Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Part 2 out of 8
in other warm climates. They are used extensively in the localities
where they are grown and are much enjoyed by persons who learn to care
for their flavor. A cooling drink made from their pulp finds much favor.
108. TAMARINDS AND MANGOES.--Although tamarinds and mangoes are
practically unknown outside of tropical countries, they are considered
to be very delicious fruits and are used extensively in their native
The tamarind consists of a brown-shelled pod that contains a brown acid
pulp and from three to ten seeds. This fruit has various uses in
medicine and cookery and is found very satisfactory for a
Mangoes vary greatly in size, shape, flavor, and color. Some varieties
are large, fleshy, and luscious, while others are small and stringy and
have a peculiar flavor.
109. CANTALOUPES AND MUSKMELONS.--The variety of melons known as
muskmelons consists of a juicy, edible fruit that is characterized by a
globular shape and a ribbed surface. Cantaloupes are a variety of
muskmelons, but the distinction between them is sometimes difficult to
understand. For the most part, these names are used interchangeably with
reference to melons.
Considerable variation occurs in this fruit. Some cantaloupes and
muskmelons are large and others are small; some have pink or yellow
flesh and others have white or light-green flesh. All the variations of
color and size are found between these two extremes. The flesh of these
fruits contains considerable water; therefore, their food value is not
high, being only a little over half as much as that of apples.
110. If melons suitable for the table are desired, they should be
selected with care. To be just at the right stage, the blossom end of
the melon should be a trifle soft when pressed with the fingers. If it
is very soft, the melon is perhaps too ripe; but if it does not give
with pressure, the melon is too green.
111. Various ways of serving muskmelons and cantaloupes are in practice.
When they are to be served plain as a breakfast food or a luncheon
dessert, cut them crosswise into halves, or, if they are large, divide
them into sections lengthwise. With the melons cut in the desired way,
remove all the seeds and keep the melons on ice until they are to be
served. The pulp of the melon may also be cut from the rind and then
diced and used in the making of fruit salads. Again, the pulp may be
partly scraped out of the melon and the rinds then filled with fruit
mixtures and served with a salad dressing for a salad or with fruit
juices for a cocktail. The pulp that is scraped out may be diced and
used in the fruit mixture, and what is left in the rind may be eaten
after the contents have been eaten.
112. CASABA MELONS.--The variety of melons known as casaba, or honeydew,
melons are a cross between a cucumber and a cantaloupe. They have white
flesh and a rind that is smoother than the rind of cantaloupes. Melons
of this kind are raised in the western part of the United States, but as
they stand shipment very well, they can usually be obtained in the
market in other regions. They are much enjoyed by those who are fond of
this class of fruit. Their particular advantage is that they come later
in the season than cantaloupes and muskmelons, and thus can be obtained
for the table long after these other fruits are out of season. Casaba
melons may be served in the same ways as cantaloupes.
113. WATERMELONS.--A very well-known type of melon is the watermelon. It
is grown principally in warm climates of the Southern States, as the
season in the North is not sufficiently long to allow it to develop.
This is a large fruit, having a smooth green skin that is often mottled
or striped, and a pinkish pulp containing many seeds and having a sweet,
watery juice. The large amount of water contained in this fruit makes
its food value very low, it being lower in this respect than muskmelons
and cantaloupes. The volatile oil it contains, which is responsible for
its flavor, proves irritating to some persons who eat it.
114. Watermelon is delicious when it is served ice cold. Therefore,
before it is served, it should be kept on ice for a sufficient time to
allow it to become thoroughly cold. Then it may be cut in any desirable
way. If it is cut in slices, the slices should be trimmed so that only
the pink pulp that is edible is served, the green rind being discarded.
As an appetizer, watermelon is delicious when cut into pieces and served
in a cocktail glass with fresh mint chopped fine and sprinkled over the
top. Small pieces of watermelon cut with a French vegetable cutter make
a very attractive garnish for fruit salads and other fruit mixtures.
115. Cocktails made of a combination of fruits are often served as the
first course of a meal, usually a luncheon or a dinner, to precede the
soup course. In warm weather, they are an excellent substitute for heavy
cocktails made of lobster or crab, and they may even be used to replace
the soup course. The fruits used for this purpose should be the more
acid ones, for the acids and flavors are intended to serve as an
appetizer, or the same purpose for which the hot and highly seasoned
soups are taken. Therefore, they are seldom made sweet and are not taken
for their food value. Besides being refreshing appetizers, they afford a
hostess an opportunity to carry out a certain color scheme in a meal.
Many kinds of fruit may be combined into cocktails, but directions for
the cocktails that are usually made are here given. Fruit cocktails
should always be served ice cold.
116. GRAPEFRUIT COCKTAIL.--The cocktail here explained may be served in
stemmed glasses or in the shells of the grapefruit. If the fruit shells
are to be used, the grapefruit should be cut into two parts, half way
between the blossom and the stem ends, the fruit removed, and the edges
of the shell then notched. This plan of serving a cocktail should be
adopted only when small grapefruits are used, for if the shells are
large more fruit will have to be used than is agreeable for a cocktail.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. diced pineapple, fresh or canned
Remove the pulp from the grapefruits and oranges in the manner
previously explained. However, if the grapefruit shells are to be used
for serving the cocktail, the grapefruit should be cut in half and the
pulp then taken out of the skin with a sharp knife. With the sections of
pulp removed, cut each one into several pieces. Add the diced pineapple
to the other fruits, mix together well and set on ice until thoroughly
chilled. Put in cocktail glasses or grapefruit shells, pour a spoonful
or two of orange juice over each serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar,
garnish with a cherry, and serve ice cold.
117. SUMMER COCKTAIL.--As strawberries and pineapples can be obtained
fresh at the same time during the summer, they are often used together
in a cocktail. When sweetened slightly with powdered sugar and allowed
to become ice cold, these fruits make a delicious combination.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. diced fresh pineapple
2 c. sliced strawberries
Prepare a fresh pineapple in the manner previously explained, and cut
each slice into small pieces or dice. Wash and hull the strawberries and
slice them into small slices. Mix the two fruits and sprinkle them with
powdered sugar. Place in cocktail glasses and allow to stand on ice a
short time before serving.
118. FRUIT COCKTAIL.--A fruit cocktail proper is made by combining a
number of different kinds of fruit, such as bananas, pineapple, oranges,
and maraschino cherries. As shown in Fig. 20, such a cocktail is served
in a stemmed glass set on a small plate. Nothing more delicious than
this can be prepared for the first course of a dinner or a luncheon that
is to be served daintily. Its advantage is that it can be made at almost
any season of the year with these particular fruits.
[Illustration: FIG. 20]
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. canned pineapple
1 doz. maraschino cherries
Peel the bananas and dice them. Dice the pineapple. Remove the pulp from
the oranges in the manner previously explained, and cut each section
into several pieces. Mix these three fruits. Cut the cherries in half
and add to the mixture. Set on ice until thoroughly chilled. To serve,
put into cocktail glasses as shown in the illustration, and add to each
glass 1 tablespoonful of maraschino juice from the cherries and 1
teaspoonful of lemon juice. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
* * * * *
VARIETIES OF DRIED FRUITS
119. The fruits that have been discussed up to this point are fresh
fruits; that is, they are placed on the markets, and consequently can be
obtained, in their fresh state. However, there are a number of fruits
that are dried before they are put on the market, and as they can be
obtained during all seasons they may be used when fresh fruits are out
of season or as a substitute for canned fruits when the household supply
is low. The chief varieties of dried fruits are dates, figs, prunes,
which are dried plums, and raisins, which are dried grapes. Apples,
apricots, and peaches are also dried in large quantities and are much
used in place of these fruits when they cannot be obtained in their
fresh form. Discussions of the different varieties of dried fruits are
here given, together with recipes showing how some of them may be used.
120. DATES, which are the fruit of the date palm, are not only very
nutritious but well liked by most persons. They are oblong in shape and
have a single hard seed that is grooved on one side. As dates contain
very little water and a great deal of sugar, their food value is high,
being more than five times that of apples and oranges. They are also
valuable in the diet because of their slightly laxative effect. When
added to other food, such as cakes, hot breads, etc., they provide a
great deal of nutriment.
121. The finest dates on the market come from Turkey and the Eastern
countries. They are prepared for sale at the places where they grow,
being put up in packages that weigh from 1/2 to 1 pound, as well as in
large boxes from which they can be sold in bulk. It is very important
that all dates, whether bought in packages or in bulk, be thoroughly
washed before they are eaten. While those contained in packages do not
collect dirt after they are packed, they are contaminated to a certain
extent by the hands of the persons who pack them. To be most
satisfactory, dates should first be washed in hot water and then have
cold water run over them. If they are to be stuffed, they should be
thoroughly dried between towels or placed in a single layer on pans to
allow the water to evaporate. While the washing of dates undoubtedly
causes the loss of a small amount of food material, it is, nevertheless,
a wise procedure.
122. Dates can be put to many valuable uses in the diet. They are much
used in cakes, muffins, and hot breads and in fillings for cakes and
cookies. Several kinds of delicious pastry, as well as salads and
sandwiches, are also made with dates. Their use as a confection is
probably the most important one, as they are very appetizing when
stuffed with nuts, candy, and such foods.
123. FIGS are a small pear-shaped fruit grown extensively in Eastern
countries and to some extent in the western part of the United States.
The varieties grown in this country are not especially valuable when
they are dried, but they can be canned fresh in the localities where
they are grown. Fresh figs cannot be shipped, as they are too
perishable, but when dried they can be kept an indefinite length of time
and they are highly nutritious, too. In fact, dried figs are nearly as
high in food value as dates, and they are even more laxative.
124. Dried figs are found on the market both as pressed and pulled figs.
_Pressed figs_ are those which are pressed tightly together when they
are packed and are so crushed down in at least one place that they are
more or less sugary from the juice of the fig. _Pulled figs_ are those
which are dried without being pressed and are suitable for such purposes
as stewing and steaming.
125. STEWED FIGS.--If pulled figs can be secured, they may be stewed to
be served as a sauce. When prepared in this way, they will be found to
make a highly nutritious and delightful breakfast fruit or
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. pulled figs
3 c. water
Wash the figs and remove the stems. Put them into a preserving kettle
with the water and allow them to come slowly to the boiling point.
Simmer gently over the fire until the figs become soft. If they are
desired very sweet, sugar may be added before they are removed from the
heat and the juice then cooked until it is as thick as is desirable.
126. STEAMED FIGS.--When figs are steamed until they are soft and then
served with plain or whipped cream, they make a delightful dessert. To
prepare them in this way, wash the desired number and remove the stems.
Place them in a steamer over boiling water and steam them until they are
soft. Remove from the stove, allow them to cool, and serve with cream.
127. PRUNES are the dried fruit of any one of several varieties of plum
trees and are raised mostly in Southern Europe and California. In their
fresh state, they are purple in color, but they become darker during
their drying. They are priced and purchased according to size, being
graded with a certain number to the pound, just as lemons and oranges
are graded with a certain number to the case. In food value they are
about equal to dates and figs. They contain very little acid, but are
characterized by a large quantity of easily digested sugar. They also
have a laxative quality that makes them valuable in the diet.
