————————

Frontiersmen are not, as a rule, apt to be very superstitious. They lead lives too hard and practical, and have too little imagination in things spiritual and supernatural. I have heard but few ghost stories while living on the frontier, and those few were of a perfectly commonplace and conventional type. But I once listened to a goblin-story, which rather impressed me.

A grizzled, weather beaten old mountain hunter, named Bauman who, born and had passed all of his life on the Frontier, told it the story to me. He must have believed what he said, for he could hardly repress a shudder at certain points of the tale; but he was of German ancestry, and in childhood had doubtless been saturated with all kinds of ghost and goblin lore. So that many fearsome superstitions were latent in his mind; besides, he knew well the stories told by the Indian medicine men in their winter camps, of the snow-walkers, and the specters, [spirits, ghosts & apparitions] the formless evil beings that haunt the forest depths, and dog and waylay the lonely wanderer who after nightfall passes through the regions where they lurk. It may be that when overcome by the horror of the fate that befell his friend, and when oppressed by the awful dread of the unknown, he grew to attribute, both at the time and still more in remembrance, weird and elfin traits to what was merely some abnormally wicked and cunning wild beast; but whether this was so or not, no man can say.


When the event occurred, Bauman was still a young man, and was trapping with a partner among the mountains dividing the forks of the Salmon from the head of Wisdom River. Not having had much luck, he and his partner determined to go up into a particularly wild and lonely pass through which ran a small stream said to contain many beavers. The pass had an evil reputation because the year before a solitary hunter who had wandered into it was slain, seemingly by a wild beast, the half eaten remains being afterwards found by some mining prospectors who had passed his camp only the night before.The memory of this event, however, weighted very lightly with the two trappers, who were as adventurous and hardy as others of their kind. They took their two lean mountain ponies to the foot of the pass where they left them in an open beaver meadow, the rocky timber-clad ground being from there onward impracticable for horses. They then struck out on foot through the vast, gloomy forest, and in about four hours reached a little open glade where they concluded to camp, as signs of game were plenty.

There was still an hour or two of daylight left, and after building a brush lean-to and throwing down and opening their packs, they started upstream. The country was very dense and hard to travel through, as there was much down timber, although here and there the somber woodland was broken by small glades of mountain grass. At dusk they again reached camp. The glade in which it was pitched was not many yards wide, the tall, close-set pines and firs rising round it like a wall. On one side was a little stream, beyond which rose the steep mountains slope, covered with the unbroken growth of evergreen forest.They were surprised to find that during their absence something, apparently a bear, had visited camp, and had rummaged about among their things, scattering the contents of their packs, and in sheer wantonness destroying their lean-to. The footprints of the beast were quite plain, but at first they paid no particular heed to them, busying themselves with rebuilding the lean-to, laying out their beds and stores and lighting the fire.While Bauman was making ready supper, it being already dark, his companion began to examine the tracks more closely, and soon took a brand from the fire to follow them up, where the intruder had walked along a game trail after leaving the camp. When the brand flickered out, he returned and took another, repeating his inspection of the footprints very closely. Coming back to the fire, he stood by it a minute or two, peering out into the darkness, and suddenly remarked, “Bauman, that bear has been walking on two legs.”

Bauman laughed at this, but his partner insisted that he was right, and upon again examining the tracks with a torch, they certainly did seem to be made by but two paws or feet. However, it was too dark to make sure. After discussing whether the footprints could possibly be those of a human being, and coming to the conclusion that they could not be, the two men rolled up in their blankets, and went to sleep under the lean-to. At midnight Bauman was awakened by some noise, and sat up in his blankets. As he did so his nostrils were struck by a strong, wild-beast odor, and he caught the loom of a great body in the darkness at the mouth of the lean-to. Grasping his rifle, he fired at the vague, threatening shadow, but must have missed, for immediately afterwards he heard the smashing of the under wood as the thing, whatever it was, rushed off into the impenetrable blackness of the forest and the night.

After this the two men slept but little, sitting up by the rekindled fire, but they heard nothing more. In the morning they started out to look at the few traps they had set the previous evening and put out new ones. By an unspoken agreement they kept together all day, and returned to camp towards evening. On nearing it they saw, hardly to their astonishment that the lean-to had again been torn down. The visitor of the preceding day had returned, and in wanton malice had tossed about their camp kit and bedding, and destroyed the shanty. The ground was marked up by its tracks, and on leaving the camp it had gone along the soft earth by the brook. The footprints were as plain as if on snow, and, after a careful scrutiny of the trail, it certainly did seem as if, whatever the thing was, it had walked off on but two legs.

The men, thoroughly uneasy, gathered a great heap of dead logs and kept up a roaring fire throughout the night, one or the other sitting on guard most of the time. About midnight the thing came down through the forest opposite, across the brook, and stayed there on the hillside for nearly an hour. They could hear the branches crackle as it moved about, and several times it uttered a harsh, grating, long-drawn moan, a peculiarly sinister sound. Yet it did not venture near the fire. In the morning the two trappers, after discussing the strange events of the last 36 hours, decided that they would shoulder their packs and leave the valley that afternoon. They were the more ready to do this because in spite of seeing a good deal of game sign they had caught very little fur. However it was necessary first to go along the line of their traps and gather them, and this they started out to do. All the morning they kept together, picking up trap after trap, each one empty. On first leaving camp they had the disagreeable sensation of being followed. In the dense spruce thickets they occasionally heard a branch snap after they had passed; and now and then there were slight rustling noises among the small pines to one side of them.

At noon they were back within a couple of miles of camp. In the high, bright sunlight their fears seemed absurd to the two armed men, accustomed as they were, through long years of lonely wandering in the wilderness, to face every kind of danger from man, brute or element. There were still three beaver traps to collect from a little pond in a wide ravine near by. Bauman volunteered to gather these and bring them in, while his companion went ahead to camp and made ready the packs.

On reaching the pond Bauman found three beavers in the traps, one of which had been pulled loose and carried into a beaver house. He took several hours in securing and preparing the beaver, and when he started homewards he marked, with some uneasiness, how low the sun was getting. As he hurried toward camp, under the tall trees, the silence and desolation of the forest weighted on him. His feet made no sound on the pine needles and the slanting sunrays, striking through among the straight trunks, made a gray twilight in which objects at a distance glimmered indistinctly. There was nothing to break the gloomy stillness which, when there is no breeze, always broods over these somber primeval forests. At last he came to the edge of the little glade where the camp lay and shouted as he approached it, but got no answer. The campfire had gone out, though the thin blue smoke was still curling upwards.

Near it lay the packs wrapped and arranged. At first Bauman could see nobody; nor did he receive an answer to his call. Stepping forward he again shouted, and as he did so his eye fell on the body of his friend, stretched beside the trunk of a great fallen spruce. Rushing towards it the horrified trapper found that the body was still warm, but that the neck was broken, while there were four great fang marks in the throat. The footprints of the unknown beast-creature, printed deep in the soft soil, told the whole story. The unfortunate man, having finished his packing, had sat down on the spruce log with his face to the fire, and his back to the dense woods, to wait for his companion. While thus waiting, his monstrous assailant, which must have been lurking in the woods, waiting for a chance to catch one of the adventurers unprepared, came silently up from behind, walking with long noiseless steps and seemingly still on two legs. Evidently unheard, it reached the man, and broke his neck by wrenching his head back with its fore paws, while it buried its teeth in his throat. It had not eaten the body, but apparently had romped and gamboled around it in uncouth, ferocious glee, occasionally rolling over and over it; and had then fled back into the soundless depths of the woods.

Bauman, utterly unnerved and believing that the creature with which he had to deal was something either half human or half devil, some great goblin-beast, abandoned everything but his rifle and struck off at speed down the pass, not halting until he reached the beaver meadows where the hobbled ponies were still grazing. Mounting, he rode onwards through the night, until beyond reach of pursuit.”