128. STEWED PRUNES.--A simple way in which to prepare prunes is to stew
them and then add sugar to sweeten them. Stewed prunes may be served as
a sauce with cake of some kind or they may be used as a breakfast fruit.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 lb. prunes
1 c. sugar
Look the prunes over carefully, wash them thoroughly in hot water, and
soak them in warm water for about 6 hours. Place them on the stove in
the same water in which they were soaked and which should well cover
them. Cook slowly until they can be easily pierced with a fork or until
the seeds separate from the pulp upon being crushed. Add the sugar,
continue to cook until it is completely dissolved, and then remove from
the stove and cool. If desired, more sweetening may be used or a few
slices of lemon or a small amount of lemon peel may be added to give an
129. STUFFED PRUNES.--After prunes have been stewed, they may have the
seeds removed and then be filled with peanut butter. Stuffed in this way
and served with whipped cream, as shown in Fig. 21, or merely the prune
juice, they make an excellent dessert.
[Illustration: FIG. 21, Stewed prunes stuffed with peanut butter.]
Select prunes of good size and stew them according to the directions
just given, but remove them from the fire before they have become very
soft. Cool and then cut a slit in each one and remove the seed. Fill the
cavity with peanut butter and press together again. Serve with some of
the prune juice or with whipped cream.
130. PRUNE WHIP.--A very dainty prune dessert can be made from stewed
prunes by reducing the prunes to a pulp and then adding the whites of
eggs. Directions for this dessert follow:
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. prune pulp
1/4 c. powdered sugar
2 egg whites
Make the prune pulp by removing the seeds from stewed prunes and forcing
the prunes through a sieve or a ricer. Mix the powdered sugar with the
pulp. Beat the whites of the eggs until they are stiff and then
carefully fold them into the prune pulp. Chill and serve with
131. RAISINS are the dried fruit of various kinds of grapes that contain
considerable sugar and are cured in the sun or in an oven. They come
principally from the Mediterranean region and from California. They have
an extensive use in cookery, both as a confection and an ingredient in
cakes, puddings, and pastry. In food value, raisins are very high and
contain sugar in the form of glucose; however, their skins are coarse
cellulose and for this reason are likely to be injurious to children if
taken in too large quantities. They are also valuable as a laxative and
in adding variety to the diet if they are well cooked before they
Like other dried fruits, raisins should be washed thoroughly before they
are used. They may then be soaked in warm water and stewed in exactly
the same way as prunes. Sugar may or may not be added, as desired.
Sultana raisins, which are the seedless variety, are especially
desirable for stewing, although they may be used for any of the other
purposes for which raisins are used.
DRIED APPLES, APRICOTS, AND PEACHES
132. Apples, apricots, and peaches are fruits that are used extensively
in their dried form. They enable the housewife to supply her family with
fruit during seasons when it is impossible to obtain fresh fruit. They
may also be used to take the place of canned fruit, especially when the
supply is low or has been exhausted. Besides their use as a sauce, they
may be used for pies and various desserts.
133. These fruits, which may all be used in just the same way, should be
soaked before stewing and should be stewed according to the directions
for the preparation and cooking of prunes. Then sufficient sugar to make
them sweet should be added. If they are desired for sauce, they may be
used without any further preparation. However, they may be substituted
for fresh fruit in recipes that call for any of them or for prunes. For
instance, dried apricots, after being stewed, may be passed through a
sieve to make a purée and may then be used to make apricot whip or
soufflé according to the directions given for other similar desserts.
The flavor of apricots is very strong and a small amount of the pulp
will flavor a large quantity of ice cream, sherbet, or water ice.
* * * * *
FRUIT AND FRUIT DESSERTS
(1) To what are the flavors and odors of fruits chiefly due?
(2) What food substances are found in only very small amounts in fruits?
(3) Mention the kinds of carbohydrate to which the food value of fruits
is chiefly due.
(4) What parts of fruits make up the cellulose they contain?
(5) Discuss the value of minerals in fruits.
(6) Of what value in cookery are fruits containing large quantities of
(7) What qualities of fruits are affected as they ripen?
(8) Discuss the digestibility of fruits.
(9) What are the effects of cooking on fruit?
(10) What sanitary precautions concerning fruits should be observed?
(11) (_a_) How do weather conditions affect the quality of berries?
(_b_) What is the most important use of berries in cookery?
(12) Name some varieties of apples that can be purchased in your
locality that are best for: (_a_) cookery; (_b_) eating.
(13) How can peach juice be utilized to advantage?
(14) Mention the citrus fruits.
(15) Describe a method of preparing grapefruit for the table.
(16) Describe the preparation of oranges for salads and desserts.
(17) Describe the appearance of bananas in the best condition for
(18) (_a_) Give a test for the ripeness of pineapples. (_b_) Describe
the most convenient method of preparing pineapples.
(19) Discuss the use of fruit cocktails.
(20) Describe the general preparation of dried fruits that are to be
* * * * *
CANNING AND DRYING
* * * * *
NECESSITY FOR PRESERVING FOODS
1. The various methods of preserving perishable foods in the home for
winter use originated because of necessity. In localities where the
seasons for fruits and vegetables are short, the available supply in
early times was limited to its particular season. Then foods had to be
preserved in some way to provide for the season of scarcity. It was not
possible, as it is now, to obtain foods in all parts of the country from
localities that produce abundantly or have long seasons, because there
were no means of rapid transportation, no cold storage, nor no
commercial canning industries.
2. In the small towns and farming communities, the first preservation
methods for meats, as well as for fruits and vegetables, were pickling,
curing, drying, and preserving. Not until later was canning known. It
was this preserving of foodstuffs in the home that led to the
manufacture and commercial canning of many kinds of edible materials.
These industries, however, are of comparatively recent origin, the first
canning of foods commercially having been done in France about a hundred
years ago. At that time glass jars were utilized, but it was not until
tin cans came into use later in England that commercial canning met with
3. Both canning in the home and commercial canning have had many
drawbacks, chief among which was spoiling. It was believed that the
spoiling of canned foods was due to the presence of air in the jars or
cans, and it is only within the last 50 years that the true cause of
spoiling, namely, the presence of bacteria, has been understood. Since
that time methods of canning that are much more successful have been
originated, and the present methods are the result of the study of
bacteria and their functions in nature. It is now definitely known that
on this knowledge depends the success of the various canning methods.
4. Since commercial canning provides nearly every kind of foodstuff, and
since cold storage and rapid transportation make it possible to supply
almost every locality with foods that are out of season, it has not been
deemed so necessary to preserve foods in the home. Nevertheless, the
present day brings forth a new problem and a new attitude toward the
home preservation of foods. There are three distinct reasons why foods
should be preserved in the home. The first is to bring about _economy_.
If fruits, vegetables, and other foods can be procured at a price that
will make it possible to preserve them in the home at a lower cost than
that of the same foods prepared commercially, it will pay from an
economical standpoint. The second is to promote _conservation_; that is,
to prevent the wasting of food. When fruits and vegetables are
plentiful, the supply is often greater than the demand for immediate
consumption. Then, unless the surplus food is preserved in some way for
later use, there will be a serious loss of food material. The third is
to produce _quality_. If the home-canned product can be made superior to
that commercially preserved, then, even at an equal or a slightly higher
cost, it will pay to preserve food in the home.
5. Of the methods of preserving perishable foods, only two, namely,
canning and drying, are considered in this Section. Before satisfactory
methods of canning came into use, drying was a common method of
preserving both fruits and vegetables, and while it has fallen into
disuse to a great extent in the home, much may be said for its value.
Drying consists merely in evaporating the water contained in the food,
and, with the exception of keeping it dry and protected from vermin, no
care need be given to the food in storage. In the preparation of dried
food for the table, it is transformed into its original composition by
the addition of water, in which it is usually soaked and then cooked.
The drying of food is simple, and no elaborate equipment is required for
carrying out the process. Dried food requires less space and care in
storage than food preserved in any other way, and both paper and cloth
containers may be used in storing it. When storage space is limited, or
when there is a very large quantity of some such food as apples or
string beans that cannot be used or canned at once, it is advisable to
dry at least a part of them. When used in combination with canning,
drying offers an excellent means of preserving foods and thus adding to
6. Canning has a greater range of possibilities than drying. A larger
number of foods can be preserved in this way, and, besides, the foods
require very little preparation, in some cases none at all, when they
are removed from the cans. Practically every food that may be desired
for use at some future time may be canned and kept if the process is
carried out properly. These include the perishable vegetables and fruits
of the summer season, as well as any winter vegetables that are not
likely to keep in the usual way or that are gathered while they
Many ready-to-serve dishes may be made up when the ingredients are the
most plentiful and canned to keep them for the time when they are
difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise. Such foods are very
convenient in any emergency. Often, too, when something is being cooked
for the table, an extra supply may be made with no greater use of fuel
and very little extra labor, and if the excess is canned it will save
labor and fuel for another day. In the same way, left-over foods from
the table may be preserved by reheating and canning them. Many foods and
combinations of foods may be made ready for pies and desserts and then
canned, it being often possible to use fruits that are inferior in
appearance for such purposes.
Soup may be canned. It may be made especially for canning, or it may be
made in larger quantity than is required for a meal and the surplus
canned. For canning, it is an excellent plan to make soup more
concentrated than that which would be served immediately, as such soup
will require fewer jars and will keep better. Water or milk or the
liquid from cooked vegetables or cereals may be added to dilute it when
it is to be served.
Meat and fish also may be canned, and many times it is advisable to do
this, especially in the case of varieties that cannot be preserved to
advantage by such methods as salting, pickling, or curing.
7. The preservation of foods by canning and drying should not be looked
at as an old-fashioned idea; rather, it is a matter in which the
housewife should be vitally interested. In fact, it is the duty of every
housewife to learn all she can about the best methods to employ. Canning
methods have been greatly improved within the last few years, and it is
a wise plan to adopt the newer methods and follow directions closely.
Especially should this be done if foods canned by the older methods have
spoiled or if mold has formed on top of the food in the jars.
In order to preserve foods successfully and with ease, the housewife
should realize the importance of carrying out details with precision and
care. The exactness with which the ingredients are measured, the choice
and care of utensils, the selection and preparation of the food to be
canned--all have a direct bearing on whether her results will be
successful or not.
By observing such points and exercising a little ingenuity, the
economical housewife may provide both a supply and a convenient variety
of practical foods for winter use. For example, one single fruit or
vegetable may be preserved in a number of ways. Thus, if there is a very
large supply of apples that will not keep, some may be canned in large
pieces, some may be put through a sieve, seasoned differently, and
canned as apple sauce, and some may be cut into small pieces and canned
for use in making pies. Apple butter and various kinds of jams and
marmalades may be made of all or part apples, or the apples may be
spiced and used as a relish. Combining fruits of different flavor in
canning also adds variety. In fact, neither quinces nor apples canned
alone are so delicious as the two properly combined and canned together.
In the same way, if the housewife will watch the markets closely and
make good use of materials at hand, she may provide canned foods at
comparatively little cost. Of course, the woman who has a garden of her
own has a decided advantage over the one who must depend on the market
for foods to can. The woman with access to a garden may can foods as
soon as they have been gathered, and for this reason she runs less risk
of losing them after they have been canned. Nevertheless, as has been
pointed out, it is really the duty of every housewife to preserve food
in the home for the use of her family.
* * * * *
PRINCIPLES OF CANNING
8. CANNING consists in sealing foods in receptacles, such as cans or
jars, in such a way that they will remain sterile for an indefinite
period of time. Several methods of canning are in use, and the one to
adopt will depend considerably on personal preference and the money that
can be expended for the equipment. In any case, successful results in
canning depend on the care that is given to every detail that enters
into the work. This means, then, that from the selection of the food to
be canned to the final operation in canning not one thing that has to do
with good results should be overlooked.
9. SELECTION OF FOOD FOR CANNING.--A careful selection of the food that
is to be canned is of great importance. If it is in good condition at
the time of canning, it is much more likely to remain good when canned
than food that is not. The flavor of the finished product also depends a
great deal on the condition of the food. Fruits have the best flavor
when they are ripe, but they are in the best condition for canning just
before they have completely ripened. Immediately following perfect
ripeness comes the spoiling stage, and if fruits, as well as vegetables,
are canned before they are completely ripe, they are, of course, farther
from the conditions that tend to spoil them. This, however, does not
mean that green fruits or vegetables should be canned.
Whenever possible, any food that is to be canned should be perfectly
fresh. The sooner it is canned after it has been gathered, the more
satisfactory will be the results. For instance, it is better to can it
12 hours after gathering than 24 hours, but to can it 2 hours after is
much better. Fruits, such as berries, that are especially perishable
should not be allowed to stand overnight if this can be prevented; and
it is absolutely necessary to can some vegetables, such as peas, beans,
and corn, within a very few hours after gathering. Unless this is done,
they will develop a bad flavor because of _flat sour_, a condition that
results from the action of certain bacteria. Imperfect fruits should
not be canned, but should be used for making jam, marmalade, or jelly.
10. WHY CANNED FOODS SPOIL.--Canned foods spoil because of the action of
micro-organisms that cause fermentation, putrefaction, and molding. The
reasons for the spoiling of food are thoroughly discussed in _Essentials
of Cookery_, Part 2, and in that discussion canning is mentioned as one
of the means of preserving food or preventing it from spoiling. However,
when canning does not prove effective, it is because undesirable
bacteria are present in the food. Either they have not been destroyed by
the canning process or they have been allowed to enter before the jar
was closed, and have then developed to such an extent as to cause the
food to spoil. Odors, flavors, and gases result from the putrefaction,
fermentation, or molding caused by these bacteria, and these make the
foods offensive or harmful, or perhaps both.
11. PREVENTING CANNED FOODS FROM SPOILING.--From what has just been
said, it will be seen that the success of canning depends entirely on
destroying harmful micro-organisms that are present in the food and
preventing those present in the air from entering the jars in which the
food is placed.
Some foods are more difficult to keep than others, because bacteria act
on them more readily and the foods themselves contain nothing that
prevents their growth. Among such foods are meat, fish, peas, corn,
beans, and meat soups. On the other hand, some foods contain acids that
prevent the growth of bacteria, and these keep easily. Among these are
rhubarb, cranberries, and green gooseberries. However, foods that keep
easily are few, and in most cases extreme care in the process of canning
must be exercised.
12. While warmth is necessary for bacterial growth, very high
temperatures will destroy or retard it. In canning, a temperature as
high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or boiling point, retards the growth of
active bacteria, but retarding their growth is not sufficient. They must
be rendered inactive. To do this requires either a higher temperature
than boiling point or long continued cooking at 212 degrees. _Spores_
are a protective form that many kinds of bacteria assume under
unfavorable conditions. They are very difficult to kill, and unless they
are completely destroyed in the canning process, they will develop into
active bacteria when conditions again become favorable. The result of
the spore development is the spoiling of the food.
13. Other things besides the application of heat assist in the keeping
of canned food, as, for example, the acids of the fruits and vegetables
themselves, as has been mentioned. The use of sugar also assists; the
greater the quantity of sugar in solution the easier it will be to keep
the food. This is proved in the case of jams and jellies, which will
keep without being sealed tight or put into jars immediately after
cooking. Salt helps to keep vegetables that are canned, and, in making
butters, conserves, and pickles, the spices and vinegars used help to
protect the foods from bacterial action. However, none of these things
are essential to the keeping of any _sterile food_, by which is meant
food in which all bacteria or sources of bacteria have been rendered
inactive by the application of sufficient heat.
14. CANNING PRESERVATIVES.--Numerous compounds, usually in the form of
powders, are advertised as being useful for keeping canned foods from
spoiling. None of them should be used, however, because they are
unnecessary. If the work of canning is carefully and effectively done,
good foods will keep perfectly without the addition of a preservative.
The pure-food laws of the United States and of many of the states
themselves forbid the use of some preservatives because of their harmful
effect on the human system. For this reason, to say nothing of the extra
expense that would be incurred in their use, such preservatives may well
be left alone.
GENERAL EQUIPMENT FOR CANNING
15. The equipment required for canning depends on two things: the
quantity of food to be canned at one time and, since there are several
canning methods in use, the canning method that is to be employed.
Various kinds of elaborate equipment have been devised to make the work
of canning easy as well as effective. However, it is possible to do
excellent work with simple equipment, and if the matter of expense must
be considered there should be no hesitation about choosing the simplest
and least expensive and doing the work in the best possible way with it.
It is important also that utensils already included in the household
equipment be improvised to meet the needs of the canning season as far
16. Whatever the canning method that is to be followed may be, there are
a number of utensils and containers that go to make up the general
equipment that is required. Familiarity with such an equipment is
extremely necessary for correct results in canning, and for this reason
the general equipment is discussed here in detail. The special equipment
needed for each of the canning methods, however, is not taken up until
the method is considered. In giving this general equipment, mention is
made of some utensils that are convenient but not absolutely necessary.
Any unnecessary, but convenient, part of a canning equipment should
therefore be chosen with a view to its labor-saving qualities and its
expense. A device that will make the keeping of canned foods more
certain and prevent loss may be a valuable purchase; still, that which
makes for greater convenience, but not absolute saving, need not be
considered a necessity.
17. VESSELS FOR CANNING.--The pots, kettles, and pans in ordinary use in
the kitchen for cooking purposes are usually satisfactory for the
canning of foods. Those made of tin or iron, however, are not so good as
enameled ones or those made of other metals, such as aluminum.
Especially is this true of utensils used for the canning of acid fruits
or vegetables, because, if such food remains in contact with tin or iron
for more than a few minutes, the acid will corrode the surface
sufficiently to give the food a bad or metallic taste. In addition, such
utensils often give the food a dark color. If enameled kettles are used
for the cooking of foods that are to be canned, it is important that the
surface be perfectly smooth and unbroken. Otherwise, it will be
difficult to prevent burning; besides, chips of the enamel are liable to
get into the food. Kettles for the cooking of fruits with sirup should
be flat and have a broad surface. Fruit is not so likely to crush in
such kettles as in kettles that are deep and have a small surface.
18. KNIVES, SPOONS AND OTHER SMALL UTENSILS.--Many of the small utensils
in a kitchen equipment are practically indispensable for canning
purposes. Thus, for paring fruits and vegetables and cutting out cores,
blossoms, and stem ends or any defective spots, nothing is more
satisfactory than a sharp paring knife with a good point. For paring
acid fruits, though, a plated knife is not so likely to cause
discoloring as a common steel knife. There are, however, other useful
implements for special work, such as the _strawberry huller_, Fig. 1,
for removing the stems of strawberries, and the _peach pitter_, Fig. 2,
for removing the stones from clingstone peaches. For placing the food to
be canned into jars, both forks and large spoons are necessities. A
large spoon with holes or slits in the bowl is convenient for picking
fruits and vegetables out of a kettle when no liquid is desired, as well
as for skimming a kettle of fruit. For packing foods into jars, a
long-handled spoon with a small bowl is convenient. Still another useful
small utensil is a short, wide funnel that may be inserted into the
mouth of a jar and thus permit the food to be dipped or poured into it
without being spilled.
[Illustration: FIG. 1]
19. DEVICES FOR MEASURING.--Accurate measures are necessary in canning;
in fact, some of the work cannot be done satisfactorily without them. A
half-pint measuring cup and a quart measure with the cups marked on it
are very satisfactory for making all measures.
Scales are often convenient, too. For measuring dry materials, they are
always more accurate than measures. Many canning proportions and recipes
call for the measurement of the ingredients by weight rather than by
measure. When this is the case and a pair of scales is not convenient,
it is almost impossible to be certain that the proportions are correct.
For instance, if a recipe calls for a pound of sugar and an equal amount
of fruit, a measuring cup will in no way indicate the correct quantity.
20. COLANDER AND WIRE STRAINER.--For the cleansing of fruits and
vegetables that are to be canned, a colander is of great assistance;
also, if a large wire strainer is purchased, it may be used as a sieve
and for scalding and blanching, steps in canning that are
[Illustration: FIG. 2]
21. GLASS JARS.--For household canning, the most acceptable containers
for food are glass jars that may be closed air-tight with jar rubbers
and tops. Use is sometimes made of bottles, jars, and cans of various
kinds that happen to be at hand, but never should they be employed
unless they can be fitted with covers and made positively air-tight.
Like utensils, the glass jars that are a part of the household supply
should be used from year to year, if possible, but not at the loss of
material. Such loss, however, will depend on the proper sealing of the
jars, provided everything up to that point has been correctly done. All
jars should be carefully inspected before they are used, because
imperfect or broken edges are often responsible for the spoiling
In purchasing glass jars, only what are known as _first quality_ should
be selected. Cheap jars are likely to be seconds and will not prove so
satisfactory. Glass jars may be purchased in sizes that hold from 1/2
pint to 2 quarts. If possible, food should be canned in the size of jar
that best suits the number of persons to be served.
If the family consists of two, pint jars will hold even more than may be
used at one time, while if the family is large the contents of a quart
jar may not be sufficient.
[Illustration: FIG. 3]
22. Numerous types of glass jars are to be had. Some of them are more
convenient than others and may be made air-tight more easily. These two
features are the most important to consider in making a selection. Jars
that close with difficulty, especially if the tops screw on, are not
likely to keep food successfully because the bacteria in the air will
have a chance to enter and thus cause the food to spoil.
Glass jars used for canning foods have improved with canning methods.
The old-style jars had a groove into which the cover fit, and melted
sealing wax or rosin was poured into the space surrounding the cover.