What follows is another version of the same story. I believe it may be an earlier version that was since edited to include more information.


It was told (to me) by a grizzled, weather-beaten old mountain hunter, named Bauman, who was born and had passed all his life on the frontier. He must have believed what he said, for he could hardly repress a shudder at certain points of the tales.

When the event occurred Bauman was still a young man, and was trapping with a partner among the mountains dividing the forks of the Salmon from the head of Wisdom River. Not having had much luck, he and his partner determined to go up into a particularly wild and lonely pass through which ran a small stream said to contain many beaver. The pass had an evil reputation because the year before a solitary hunter who had wandered into it was there slain, seemingly by a wild beast, the half-eaten remains being afterwards found by some mining prospectors who had passed his camp only the night before.

The memory of this event, however, weighed very lightly with the two trappers, who were as adventurous and hardy as others of their kind… They then struck out on foot through the vast, gloomy forest, and in about 4 hours reached a little open glade where they concluded to camp, as signs of game were plenty.There was still an hour or two of daylight left, and after building a brush lean-to and throwing down and opening their packs, they started up stream.

At dusk they again reached They were surprised to find that during their absence something, apparently a bear. had visited camp, and had rummaged about among their things, scattering the contents of their packs, and in sheer wantonness destroying their lean-to. The footprints of the beast were quite plain, but at first they paid no particular heed to them, busying themselves with rebuilding the lean-to, laying out their beds and stores, and lighting the fire.

While Bauman was making ready supper, it being already dark, his companion began to examine the tracks more closely, and soon took a brand from the fire to follow them up, where the intruder had walked along a game trail after leaving the camp. . . . Coming back to the fire, he stood by it a minute or two, peering out into the darkness, and suddenly remarked: ”Bauman, that bear has been walking on two legs.” Bauman laughed at this, but his partner insisted that he was right, and upon again examining the tracks with a torch, they certainly did seem to be made by but two paws, or feet. However, it was too dark to make sure. After discussing whether the footprints could possibly be those of a human being, and coming to the conclusion that they could not be, the two men rolled up in their blankets, and went to sleep under the lean-to.

At midnight Bauman was awakened by some noise, and sat up in his blankets. As he did so his nostrils were struck by a strong, wild-beast odor, and he caught the loom of a great body in the darkness at the mouth of the lean-to. Grasping his rifle, he fired at the vague, threatening shadow, but must have missed, for immediately afterwards he heard the smashing of the underwood as the thing, whatever it was, rushed off into the impenetrable blackness of the forest and the night.

After this the two men slept but little, sitting up by the rekindled fire, but they heard nothing more. In the morning they started out to look at the few traps they had set the previous evening and put out new ones. By an unspoken agreement they kept together all day, and returned to camp towards evening.

On nearing it they saw, hardly to their astonishment, that the lean-to had been again torn down. The visitor of the preceding day had returned, and in wanton malice had tossed about their camp kit and bedding, and destroyed the shanty. The ground was marked up by its tracks, and on leaving the camp it had gone along the soft earth by the brook, where the footprints were as plain as if on snow! and, after a careful scrutiny of the trail, it certainly did seem as lf, whatever the thing was. it had walked off on but two legs.

The men, thoroughly uneasy, gathered a great heap of dead logs, and kept up a roaring fire throughout the night, one or the other sitting on guard most of the time. About midnight the thing came down through the forest opposite, across the brook, and stayed there on the hill-side for nearly an hour. They could hear the branches crackle as it moved about, and several times it uttered a harsh, grating, long-drawn moan, a peculiarly sinister sound. Yet it did not venture near the fire.

In the morning the two trappers, after discussing the strange events of the last 36 hours, decided that they would shoulder their packs and leave the valley that afternoon. . .

All the morning they kept together, picking up trap after trap, each one empty. On first leaving camp they had the disagreeable sensation of being followed. In the dense spruce thickets they occasionally heard a branch snap after they had passed ; and now and then there were slight rustling noises among the small pines to one side of them.