Later came the screw-top jar shown in Fig. 3. This type of jar has been
extensively used with excellent results. Both the mouth of this jar and
the jar top, which is made of metal, usually zinc, lined with glass or
porcelain, have threads that match, and the jar is sealed by placing the
jar rubber over the top, or ridge, of the jar and then screwing the jar
top firmly in place. Such jars, however, are more difficult to make
air-tight than some of the newer types. One of these jars is illustrated
in Fig. 4. It is provided with a glass cover that fits on the ridge of
the jar and a metal clasp that serves to hold the cover in place and to
make the jar air-tight after a rubber is placed in position. Another
convenient and simple type of glass jar, known as the _automatic seal
top_, has a metal cover with a rubber attached.
Another improvement in jars is that the opening has been enlarged so
that large fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, tomatoes, etc., can
be packed into them whole. With such wide-mouthed jars, it is easier to
pack the contents in an orderly manner and thus improve the appearance
of the product. Besides, it is a simpler matter to clean such a jar than
one that has a small opening.
[Illustration: FIG. 4]
23. JAR TOPS AND COVERS.--While the tops, or covers, for glass jars are
made of both metal and glass, as has been stated, the glass tops meet
with most favor. Of course, they are breakable, but they are even more
durable than metal tops, which are usually rendered less effective by
the bending they undergo when they are removed from the jar. Covers made
of zinc are being rapidly abandoned, and it has been proved that the
fewer the grooves and the simpler the cover, the more carefully and
successfully can it be cleaned. For safety, glass tops that have become
chipped or nicked on the edges that fit the jar should be replaced by
perfect ones. The covers for automatic-seal jars must be pierced before
they can be removed, and this necessitates a new supply for each
canning. If there is any question about the first-class condition of jar
covers, whether of metal or glass, tops that are perfect should
24. JAR RUBBERS.--Jar rubbers are required with jar tops to seal jars
air-tight. Before they are used, they should be tested in the manner
shown in Fig. 5. Good jar rubbers will return to their original shape
after being stretched. Such rubbers should be rather soft and elastic,
and they should fit the jars perfectly and lie down flat when adjusted.
A new supply of rubbers should be purchased each canning season, because
rubber deteriorates as it grows old. Rubbers of good quality will stand
boiling for 5 hours without being affected, but when they have become
stiff and hard from age it is sometimes impossible to make jars
air-tight. Occasionally, two old rubbers that are comparatively soft may
be used in place of a new one, and sometimes old rubbers are dipped in
paraffin and then used. However, if there is any difficulty in sealing
jars properly with rubbers so treated, they should be discarded and good
25. TIN CANS.--For household canning, tin cans are not so convenient as
glass jars, but in spite of this they are coming into extensive use. The
kind that may be used without any special equipment has a tin lid that
fits into a groove and is fastened in place with rosin or sealing wax.
Some cans, however, require that the lids be soldered in place. While
soldering requires special equipment, this method of making the cans
air-tight is the best, and it is employed where considerable canning is
done, as by canning clubs or commercial canners.
[Illustration: FIG. 5]
In the purchase of tin cans, the size of the opening should receive
consideration. If large fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, pears,
and tomatoes, are to be canned, the opening must be a large one;
whereas, if peas, beans, corn, and other small vegetables or fruits are
to be canned, cans having a smaller opening may be chosen. When acid
fruits or vegetables are to be canned, use should be made of cans that
are coated with shellac, as this covering on the inside of the cans
prevents any action of the acid on the tin.
* * * * *
26. The methods employed for the canning of foods include the
_open-kettle method_, the _cold-pack method_, the _steam-pressure
method_, and the _oven method_. Of these, the open-kettle method is
perhaps the oldest household method of canning, and it is still used by
many housewives. The other methods, which are newer, seem troublesome to
the housewife who is familiar with the open-kettle method, yet it will
only be fair to give the new methods a trial before deciding which to
use. The one-period cold-pack method has much to recommend it. Foods
canned in this way undergo less change in form and flavor than those
canned by the open-kettle method; besides, there is less danger of
spoiling. In fact, many foods, such as vegetables and meats, that cannot
be canned satisfactorily by the open-kettle method will keep perfectly
if they are carefully preserved by the one-period cold-pack method. The
steam-pressure method requires the use of special equipment, as is
explained later. While it is a very acceptable canning method, it is not
accessible in many homes. The oven method is liked by many housewives,
but it offers almost the same chance for contamination as does the
27. The OPEN-KETTLE METHOD of canning is very simple and requires no
equipment other than that to be found in every kitchen. It consists in
thoroughly cooking the food that is to be canned, transferring it to
containers, and sealing them immediately.
28. UTENSILS REQUIRED.--Not many utensils are required for the
open-kettle canning method. For cooking the food, a large enamel or
metal vessel other than tin or iron should be provided. It should be
broad and shallow, rather than deep, especially for fruit, as this food
retains its shape better if it is cooked in a layer that is not deep.
The other utensils for canning fruits and vegetables by this method are
practically the same as those already discussed--measuring utensils, a
knife, large spoons, pans for sterilizing jars or cans, covers, rubbers,
and jars or cans into which to put the food.
29. PROCEDURE.--The first step in the open-kettle canning method
consists in sterilizing the containers. To do this, first clean the
jars, covers, and rubbers by washing them and then boiling them in clear
water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Next, attention should be given to the food that is to be canned. Look
it over carefully, cut out any decayed portions, and wash it thoroughly.
Sometimes roots, leaves, stems, or seeds are removed before washing, and
sometimes this is not done until after washing. At any rate, all dirt or
foreign material must be washed from foods before they are ready
After preparing the food, it must be cooked. If fruit is being canned,
put it into the required sirup, the making of which is explained later,
and cook it until it is well softened, as if preparing it for immediate
table use. If vegetables are being canned, cook them in the same way,
but use salt and water instead of sirup. When the food is cooked,
transfer it to the sterile jars and seal at once with the sterile
rubbers and covers. Then invert each jar to permit the food to cool and
to test for leaks.
30. The danger of not securing good results with the open-kettle method
lies in the possibility of contaminating the contents before the jar is
closed and sealed. In addition to having the jars, rubbers, and covers
sterile, therefore, all spoons and other utensils used to handle the
cooked food must be sterile. Likewise, the jars must be filled to the
top and the covers put on and made as firm and tight as possible at
once, so that as few bacteria as possible will enter. If screw-top cans
are used, the tops should not be twisted or turned after cooling, as
this may affect the sealing. If jars leak upon being turned upside down,
the contents must be removed and reheated and the jar must be fitted
with another cover. Then both jar and cover must be sterilized and the
contents returned and sealed immediately.
31. The COLD-PACK METHOD of canning differs from the open-kettle method
in that the food to be canned is not cooked in a kettle before placing
it in the jars and sealing them. In this method, the food to be canned
is prepared by washing, peeling, scraping, hulling, stemming, seeding,
or cutting, depending on the kind. Then it is _scalded_ or _blanched_
and plunged into cold water quickly and taken out immediately, the
latter operation being called _cold-dipping_. After this it is placed
into hot jars, covered with boiling liquid--boiling water and salt for
vegetables, meats, fish, or soups, and boiling sirup for fruits. Then
the filled jars are covered loosely and placed in a water bath and
_processed_; that is, cooked and sterilized. When food that is being
canned is subjected to processing only once, the method is referred to
as the _one-period cold-pack method_; but when the food in the jars has
not been blanched and cold-dipped and is processed, allowed to stand 24
hours and then processed again, and this operation repeated, it is
called the _fractional-sterilization method_. The equipment required for
the cold-pack canning method and the procedure in performing the work
are taken up in detail, so that every point concerning the work may be
[Illustration: FIG. 6]
32. UTENSILS REQUIRED.--The utensils required for canning by the
cold-pack method are shown assembled in Fig. 6. Chief among them is a
_sterilizer_, or boiler, which consists of a large fiat-bottomed vessel
fitted with a rack and a tight-fitting cover. A number of such devices
are manufactured for canning by the cold-pack method, but it is possible
to improvise one in the home. A wash boiler, a large pail, a large lard
can, or, in fact, any large vessel with a flat bottom into which is
fitted a rack of some kind to keep the jars 3/4 inch above the bottom
can be used. Several layers of wire netting cut to correct size and
fastened at each end to a 3/4-inch strip of wood will do very well for a
rack. In any event, the vessel must be deep enough to allow the water to
cover the jars completely and must have a tight-fitting cover. Besides a
sterilizer, there are needed three large vessels, one for scalding the
food that is to be canned, one for cold-dipping, and one for keeping the
jars hot. To hold the food that is to be dipped, a sieve, a wire
basket, also shown in Fig. 6, or a large square of cheesecloth must also
be provided, and for placing jars in the water bath, a can lifter, a
type of which is shown on the table in Fig. 6, may be needed. The
remainder of the equipment is practically the same as that described
under the heading General Equipment for Canning.
PROCEDURE IN THE ONE-PERIOD COLD-PACK METHOD
33. PREPARING THE CONTAINERS.--The first step in the cold-pack method
consists in preparing the containers for the food. The jars, rubbers,
and covers, however, do not have to be sterilized as in the open-kettle
method. But it is necessary first to test and cleanse the jars and then
to keep them hot, so that later, when they are filled and ready to be
placed in the water bath, they will not crack by coming in contact with
boiling water. The best way in which to keep the jars hot is to let them
stand in hot water.
[Illustration: FIG. 7]
34. PREPARATION OF THE FOOD.--Attention should next be directed to the
preparation of the food to be canned; that is, clean it and have it
ready for the processes that follow. The fruits or vegetables may be
canned whole or in pieces of any desirable size. What to do with them is
explained later, when the directions for canning the different kinds are
discussed. While the food is undergoing preparation, fill the sterilizer
with hot water and allow it to come to the boiling point.
35. SCALDING AND BLANCHING.--When the food is made ready, the next step
is to scald or blanch it. Scalding is done to loosen the skin of such
food as peaches, plums, and tomatoes, so that they may be peeled
easily. To scald such fruits or vegetables, dip them quickly into
boiling water and allow them to remain there just long enough to loosen
the skin. If they are ripe, the scalding must be done quickly; otherwise
they will become soft. They should never be allowed to remain in the
water after the skin begins to loosen. For scalding fruits and
vegetables a wire basket or a square of cheesecloth may be used in the
manner shown in Figs. 7 and 8.
Blanching is done to reduce the bulk of such foods as spinach and other
greens, to render them partly sterilized, and to improve their flavor.
It consists in dipping the food into boiling water or suspending it over
live steam and allowing it to remain there for a longer period of time
than is necessary for scalding. To blanch food, place it in a wire
basket, a sieve, or a piece of clean cheesecloth and lower it into
boiling water or suspend it above the water in a closely covered vessel.
Allow it to remain there long enough to accomplish the purpose intended.
[Illustration: FIG. 8]
36. COLD DIPPING.--After the food to be canned is scalded or blanched,
it is ready for cold-dipping. Cold-dipping is done partly to improve the
color of the food. It stops the softening process at once, makes the
food more firm and thus easier to handle, and helps to loosen the skin
of foods that have been scalded. It also assists in destroying bacteria
by suddenly shocking the spores after the application of heat.