At noon they were back within a couple of giles of camp. In the high, bright sunlight their fears seemed absurd to the two armed men, accustomed as they were, through long years of lonely wandering in the wilderness to face every kind of danger from man, brute, or element. There were still three beaver traps to collect from a little pond in a wide ravine near by. Bauman volunteered to gather these and bring them in, while his companion went ahead to camp and made ready the packs.

Reaching the pond Bauman found 3 beavers in the traps, One of which had been pulled loose and carried into a beaver house. He took several hours in securing and preparing the beaver, and when he started homewards he marked, with some uneasiness how low the sun was getting.

At last he came to the edge of the little glade where the camp lay, and shouted as he approached it, but got no answer. The camp fire had gone out, though the thin blue smoke was still curling up wards. Near it lay the packs wrapped and arranged. At first Bauman see nobody; nor did he receive an answer to his call.

Stepping forward he again shouted, and as he did so his eye fell On the body of his friend, stretched beside the trunk of a great fallen spruce. Rushing towards it the horrified trapper found that the body was still warm, but that the neck was broken, while there were four great fang Darks in the throat.

The footprints of the unknown beast-creature, printed deep in the soft soil, told the whole story.

The unfortunate man, having finished his packing, had sat down on the spruce log with his face to the fire, and his back to the dense woods, to wait for his companion, …. It had not eaten the body, but apparently had romped and gambolled round it in uncouth, ferocious glee, occasionally rolling over and over it; and had then fled back into the soundless depths of the woods.

Bauman, utterly unnerved, and believing that the creature with which he had to deal was something either half human or half devil, some great goblin-beast, abandoned everything but his rifle and struck off a speed down the pass, not halting until he reached the beaver meadows where the hobbled ponies were still grazing. Mounting, he rode onwards through the night, until far beyond the reach of pursuit.

There are many other States in the United States that have reported giant creatures that roam about their mountain wildernesses.However, I do not have enough verified information to fully go into it at the present time. Anyway, that would be another book.

Road-Hunter is another word for Lousy Hunter

There was an old joke that for the American Indians the word Vegetarian was just another word for Lousy Hunter.
Well today so is the word Road-Hunter. Yes, there have always been road hunters. But when I was young (you kids get off my lawn) being a road hunter was a disgrace.
Today it seems it has become the standard operating procedures.
My road normally gets maybe 3 or 4 cars a day.
Today, Saturday, it is archery for deer, small game (rabbits, squirrels, grouse and pheasants) and turkey seasons.
I walked down the road with my dog figuring the woods would be full of hunters and I didn’t want to ruin their hunt.
Instead the hunters in their trucks and cars ruined my walk.
It was a constant stream of vehicles with hunters inside jerking their heads this way and that. Looking for deer I suppose.
They would get a much better shot, and feel better about themselves, if they would go back in the woods. Even just a hundred yards if it scares them to get too far from the road.
I’m a hunter too so I don’t mind others hunting. Just have a little self-respect and get out of your vehicle.

Off-grid Electronics? An Arduino Rocket Controller

Today I will begin to show one of my many electronics projects.
A rocket which can read gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS inputs and correct accordingly.
At this time I am using an Arduino processor. I may switch to Raspberry Pi if the Arduino is too slow.

But first. Yes I am familiar with electronics and computer controls. I worked on advanced weapons systems in the military directing gun and missile fire. And I have a degree in electronic and computer engineering.
Hermits aren’t born that way. We grow into it.
So I spend long winter nights, and various times in other seasons, doing some experiments with technology of various types.
So on to one of my current projects.

In this I am using an Arduino Nano, or maybe Uno, single board computer to take inputs from a GPS module, a Gyro/Accelerometer module and maybe several other components.
The Arduino will be programmed to use that information to control micro servo motors attached to the fins of a model rocket. The rocket I am using is a 3/7 scale replica of an AMRAAM AIM-120 missile.
No, I didn’t work on the AIM-120 while in the service. It is just an easy design to build.
My rocket has a 3 inch diameter when the AIM-120 is 7 inches. Mine is 5 feet long.
This is a full-size AIM-120 mounted on an F-16.