Cold-dipping, in conjunction with blanching or scalding, replaces the
long process of fractional sterilization, and is what makes the
one-period cold-pack method superior to this other process. To cold-dip
food, simply plunge that which has just been scalded or blanched into
cold water, as in Fig. 9, and then take it out at once.
37. PACKING THE JARS.--Packing the jars immediately follows
cold-dipping, and it is work that should be done as rapidly as possible.
Remove the jars from the hot water as they are needed and fill each with
the cold-dipped fruit or vegetable. Pack the jars in an orderly manner
and as solidly as possible with the aid of a spoon, as in Fig. 10. Just
this little attention to detail not only will help to improve the
appearance of the canned fruit, but will make it possible to put more
food in the jars.
[Illustration: FIG. 9]
When a jar is filled, pour into it whatever liquid is to be used, as in
Fig. 11. As has been stated, hot sirup is added for fruits and boiling
water and salt for vegetables. However, when fruit is to be canned
without sugar, only water is added. With tomatoes and some greens, no
liquid need be used, because they contain a sufficient amount in
[Illustration: FIG. 10]
38. PREPARATION FOR THE WATER BATH.--As the jars are filled, they must
be prepared for the water bath. Therefore, proceed to place the rubber
and cover on the jar. Adjust the rubber, as shown in Fig. 12, so that it
will be flat in place. Then put the cover, or lid, on as in Fig. 13, but
do not tighten it. The cover must be loose enough to allow steam to
escape during the boiling in the water bath and thus prevent the jar
from bursting. If the cover screws on, as in the jar at the left, do not
screw it down tight; merely turn it lightly until it stops without
pressure being put upon it. If glass covers that fasten in place with
the aid of a clamp are to be used, as in the jar at the right, simply
push the wire over the cover and allow the clamp at the side to remain
up. Jars of food so prepared are ready for processing.
[Illustration: FIG 11]
[Illustration: FIG. 12]
39. PROCESSING.--The purpose of the water bath is to _process_ the food
contained in the jars before they are thoroughly sealed. Therefore, when
the jars are filled, proceed to place them in the water bath. The water,
which was placed in the sterilizer during the preparation of the food,
should be boiling, and there should be enough to come 2 inches over the
tops of the jars when they are placed in this large vessel. In putting
the jars of food into the sterilizer, place them upright and allow them
to rest on the rack in the bottom. If the filled jars have cooled, they
should be warmed before placing them in the sterilizer by putting them
in hot water. On account of the boiling water, the jars should be
handled with a jar lifter, as in Fig. 14. However, if the sterilizer is
provided with a perforated part like that in Fig. 15, all the jars may
be placed in it and then lowered in place.
[Illustration: FIG. 13]
When the jars are in place, put the tight-fitting cover on the
sterilizer and allow the water to boil and thus cook and sterilize the
food in the jars. The length of time for boiling varies with the kind of
food and is given later with the directions for canning different foods.
The boiling time should be counted from the instant the water in the
sterilizer begins to bubble violently. A good plan to follow, provided
an alarm clock is at hand, it to set it at this time, so that it will go
off when the jars are to be removed from the sterilizer.
[Illustration: FIG. 14]
[Illustration: FIG. 15]
40. SEALING THE JARS.--After processing the food in this manner, the
jars must be completely sealed. Therefore, after the boiling has
continued for the required length of time, remove the jars from the
water with the aid of the jar lifter or the tray and seal them at once
by clamping or screwing the covers, or lids, in place, as in Fig. 16.
Sometimes, the food inside the jars shrinks so much in this process that
the jars are not full when they are ready to be sealed. This is
illustrated in Fig. 17. Such shrinkage is usually the result of
insufficient blanching, or poor packing or both. However, it will not
prevent the food from keeping perfectly. Therefore, the covers of such
jars of food must not be removed and the jars refilled; rather, seal the
jars tight immediately, just as if the food entirely filled them. If, in
sealing jars removed from the water bath, it is found that a rubber has
worked loose, shove it back carefully with the point of a clean knife,
but do not remove the cover.
[Illustration: FIG. 15]
As the jars are sealed, place them on their sides or stand them upside
down, as in Fig. 18, to test for leaks, in a place where a draft will
not strike them and cause them to break. If a leak is found in any jar,
a new rubber and cover must be provided and the food then reprocessed
for a few minutes. This may seem to be a great inconvenience, but it is
the only way in which to be certain that the food will not be wasted
[Illustration: FIG. 17]
[Illustration: FIG. 18]
[Illustration: FIG. 19]
41. WRAPPING AND LABELING.--When the jars of food have stood long
enough to cool, usually overnight, they are ready for wrapping and
labeling. Wrapping is advisable for practically all foods that are
canned, so as to prevent bleaching, and, of course, labeling is
necessary when canned food is wrapped, so as to enable it to be
distinguished readily when it is in storage. To wrap canned foods,
proceed as in Fig. 19. Use ordinary wrapping paper cut to a size that
will be suitable for the jar, and secure it in place with a rubber band,
as shown, or by pasting the label over the free edge.
PROCEDURE IN THE FRACTIONAL-STERILIZATION METHOD
42. In canning food by the FRACTIONAL-STERILIZATION CANNING METHOD, the
procedure is much the same as in the one-period cold-pack method. In
fact, the only difference between the two is that blanching and
cold-dipping are omitted, and in their stead the food in the jars is
subjected to three periods of cooking. When the jars of food are made
ready for processing in the sterilizer, they are put in the water bath,
boiled for a short time, and then allowed to cool. After 24 hours, they
are again boiled for the same length of time and allowed to cool. After
another 24 hours, they are subjected to boiling for a third time. Then
the jars of food are removed and sealed as in the one-period cold-pack
method. By the fractional-sterilization method, the spores of bacteria
contained in the food packed in the jars are given a chance to develop
during the 24-hour periods after the first and second cookings, those
which become active being destroyed by cooking the second and third
times. Although some canners prefer this method to those already
mentioned, the majority look on it with disfavor, owing to the length of
time it requires.
43. For canning foods by steam pressure, special equipment is necessary.
In one of the steam-pressure methods, what is known as a _water-seal
outfit_ is required, and in the other a device called a _pressure
cooker_ is employed. The work of getting the containers ready, preparing
the food for canning, packing it into the jars, and sealing and testing
the jars is practically the same in the steam pressure methods as in the
cold-pack methods. The difference lies in the cooking and sterilization
of the foods after they are in the jars and partly sealed and in the
rapidity with which it may be done.
44. CANNING WITH A WATER-SEAL OUTFIT.--A water-seal outfit, which may be
purchased in stores that sell canning supplies, consists of a large
metal vessel into which fits a perforated metal basket designed to hold
jars of food. This vessel is also provided with a tight-fitting cover
having an edge that passes down through the water, which is placed in
the bottom of the vessel. When heat is applied to the bottom of the
vessel, the water inside of it is changed into steam. The cover prevents
the steam from passing out, and it collects in and around the metal
basket supporting the jars of food. Enough steam is generated in this
outfit to raise the temperature about 4 to 6 degrees above the boiling
point. Thus, the water-seal outfit will cook the food in the cans in
about one-fourth less time than will the water bath of the one-period
cold-pack canning method.
[Illustration: FIG. 20]
45. CANNING WITH A PRESSURE COOKER.--For canning by steam pressure, a
number of different kinds of pressure cookers are to be had, but in
principle they are all alike and they are always made of heavy material,
so as to withstand the severe steam pressure generated in them. In Fig.
20 is shown one type of pressure cooker. It is provided with a bail, or
handle, for carrying it and with clamps that hold the cover firmly in
place. Attached to the cover is a steam gauge, which indicates the steam
pressure inside the cooker, and a pet-cock, which is used to regulate
the pressure. On some cookers, a thermometer is also attached to the
cover. Also, inside of some, resting on the bottom, is an elevated rack
for supporting the jars of food that are to be sterilized and cooked. In
operating a pressure cooker, water for generating steam is poured in
until it reaches the top of this rack, but it should not be allowed to
cover any part of the jars of food. Steam is generated by applying heat
to the bottom of the cooker, and the longer the heat is applied the
higher the steam pressure will go.
It is possible to secure a steam pressure of 5 to 25 pounds per square
inch in a cooker of this kind. This means that the temperature reached
will vary from a few degrees above boiling to about 275 degrees
Fahrenheit. At a pressure of 20 pounds, the temperature will be about
260 degrees. The heavier the material used for a cooker and the more
solid the construction, the higher may go the steam pressure, and, of
course, the temperature. Some cookers of light construction will not
permit of a pressure greater than 5 pounds, but even such cookers are
very satisfactory. It is the high temperature that may be developed in a
pressure cooker that greatly shortens the time required for cooking jars
of food and making them sterile.
CANNING WITH TIN CANS
46. For canning food in some tin cans, it is necessary to have a
soldering outfit for properly closing them. This consists of a capping
steel, a tipping iron, solder in small strips and in powder form, a
small can of sal ammoniac, and a bottle of flux, which is a fluid that
makes solder stick to tin.
47. Prepare the food that is to be canned in tin cans in the same way as
for canning in jars by the cold-pack method; likewise, pack the cans in
the same way, but allow the liquid and fruit or vegetables to come to
within only 1/4 inch of the top. Then proceed to close the cans. Apply
the flux to the groove in the top of each can where the solder is to be
melted, using for this purpose a small brush or a small stick having a
piece of cloth wrapped around one end. Heat the capping steel, which
should be thoroughly clean, until it is almost red hot, dip it quickly
into a little of the flux, and then put it into a mixture consisting of
equal parts of sal ammoniac and powdered solder until it is covered with
bright solder. Put the cap on the can and apply the hot capping steel
covered with the solder. Hold this device firmly, press it downwards,
and turn it slowly as the solder melts and thus joins the cap to
48. After the caps are soldered in place, the air inside the cans must
be driven out through the small vent, or opening, usually in the center
of the cap, and the cans made air-tight. Therefore, place the cans into
boiling water to within 1/2 inch of the top and let them remain there
for a few minutes. Usually, 3 minutes in boiling water is sufficient.
Immediately after _exhausting_, as this process is called, apply a
little of the flux as in capping, and, with the tipping iron well heated
and a strip of solder, seal the hole in the caps. After this is done,
test each can for leaks by submerging it in water. If bubbles arise, it
is an indication that the cover is not tight and must be resoldered.
49. The next step consists in processing the cans of food. This may be
done either in a water bath or in a pressure cooker. If the cans are to
be processed in a water bath, keep them in the boiling water just as
long as glass jars of food would be kept there. If a pressure cooker is
to be used, keep the cans in it for 6 to 40 minutes, depending on the
steam pressure employed, the ripeness of the food or the necessity for
cooking it, and the size of the cans employed. For canning meat or fish,
processing in a pressure cooker is the most successful, as the high
temperature reached in it kills bacteria, which are difficult to destroy
at the boiling point.