This is the current state of my rocket.
The tube on the right is for experiment with the servos.

I printed the servo bracket with a 3D printer.

Here is the bracket being printed.

The servos are SG-90 Micro Servos. They can connect directly to the Arduino..

This is the rocket motor I will use for testing. It is a G74-9W. It will lift the rocket but not very high. I will develop my own motor later.

And here is the current state of the fire control electronics.

Or I may replace the Arduino Nano with an Arduino Uno or Mega2560. The Uno has more hardware serial connections which are faster than software serial ports on the Nano. The Mega2560 would be the best but is larger.

And if that isn’t enough speed I will switch to Raspberry Pi 4. But that requires a completely different type of programming.
At this point I am using the Arduino IDE for programming. It is a simple form of the C/C++ language.


To design the 3D printed parts I use FreeCAD on Linux.
And for the rocket design I used OpenRocket for Linux.

More updates to come. I plan on showing the program I am writing if it doesn’t get too boring.

Something For Nothing – Rush

Waiting for the winds of change
To sweep the clouds away
Waiting for the rainbow’s end
To cast its gold your way
Countless ways
You pass the days

Waiting for someone to call
And turn your world around
Looking for an answer to
The questions you have found
Looking for…
An open door

Oh you don’t get something for nothing
You don’t get freedom for free
You won’t get wise
With the sleep still in your eyes
No matter what your dreams might be

No you don’t get something for nothing
You can’t have freedom for free
You won’t get wise
With the sleep still in your eyes
No matter what your dream might … be

What you own is your own kingdom
What you do is your own glory
What you love is your own power
What you live is your own story

In your head is the answer
Let it guide you along
Let your heart be the anchor
And the beat of your song

Oh you don’t get something for nothing
You can’t have freedom for free, no

Whoa you don’t get something for nothing
You can’t have freedom for free

Rush – Something For Nothing W/Lyrics from Tyler Morin on Vimeo.

Hawthorn Tea

Above left are the slices off the berries. Top right, the cores. Right, whole berries. Bottom, dried, ugly berries.

I was making some Hawthorn Tea and decided to do a quick post.
Here is what you will find by the hypersensitives on the internet.
First, most of them are more worried about amygdalin, a chemical similar in structure to cyanide, but which is not cyanide. (actually it is a cyanogenic glycoside)
It is found in the hawthorn berry seeds.
JUST LIKE MANY FRUITS SEEDS. LIKE APPLES. AND MANY MORE.
I ask myself (because as a hermit I often talk to myself and my dog) how many people have I known that have died from eating apple cores. I have known personally several people who have crunched the whole apple all their lives. And they are very healthy. And I have done it too.
Not to mention Hawthorn berries that myself and millions others have consumed for thousands of years.
So here is my warning.
If you are concerned about a minute amount of amygdalin, or most anything else in wild edible foods, or you panic when a product you buy on Amazon says something about the state of California’s opinion, then maybe you should stay away from all wild foods.