As soon as the cans of food are removed from the water bath or the
pressure cooker, plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking and
prevent the food from getting soft and mushy. Then label the cans, so
that no mistake will be made as to their contents.
50. In another method, the tin cans may be closed without soldering the
caps on. The caps used in this case are different from those which must
be soldered. They are forced in place by a hand-pressure machine that
may be attached to a table. Otherwise the procedure is the same as that
51. The OVEN METHOD oven method of canning is thought to be very
satisfactory by many housewives, but, as it is necessary to remove the
covers after cooking the contents of the jars, food canned in this way
is subjected to contamination, just as in the open-kettle method. In
addition, the jars are difficult to handle in the oven, owing to the
extreme heat that is required to cook the food in the jars.
52. In canning by the oven method, proceed by preparing the food as for
the cold-pack canning method; also, fill the jars with fruit or
vegetables and with liquid or sirup as in this method. Put the covers on
the jars loosely, omitting the jar rubbers. Place the jars in a shallow
pan of water, as in Fig. 21, and set the pan containing the jars into a
stove oven, which should be only slightly warm. At the same time place
the jar rubbers in a pan of boiling water, so that they may be
sterilized as the food cooks. When the jars are in the oven, increase
the heat gradually until the food in them boils. Then keep up a
temperature that will allow the food to boil quietly for a period long
enough to cook it soft and sterilize it. Usually, 30 to 45 minutes after
boiling has begun will be sufficient. During the cooking some of the
liquid in the jars evaporates. Therefore, when the jars of food are
ready to be removed from the oven, have boiling water or sirup ready,
remove the cover of each jar in turn, and fill the jar brimful with the
liquid. Then place a sterilized rubber in place and fasten the cover
down tight. The procedure from this point on is the same as in the other
[Illustration: FIG. 21]
* * * * *
CANNING VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
PREPARATION FOR CANNING
53. In canning, as in all other tasks related to cookery, the
housewife's aim should be to do the greatest amount of work, and do it
well, with the least effort on her part. The results she gets in
canning, then, will depend considerably on the orderly arrangement of
the utensils and materials with which she is to do the work. But of
greater importance is the preparation she makes to eliminate as much as
she can the possibilities of contamination, for, as has been repeatedly
pointed out, success in canning depends on the absence of
54. From what has just been mentioned, it is essential that everything
about the person who is to do the work and the place in which the work
is to done should be clean. Clean dresses and aprons should be worn, and
the hands and finger nails should be scrupulously clean. The kitchen
floor should be scrubbed and the furniture dusted with a damp cloth. Any
unnecessary utensils and kitchen equipment should be put out of the way
and those required for canning assembled and made ready for the work.
The jars should be washed and the covers tested by fitting them on
without the rubbers. If a glass cover rocks, it does not fit correctly;
and if a screw cover will not screw down tight, it should be discarded.
Without the rubber, there should be just enough space between the cover
and the jar to permit the thumb nail to be inserted as is shown in Fig.
3. The edge of each jar and each glass cover should be carefully
examined every time it is used, so that none with pieces chipped off
will be used, as these will admit air. This examination is made by
running the finger over the edge of the jar and the cover, as is shown
in Fig. 4. The jars, covers, and rubbers should be put into pans of cold
water, and the water should be brought to the boiling point and allowed
to boil for 15 minutes or more while the fruit or vegetables are being
prepared for canning. They should be kept in the hot water until the
food is ready to be placed in them. In the one-period cold-pack method,
it is not necessary to boil the jars, rubbers, and covers, but this may
be done if desired.
To produce good-looking jars of food, the fruit or vegetables to be
canned should be graded to some extent; that is, the finest of the
fruits or vegetables should be separated and used by themselves, as
should also those of medium quality. Often it is wise to use the poorest
foods for purposes other than canning. The food may then be canned
according to the chosen method, but by no means should methods be mixed.
In handling the product after it has been cooked by the open-kettle
method, any spoon, funnel, or other utensil must be thoroughly
sterilized in the same way as the jars and their covers and rubbers;
indeed, no unsterile utensil should ever be allowed to touch the food
when a jar is being filled.
[Illustration: FIG. 22]
55. It is by the observance of such precautions as these, some of them
seemingly unimportant, that the housewife will be repaid for her efforts
in canning and be able to produce canned fruits and vegetables like
those shown in color in Fig. 22. This illustration shows, with a few
exceptions, such foods canned by the one-period cold-pack method, and
merits close inspection. As will be observed, the jars are full and well
packed and the color of each food is retained. Each can of food
indicates careful work and serves to show the housewife what she may
expect if she performs her work under the right conditions and in the
right way. This illustration likewise serves to demonstrate that any
food may be successfully canned by the one-period cold-pack method, a
claim that cannot be made for the other canning methods. In fact, some
of the foods illustrated, as, for instance, peas and corn, cannot be
canned successfully by any other method.
DIRECTIONS FOR CANNING VEGETABLES
56. CLASSIFICATION OF VEGETABLES.--To simplify the directions here given
for the canning of vegetables, this food is divided into four groups,
1. _Greens_, which include all wild and cultivated edible greens, such
as beet greens, collards, cress, dandelion, endive, horseradish greens,
kale, mustard greens, spinach, New Zealand spinach, and Swiss chard.
2. _Pod and related vegetables_, which include asparagus, beans, both
string and wax, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, okra,
peppers, both green and ripe, summer squash, and vegetable marrow.
3. _Root and tuber vegetables_, which include beets, carrots, kohlrabi,
parsnips, rutabagas, salsify, sweet potatoes, and turnips.
4. _Special vegetables_, which include beans, both Lima and shell, corn,
mushrooms, peas, pumpkin, sauerkraut, squash, succotash and other
vegetable combinations, and tomatoes.
The convenience of this plan will be readily seen when it is understood
that, with the exception of the special vegetables, the same method of
preparation and the time given for the various steps in the canning
process apply to all vegetables of the same class. Thus, if directions
for a vegetable belonging to a certain class are not definitely stated
in the text, it may be taken for granted that this vegetable may be
canned in the manner given for another vegetable of the same class.
57. GENERAL DIRECTIONS.--The canning of vegetables may be most
successfully done by the one-period cold-pack method. Tomatoes,
however, because of the large quantity of acid they contain, may be
canned and kept with little difficulty by the open-kettle method, but
they will be found to keep their shape better if the cold-pack method
The time required for cooking any vegetable after it is packed in jars
depends on the kind and the age. Therefore, if a vegetable is hard or
likely to be tough, it may be necessary to increase the time given in
the directions; whereas, if it is young and tender or very ripe, as in
the case of tomatoes, the time for cooking may perhaps have to be
decreased. Because, in altitudes higher than sea level, the boiling
point of water is lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the length of time
for boiling foods in the water bath must be increased after an altitude
of 500 feet is reached. Therefore, for every additional 500 feet over
the first 500 feet, 10 per cent. should be added to the time given for
the boiling in water. In case a pressure cooker is used, however, this
is not necessary.
The canning directions here given are for 1-quart jars. If pint jars are
to be used, decrease the salt proportionately; also, decrease the time
for cooking in each case one-fifth of the time, or 20 per cent. If
2-quart jars are to be used, double the amount of salt and add to the
length of time for cooking one-fifth, or 20 per cent. For instance, if a
1-quart jar of food requires 90 minutes, a pint jar of the same food
would require 72 minutes and a 2-quart jar, 108 minutes.
58. In canning greens, or vegetables belonging to the first group,
select those which are fresh and tender. Greens that are old and
inclined to be strong and tough may require longer blanching and
cooking. Look the greens over carefully, rejecting all leaves that are
wilted or otherwise spoiled. Cut off the roots and drop the leaves into
a pan of cold water. Wash these thoroughly a number of times, using
fresh water each time, in order to remove all sand and dirt that may be
clinging to them. Then proceed to blanch them for 10 to 15 minutes in
steam, suspending the greens over boiling water in a piece of
cheesecloth, a colander, or the top of a steamer. After blanching, dip
them quickly into cold water. Then pack the greens tightly into jars and
add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful. No water has to be added to
greens, because the leaves themselves contain sufficient water. When the
jars are thus packed, adjust the covers and proceed to sterilize and
cook the greens according to the directions previously given. If the
water bath is to be used, boil them in it for 1-1/2 to 2 hours; but if
the pressure cooker is to be employed for this purpose, cook them at a
5-pound pressure for 60 minutes or at a 10-pound pressure for
GROUP 2--POD AND RELATED VEGETABLES
59. The best results in canning vegetables belonging to the second group
will be derived when those which are fresh and tender are selected. As
has been mentioned, the sooner vegetables are canned after they are
taken from the garden, the better will be the canned product. Directions
for practically all vegetables included in this group are here given.
60. ASPARAGUS.--Select tender asparagus, and proceed with the canning no
later than 5 hours after it has been taken from the garden. Remove the
hard portions at the ends of the stems, and cut the trimmed stems into
pieces the length of the jars into which they are to be placed. If
preferred, however, the asparagus may be cut into small pieces. Wash the
cut asparagus thoroughly in cold water, and then sort out the uneven
pieces that were cut off in making the stems even in length. These may
be canned separately for soup. Lay the stems of asparagus in an orderly
pile in a colander or a wire basket, cover it, and place it into a large
vessel where it may be kept completely covered with boiling water for 5
minutes. Then cold-dip the asparagus quickly, and pack it neatly into
the jars, keeping the tip ends up. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each
jarful and pour boiling water into each jar until it is completely full.
Adjust the covers and proceed to sterilize and cook the jars of food.
Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours in the water bath, or, in the pressure cooker,
cook for 60 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 40 minutes at a
pressure of 10 pounds.
61. BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CABBAGE, AND CAULIFLOWER.--In canning Brussels
sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower, first prepare each vegetable as if it
were to be cooked for the table. When thus made ready, blanch it with
the aid of a square of cheesecloth or a colander in live steam, over
boiling water, for 10 to 15 minutes. Then cold-dip it and pack it
tightly into the jars. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful and fill
each jar with boiling water. Proceed next to sterilize and cook it
according to the method selected. Boil for 90 minutes in the water bath;
in the pressure cooker, cook for 60 minutes at a 5-pound pressure or for
40 minutes at a 10-pound pressure.
62. EGGPLANT AND SUMMER SQUASH.--Both eggplant and summer squash are
canned in the same way, because the consistency of these vegetables is
much alike. Select firm vegetables with no decayed spots. Blanch for 3
to 8 minutes in boiling water; cold-dip quickly; remove the skins; cut
into pieces of a size that will fit into the jars; pack into the jars;
and add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful. Next, adjust the jar lids
and proceed according to the directions given for the method selected.
In the water bath, boil for 1-1/2 hours; in the pressure cooker, cook
for 60 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 40 minutes at a pressure
of 10 pounds. Eggplant or summer squash so canned may be rolled in egg
and crumbs and sautéd or fried, the same as fresh vegetables of
63. OKRA AND GREEN PEPPERS.--Both okra and green peppers may also be
canned in the same way. Prepare these vegetables for canning by washing
fresh, tender pods of either vegetable thoroughly. Blanch for 5 to 15
minutes in boiling water and cold-dip quickly. Pack the pods into the
jars, add a teaspoonful of salt to each jarful, and fill the jars with
boiling water. Adjust the lids and proceed according to directions for
the method selected. In the water bath, boil for 1-1/2 to 2 hours; in
the pressure cooker, cook for 60 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or
for 40 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
64. STRING BEANS.--String beans of any variety should be canned as soon
as they are gathered. If the beans to be canned are not of the
stringless variety, prepare them by stringing them, following the
directions given in _Vegetables_, Part 1. Stringless beans should be
selected if possible, to avoid this part of the work. Cut out any rusted
portions, cut each end from the beans, and, if preferred, cut the beans
into inch lengths. When thus prepared, blanch them for 10 to 15 minutes
in live steam, cold-dip quickly, and pack tightly into the jars. Add a
teaspoonful of salt to each jarful, fill the jars with boiling water,
adjust the lids, and cook according to the method preferred. In the
water bath, boil for 1-1/2 to 2 hours; in the pressure cooker, cook for
60 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 40 minutes at a pressure of
GROUP 3--ROOT AND TUBER VEGETABLES
65. Only the small, young, and tender vegetables included in the third
group lend themselves readily to canning. As a rule, such vegetables are
allowed to mature, when they can be stored for winter use without
canning them. However, many housewives like to can some of them for the
variety they offer in the preparation and planning of meals.
66. BEETS.--For canning, select small, young beets. Prepare them by
cutting off the tops, which may be cooked as greens or canned
separately, and all but about an inch of the stems and an inch of the
roots. Scrub the trimmed beets well, and then blanch them in boiling
water for 5 to 15 minutes or until the skins may be easily scraped off
with a knife. Plunge them quickly into cold water and draw them out
again. Then scrape off the skins and remove the roots and stems. The
roots and stems are left on during the blanching and cold-dipping to
prevent them from bleeding, or losing color. When thus prepared, pack
the beets into jars, add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful, and fill
the jars with boiling water. Then adjust the jar tops and proceed to
sterilize and cook the jars of beets according to the directions for any
preferred method. In the water bath, cook them for 1-1/2 hours; in the
pressure cooker, cook them for 1 hour at a pressure of 5 pounds or for
40 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
67. CARROTS, PARSNIPS, AND TURNIPS.--Young parsnips and turnips are
canned in exactly the same way as young carrots. Therefore, directions
for the canning of carrots will suffice for all three of these
vegetables. Prepare the carrots for canning by cutting off the tops and
the roots and scrubbing them well. Blanch them for 10 to 15 minutes in
boiling water, so that the skins may be easily removed, and cold-dip
them. Then remove the skins by scraping, pack the carrots into the jars,
add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful, and fill the jars with boiling
water. Adjust the jar tops next, and proceed to sterilize and cook the
jars of carrots according to the method selected. In the water bath,
cook for 1-1/2 hours; in the pressure cooker, cook for 1 hour at a
pressure of 5 pounds or for 40 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
GROUP 4--SPECIAL VEGETABLES
68. Vegetables of the fourth group, which include those which cannot
well be classified in the other groups, lend themselves readily to
combinations, such as succotash, that make for variety in food. As is
true of the other vegetables, special vegetables must be fresh and sound
if good results in canning are expected.
69. LIMA AND OTHER SHELLED BEANS.--For canning, only tender beans,
whether Lima or some other variety, should be chosen. Prepare them for
immediate canning by shelling them--that is, taking them from the
pods--blanching them for 5 to 10 minutes in boiling water, and then
cold-dipping them quickly. Pack the jars to within 1/2 inch of the top,
add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jar, and fill the jars with boiling
water. Adjust the covers and proceed to sterilize and cook them. In the
water bath, boil for 2-1/2 to 3 hours; in the pressure cooker, cook for
1-1/2 hours at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 1 hour at a pressure of
70. GREEN CORN.--For canning purposes, only corn that is young and milky
should be selected. Get it ready for canning by husking it and removing
the silk. Then blanch it for 3 to 5 minutes in boiling water and
cold-dip it quickly. Cut the kernels half way down to the cob and scrape
out what remains after cutting. For best results in this operation, hold
the ear of corn so that the butt end is up; then cut from the tip toward
the butt, but scrape from the butt toward the tip. Next, pack the jars
tightly with the corn, pressing it into them with a wooden masher.
Unless two persons can work together, however, cut only enough corn for
one jar and fill and partly seal it before cutting more. As corn swells
in the cooking, fill each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. The milk in
the corn should fill all spaces between the kernels, provided there are
any, but if it does not, boiling water may be poured in. Add 1
teaspoonful of salt to each jarful of corn and adjust the jar lids. Boil
for 3 hours in the water bath; but, if the pressure cooker is to be
used, cook for 1-1/2 hours at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 1 hour at a
pressure of 10 pounds.
Corn on the cob may be canned in the same way if desired, but as only
three small ears can be put into a quart jar, this would seem to be a
waste of space and labor. If corn on the cob is to be canned, 2-quart
jars will prove more convenient than 1-quart jars.
71. PEAS.--Peas for canning should be well formed and tender, and they
should be canned as soon as possible after coming from the garden.
Proceed by washing the pods and shelling the peas. Blanch the shelled
peas for 5 to 10 minutes in live steam, and cold-dip them quickly. Pack
the peas into the jars, having them come to within 1/2 inch from the
top, add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful, and fill the jars with
boiling water. Then adjust the jar lids and proceed according to
directions for the method selected. In the water bath, boil for 2 or 3
hours; in the pressure cooker, cook for 1-1/2 hours at a pressure of 5
pounds or for 1 hour at a pressure of 10 pounds.
72. PUMPKIN AND SQUASH.--The canning of pumpkin and squash is advisable
when there is any possibility of their not keeping until they can be
used. Prepare either of these vegetables for canning by first peeling it
and cutting the edible part into inch cubes. Blanch these cubes for 10
to 15 minutes in live steam and cold-dip them quickly. Pack the jars as
full as possible, and add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jar, but no
water. After adjusting the jar lids, boil the jars of food for 1-1/2
hours in the water bath, or cook them for 1 hour at a pressure of 5
pounds or for 40 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds in the pressure
cooker. When finished, the jars will be found to be only about half
full, but the contents will keep perfectly.
If desired, pumpkin or squash may first be cooked as if preparing it for
use and then put into the jars for processing.
73. SUCCOTASH.--Of course, succotash is not a vegetable, but the name of
a food that results from combining corn and beans. These vegetables may
be canned together to make for variety in the winter's food supply, or
each may be canned separately and combined later. Clean the ears of corn
in the manner previously directed; then blanch them for 5 minutes and
cold-dip them. Also, remove green Lima beans from the pods, blanch them
for 10 minutes, and cold-dip them. Then cut and scrape the corn off the
cobs and mix it with an equal quantity of the beans. Pack the mixture
into the jars to within 1/2 inch of the top, add a teaspoonful of salt
to each jarful, and fill the jars with boiling water. Adjust the jar
tops and proceed according to the directions for the process to be
employed. In the water bath, boil for 2 hours; in the pressure cooker,
cook for 50 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 35 minutes at a
pressure of 10 pounds.
74. TOMATOES.--As has been stated, tomatoes may be canned successfully
by the open-kettle method. If this method is to be employed, the first
part of the preparation is exactly the same as for the cold-pack method,
except that the jars, jar tops, and jar rubbers must be carefully
For canning, firm tomatoes should be selected if possible, as they will
keep their shape better than those which are very ripe. If some are
soft, they should be sorted out and canned for soup making or made into
catsup. After washing the tomatoes, proceed to blanch them. The length
of time required for blanching depends entirely on the condition of the
tomatoes. They should be blanched for 1 to 3 minutes, or just long
enough to loosen the skin. After blanching, dip them quickly into cold
water and remove the skins. These, it will be found, may be removed
easily and quickly. Pack the tomatoes thus prepared tightly into jars
and fill them with boiling water, boiling tomato juice, or stewed
tomatoes. Add a teaspoonful of salt to each jar. Then adjust the jar
lids and proceed according to the directions given for the method
selected. Boil for 22 minutes in the water bath; in the pressure cooker,
cook for 15 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 10 minutes at a
pressure of 10 pounds.
75. TOMATOES FOR SOUP.--If there are soft tomatoes at hand or if
tomatoes are canned by the open-kettle method, quantities of tomato
juice will be available. Such material as this may be put through a
sieve and boiled down for winter use in the making of soups, bisques,
etc. It may be canned simply by pouring the boiling juice into
sterilized jars and sealing them immediately.
76. TOMATOES AND CORN.--An excellent food combination results from
combining stewed tomatoes with corn. Such a combination may be canned
safely by either the open-kettle or the cold-pack method. The acid of
the tomatoes helps to keep the corn, but the combination requires longer
cooking than just plain tomatoes. Prepare each vegetable as for canning
separately, but, if desired, cut the tomatoes into pieces. Mix the two
foods in any desirable proportion and, for the cold-pack canning method,
put the food into the jars. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each jarful,
but no water. Then adjust the jar lids, and proceed to sterilize and
cook the jars of food. In the water bath, cook them 1-1/2 hours; in the
pressure cooker, cook them for 50 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or
for 35 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
DIRECTIONS FOR CANNING FRUITS
77. The chief difference between the canning of fruits and the canning
of vegetables is that sugar in the form of sirup, instead of salt water,
is used for the liquid. Fruits may be canned without sugar if desired,
but nothing is gained by so doing, for sugar will have to be added
later. Because of the sugar used in canning and the acid contained in
the fruit, canned fruit has better keeping qualities than canned
vegetables. In fact, it is much more likely to keep well even though it
does not receive such careful attention as vegetables. It is for this
reason that canned fruit does not require so much time for sterilization
as vegetables do. Still it should not be inferred that care is not
necessary in the canning of fruits. Indeed, the more care that is taken,
the better are the results likely to be.
78. SIRUPS FOR CANNING.--Before the canning of fruits can be undertaken,
it is necessary to possess a knowledge of the sirups that are needed.
Such sirups consist simply of sugar dissolved in boiling water. The
quantity of sugar and water required for a sirup depends on the acidity
of the fruit and the purpose for which it is to be used. Plain canned
fruits that are to be used for sauces, etc. require less sugar
proportionately than those which are preserved, and fruit canned for pie
making may have less than either. Thus, fruits of the same kind may be
canned with sirups of different proportions. To a great extent, the
quantity of sugar to use with fruit may be regulated by the taste, but
it will be readily seen that such fruits as sour cherries and plums will
require more sugar to make them palatable than pears and blueberries. It
will be well to note, though, that the sugar does not penetrate the
fruit unless the two are cooked together.