Nature is weird. It combines many things in the foods it provides for living creatures. It is not made up of isolated chemicals in a factory like other processed food. Bits and pieces of many chemicals are in every natural thing you eat. If you saw a chemical analysis of every plant you consume (like the ingredients on processed food)you would never touch the stuff. Well, if you are easily panicked.
A hawthorn berry contains MANY other chemicals that do marvelous things for people. Including (quick search because I don’t want to get in too deep):
“angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, cholesterol, irregular heart beat and even congestive heart failure and it is an anti-inflammatory”
So that is my soapbox speech. I do know that most of the people on the internet warning about amygdalin in Hawthorn aren’t really worried about it themselves. They are worried about lawyers and lawsuit happy idiots who are out to steal money from people.
On to my tea.
I had noticed that most people online who talk about hawthorn tea seem to have never really made it. Their descriptions are not very accurate. Even for as simple as it is. They say get the berries (not when) and make the tea and enjoy. So people get berries and make the tea and it is not wonderful as described.
You can make the tea from the leaves or the berries.
The leaves are healthy but terrible as a tea by themselves. And even the berries are not that great tasting by themselves.
I use the berries.
You can dry them. But they do not dry like other teas you are used to. They dry like the sugar cantaining fruit that they are. They never really dry completely. They shrivel, get ugly and are still squishy. Like raisins and other dried fruit.
You can also make them whole. Which requires boiling for quite a few minutes to actually get anything out.
I prefer slicing the outside off of them like you are cutting the fruit off the core of an apple. (which you are since they are the same family)
It takes time, which is the blessing we all have but don’t make good use of.
The outside is sweet. Well, sweeter. You need to get it right in it’s “sweet spot”, where it is fully ripe, but not yet shrivelling or rotten. Again, just like how you harvest apples.
So I slice the “meat” off and make tea with it fresh if possible. And steep in boiled water like any tea. But I also dry them for use later.
And as I said, they still don’t taste great. But pretty decent.
I always add some other flavor too. Like today I have added Apple Mint.
The two together are much better than either one by itself.
I also add sassafras, birch bark, and many other foraged plants.

The cut berry pieces in the tea ball infuser. And some Apple Mint.

AN OLD POEM – Robert W. Chambers

Where the slanting forest eaves,

Shingled tight with greenest leaves,

Sweep the scented meadow-sedge,

Let us snoop along the edge;

Let us pry in hidden nooks,

Laden with our nature books,

Scaring birds with happy cries,

Chloroforming butterflies,

Rooting up each woodland plant,

Pinning beetle, fly, and ant,

So we may identify

What we’ve ruined, by-and-by

The Duck Walker

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No, not a person who walks ducks.
This is a walker, or wheel chair, for a crippled duck.
My daughter got a baby Indian Runner Duck from a local farm supply store. It was crippled with legs that crossed behind it from dislocated knees so it couldn’t stand up or walk. The store was going to just put it down so my daughter took it. (she also took another one eyed pirate duck).
She raised it as best as she could. It is several months old now.
Because it staggers around like Dick Van Dyke in his old show or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang she named it Dick Van Duck.
I am trying to help it support itself.
So I tried making a duck walker out of adjustable t-slot bars and canvas.

I made it adjustable with plans to make a lighter version if I find the right size. It works to hold the duck up off the ground somewhat comfortably, but we haven’t found the right position for it to stand.
It can stand for short periods but then it’s right foot collapses back. She took it to a couple vets but they said only surgery could be tried but it wouldn’t work anyway.
But my daughter doesn’t give up.


I tried leg straps to hold the feet forward and apart. Since it is an Indian Runner Duck they stand straight up, like a penguin. (see example to the right) So the legs already normally go back but the body is more upright. The straps don’t work well because the duck jumps around.

So my next plan is to make a foam rubber block carved to fit the ducks chest that can be strapped to it and keep the legs apart like they should be.

I’ll update how it goes.

If anyone has any other ideas, email me at hermit<at>pithole.com. (disguised to avoid email scanning bots).

Pickled Milkweed Pods

(These recipes are a work in progress for the Hermit to store gathered recipes or ideas. Many have not been tried or perfected. Try them at your own risk.)

I have eaten many boiled milkweed pods. This year I am trying out pickling them. This is a basic pickling recipe I will try as soon as the pods are ready. As of today some plants already have pods but most are still in the flowering stage. Don’t wait too long to collect or the fluff starts to develop inside. I like about 1 to 2 inch pods. They are crunchier.