79. In order to make sirup for canning, place the desired quantities of
sugar and water in a kettle and proceed to heat them. Stir the liquid
while it is heating, in order to assist in dissolving the sugar. When it
has begun to boil rapidly, remove the sirup from the fire and use it at
once. Do not continue boiling.
In preparing such sirups, it will be well to note that the greater the
proportion of sugar to water or the longer the sugar and water are
allowed to boil, the denser, or heavier, will the sirup become. It is
this _density_ of sirup that regulates its use for the different kinds
of fruit and determines its nature. Thus, a sirup in which the
proportion of sugar to water is so large as to make the sirup thick is
known as a _heavy sirup_; one in which the proportion of water to sugar
is so large as to make the sirup thin is called a _light sirup_; and one
in which the proportion of sugar and water is such as to produce a sirup
that is neither thick nor thin, but stands between the two extremes, is
called a _medium sirup_.
SIRUPS FOR CANNING FRUITS
Sirup Sugar Water Hydro-
No. Cups Cups meter Uses
1 2 4 28 Open-kettle canning, or pie
fruit canned by any method.
2 2 3 30 Open-kettle canning, or pie
fruit canned by any method.
3 2 2 40 Open-kettle canning, or sweet
fruits canned by cold-pack
4 2 1-1/2 48 Sweet fruits canned by
5 2 1 54 Sour fruits canned by
6 2 1/2 68 Very rich fruits canned by
cold-pack methods; preserves
canned by open-kettle method.
80. The density of sirup is also affected by the amount and rapidity of
evaporation that takes place in boiling, and these, in turn, depend on
the amount of surface that is exposed. For instance, if a sirup is
cooked in a large, flat kettle, the evaporation will be greater and more
rapid than if it is cooked in a small, deep vessel. Atmospheric pressure
affects the rapidity of evaporation, too. In a high altitude,
evaporation takes place more slowly than at sea level, because the
boiling point is lower. Thus, in the making of sirups for canning, the
first point to be determined is whether the sirup desired should be
light, medium, or heavy, and in its preparation the points mentioned
must receive consideration.
81. For determining the density of sirup, a _sirup gauge_, or
_hydrometer_, will be found useful. This device consists of a graduated
glass tube attached to a bulb that is weighted with mercury. The
graduations, or marks, on the tube, or top part, of the hydrometer serve
to indicate the percentage of solid matter dissolved in a solution and
register from to 50 degrees. To use such a gauge, partly fill a glass
cylinder--an ordinary drinking glass will do--with the sirup and place
the hydrometer in it. The greater the amount of solid matter dissolved
in the sirup, the higher will be hydrometer float. Then read the number
of degrees registered by observing the mark that is level with the
surface of the sirup.
The number of degrees that the hydrometer should register for sirups of
different densities--that is, for sirups consisting of different
proportions of sugar and water--are given in Table I. This table, in
addition, gives the uses that should be made of such sirups, and each
one is numbered so that it may be referred to readily later in the
recipes for canning fruits.
82. CLASSIFICATION OF FRUITS.--For the sake of convenience in canning,
fruits, too, are here divided into groups. These groups, three in
number, together with the fruits included in each, are:
1. _Soft Fruits_, which are subdivided into three kinds, namely, sweet,
sour, and very sour. The _sweet soft fruits_ include blackberries,
blueberries or huckleberries, sweet cherries, elderberries, ripe
gooseberries, mulberries, and black and red raspberries; the _sour soft
fruits_, apricots, currants, grapes, peaches, and strawberries; and the
_very sour soft fruits_, sour cherries, cranberries, green gooseberries,
plums, and rhubarb.
2. _Hard Fruits_, which include apples, quinces, and pears.
3. _Special Fruits_, which include ripe figs, kumquats, loquats,
nectarines, persimmons, and pineapples.
The advantage of this classification, as in the case of the vegetable
classification, is that, as a rule, all fruits belonging to a group or a
subdivision of a group may be canned in the same way and with sirup of
practically the same density.
83. CANNING METHODS FOR FRUITS.--The canning of fruits may be done by
the several methods previously discussed, but the Cold-pack and
open-kettle methods seem to meet with most favor. On account of the
sirup used in canning fruit and the acid in the fruit, the open-kettle
method is usually fairly successful, whereas, in the canning of
vegetables, with the exception of tomatoes, it is not so reliable. The
housewife, by experiment, can determine which method will suit her needs
best, but by no means should methods be mixed. If a certain method is
decided on, it should be adhered to in every detail and carried through
without any substitution. For all methods, as has been mentioned, the
fruit should be selected when it is fresh and in good condition, as such
fruit has less chance to spoil than fruit that is overripe or has
decayed spots. After it is graded for size and condition, the fruit
should be washed, stemmed, hulled, seeded, peeled, or halved, quartered,
or sliced, depending on the kind. Then the work may be proceeded with
according to the canning method that is to be followed.
84. If fruits are to be canned by the open-kettle method, certain
precautions must be observed in order to insure success. The
sterilization of the product cannot be perfect in this method no matter
how carefully the canning is done; and this means that the sugar and the
fruit acids must be greatly relied on to assist in preservation. Still,
the jars, jar covers, jar rubbers, and any utensils used for filling the
jars must be sterilized and kept in boiling water until the fruit is
ready to be canned. Another thing to guard against is the discoloring of
the fruit. Any fruit that is likely to become discolored after it is
prepared for canning should be kept in salt water until it is ready to
be cooked. A solution consisting of 1 teaspoonful of salt to each quart
of water will answer for this purpose.
After the fruit has been prepared and while the containers, etc. are
being sterilized, it is necessary to prepare the sirup that is to be
used. For the sweet fruits of Group 1, No. 1 or 2 sirup should be made;
for the sour fruits of this group, No. 2 or 3 sirup; and for the very
sour fruits, No. 4 or 5 sirup. The hard fruits may be canned by this
method with No. 1, 2, or 3 sirup, while the special fruits require No. 4
or 5 sirup. If the fruit is to be canned for pie, it will be advisable
to use thin sirup and then use more sweetening when pies are made.
When the sirup is made by mixing the sugar and water and bringing it to
a boil, the prepared fruit should be dropped into it and cooked. The
fruit should be cooked in the sirup until it may be easily pierced with
a fork or until it is soft. Berries have to be cooked only a few
minutes, while the hard fruits may require from 10 to 15 minutes. The
jars should be placed upright in a pan of hot water while the boiling
fruit from the kettle is poured into them, and as each jar is filled the
rubber should be put in place and the cover adjusted and secured. It is
important to close one jar before filling another, because the longer a
jar remains open the more bacteria will be permitted to enter. Even by
working as rapidly as possible and taking the greatest precaution, a
certain number of bacteria are bound to enter in this method of canning.
After the jars are filled and sealed, they should be placed upside down
or on the side to cool and test for leaks.
85. If the cold-pack method is employed in canning fruit, it is possible
to obtain a sterilized product that is dependent for preservation on
neither the sirup used nor the acid of the fruit. In this method, the
jars, jar tops, covers, and utensils for handling the fruit do not have
to be sterilized beforehand. They may simply be washed clean and kept
hot in clean water until they are needed. After the fruits are prepared,
some are blanched or scalded and cold-dipped, while others are not. They
are then packed into jars and boiling sirup is poured over them. Then
the rubbers are adjusted, the covers placed on, but not made tight, and
the jars are placed under water in the water bath or on the racks in the
pressure cooker, which should contain a small amount of water, as has
been explained. After cooking the required length of time, the jars of
fruit are removed from the cooking utensil, sealed, and allowed to cool.
The sirup used in the cold-pack canning method may be heavier in each
case than that mentioned for the open-kettle method, because there is no
evaporation, as is the case where fruits are boiled in the sirup before
they are placed in the cans, but less will be required if the packing is
GROUP 1--SOFT FRUITS
86. SWEET SOFT FRUITS.--The sweet fruits included in Group 1
--blackberries, huckleberries, elderberries, ripe gooseberries,
mulberries, raspberries, and sweet cherries-may be canned in exactly the
same way, so that the same general directions will apply to all. Prepare
the different kinds of berries, which should be as fresh as possible, by
looking them over carefully and removing the poor ones, and then
washing them. To wash them, pour them into a colander and dip it up and
down in a large pan of clean, cold water. The less handling such fruits
receive, the more perfect will they remain for canning. Prepare sweet
cherries, which should be procured with the stems on if possible, by
first washing them and then stemming them. They may be pitted, or
seeded, or they may be left whole, depending on personal preference.
Cherries that are not pitted will keep their shape and have a good
appearance, but they are not so convenient for eating as those which
have been pitted.
87. After the fruit has been prepared in the manner just explained, pack
it closely into the hot, clean jars, using a spoon for this purpose and
turning each jar as the fruit is poured into it. Press the berries or
the cherries down carefully, so that 2 quarts of them will fill a
1-quart jar. Then proceed to make the sirup. As these fruits are the
sweetest, they require less sugar than any other. If such fruit after it
is canned is to be used for pie making, sirup No. 1 or 2 will be
suitable, but if it is to be used for sauce, No. 3 sirup may be used.
When the mixed sugar and water is boiling rapidly, pour it over the
fruit packed into the jars. Then place the rubbers, adjust the jar tops,
and proceed to sterilize and cook the cans of fruit. Boil these in the
water bath for 15 minutes, or cook them in the pressure cooker for 8
minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 4 minutes at a pressure of
88. SOUR SOFT FRUITS.--Of the sour fruits, STRAWBERRIES, GRAPES, and
CURRANTS require about the same quantity of sugar, that contained in
sirup No. 3, 4, or 5 usually being sufficient. Otherwise, the canning
process, including the length of time for processing, does not differ
materially from that just given for sweet soft fruits.
In the case of strawberries, those which are of medium size and rather
dark in color are best for canning; in fact, very large, light-colored
strawberries will shrink more than any other kind. The berries are
washed in the same way as other berries, but they should not be allowed
to stand in water for any length of time, because this will tend to make
them soft and mushy. Strawberries must be stemmed after they are washed,
and for this purpose a strawberry huller should be utilized. Such a
device, which is shown in Fig. 1, permits the stems to be removed
without crushing the berries and soiling the fingers.
In preparing currants for canning, the procedure is the same as for the
fruits already mentioned; and the same thing is true of grapes that are
not to be seeded. If the seeds are to be removed, however, the procedure
up to getting the cans of fruit ready for processing is different, as is
here pointed out. After washing the grapes, squeeze the pulp from the
skins and then cook it in a kettle for a sufficient length of time to
make it soft. Remove the seeds by forcing the pulp through a sieve. Then
add as much sugar as would be used for making the required sirup, and
cook until the sugar is dissolved. With this done, add the sweetened,
seedless pulp to the grape skins and fill the jars with this mixture.
Then continue the canning process as for the other fruits of this group.
89. The procedure in canning APRICOTS and PEACHES, the other two sour
soft fruits, differs slightly from that required for strawberries,
grapes, and currants. So that the skins of both of these fruits may be
easily removed, they must be scalded, which is an operation that
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