Pickled Milkweed Pods

8 cups young milkweed pods
2 cups vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbsp pickling salt
1 cup lemon juice (or more vinegar if desired)
Spices as desired (ie. cloves, garlic, onion, pepper)
Pack jars with pods
Mix other ingredient and bring to boil
Add hot liquid to the jars
Water bath for 10 minutes if desired (not needed as vinegar preserves)
_________________________________________________
Here is how I actually prepared them.
I gathered and cleaned them.

I lightly simmered for a few minutes to wash away some latex. Not all but most washed out.

From there I veered off the recipe.

That’s right. I added them to hot peppers, carrots, brocolli, garlic and ginger.
I simply packed the jars, added about half a tsp canning salt and some Creole seasoning. Then I boiled half vinegar and half water. Poured the hot vinegar water over the hot mix and put the lids on.
That’s it. No water bath. No pressure. Just crunchy vinegar pickled vegetables.
This is the same basic hot mix I made with my dad for years. I just added milkweed pods
As the jars cool the lids vacuum seal. We kept them through the winter lined up on our basement wall with all of our other canned vegetables and soups. We never owned a pressure canner.


And by the way. I know the internet has made everyone scared of living. So much so that you will be told if you don’t pressure can most low acid vegetables or meats you will die.
Guess what? Even if you do everything correct, sterilize everything and pressure cook everything until it is mush it is STILL possible that a botulism spore could be hiding in a jar.
Pressure canners were not even available to most until relatively recently.
So how did we survive?
Very simple. Vegetables that are not high acid or have acid vinegar added were just water bathed. This kills bacteria, including botulism. It does not kill the botulism spores. So over time the spores CAN (not always or even very often) develop into bacteria and the bacteria produce toxins (Bo-tox that makes certain politicians look like wax mannequins) that can kill you.
But you don’t just crack the jar open and pour it down your throat.
The growth of bacteria cause gas which will break the seal.
It also makes the food look bad. When you open it it will smell bad.
At that point you throw it out.
But in reality you could still eat it.
Botulism bacteria itself can be eaten. Your stomach will kill it.
And most importantly don’t eat your food raw.
EVEN IF YOU DID THE FANCY PRESSURE COOKER AT LEAST HEAT IT.
Heating the food will kill the bacteria AND it will neutralize (officially called denature) the botulism toxin.
All it takes is 160 degrees for about 5 mintues (not even boiling although it is best to bring to a boil). Not even regular cooking.
OUR ANCESTORS NEW THIS COMMON SENSE EVEN BEFORE THEY KNEW OF BACTERIA!
The only part of botulism that is deadly is the toxin that you just neutralized (made safe) by heating it.
In summary. Heat those water bathed beans, even if you ignore all the other signs that they went bad or enjoy eating rotten, smelly beans, and you will be fine.
There are plenty other bacteria that might not kill you but could make you sick. (stomach ache and diarrhea).
High heat will also take care of them but the food will still taste and smell just as bad.
And finally…
Shockingly, this applies to canning meat too.
I know. You’ve been told on the internet that people are dropping dead everywhere by not pressure canning their meat.
If you have a pressure canner go ahead a use it and feel superior in your belief that you will never get sick again. You still could anyway because you get cocky thinking you are protected and not heat your food.
But if you aren’t independently wealthy, or the seal failed on your pressure canner and you have no way to replace it, you can water bath canned meat too. JUST COOK IT BEFORE YOU EAT IT. And as always pay attention to the normal signs of spoilage. It isn’t rocket surgery.
Like I said, even if you followed all safety rules for pressure canning, botulism could still form so you could get very sick eating ANYTHING not well pickled, right out of the jar.
Cook it after opening.
Of course this doesn’t apply to higher acid items such as jams and preserves. Or items pickled in vinegar.
And by the way, many of my canning recipes are vinegar pickling. This is because I like vinegar. And also I am lazy and vinegar pickling is very easy. I keep saying vinegar pickling because there is also fermentation pickling which I might cover later. This actually uses good bacteria to preserve by blocking out bad bacteria. Sauerkraut is a form of this. As a kid I punched a lot of cabbage in a crock down in the basement.

Living On The Land