Cornell University. Agricultural Experiment Statio.

Annual report of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, Ithaca, N.Y online

. (page 35 of 42)
Online LibraryCornell University. Agricultural Experiment StatioAnnual report of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, Ithaca, N.Y → online text (page 35 of 42)
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means of escape and are therefore reabsorbed by the fruit. Such fruit
will not be as fine flavored and digestible as fruit that has perfect ventila-
tion while being cooked.

By the oven method the fruit holds its shape and the gases pass off ;
the sterilized rubber band and the cover are put on as soon as the fruit
leaves the oven ; the labor of putting the jars into the oven and taking
them out is slight when compared with getting the boiler ready and pack-
ing the jars for safety ; the flavor of the oven-cooked fruit is much finer
than that by either of the other two methods.

Hard fruits, such as quinces, must be simmered gently in clear water,
then drained well before being put into the jars with the syrup. If such
fruit is desired rather rich, a rich syrup must be added, and the cooking
in the jars be continued for thirty instead of ten minutes. Tomatoes
must cook in the jars for thirty minutes.

Points on Jars, Sealing, etc.
Among the makes of fruit jars there are two that are in general
use. In one both jar and cover are glass. When the rubber ring and the
glass cover are put on, a wire band is drawn over the cover and the jar
is sealed. The other make has a metal top lined with porcelain. This
top is screwed on the jar. This must be done as soon as the cover is put
on. But the heat has expanded the glass and the cover cannot be screwed
perfectly tight until after the glass has cooled and contracted. When
using this kind of jar make it a rule to screw on the covers as tight as



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690 Reading-Course for Farmers' Wives.

possible while the jar is hot and to tighten the covers after the jars have
cooled. Before using a jar or cover examine each carefully. Reject
any that are chipped or cracked. Be sure that the rubber rings are fresh,
soft and elastic. When putting them on the jars be careful to have them
lie flat and not bulge out beyond the covers.

How much Sugar to use with Fruit.

Tastes differ as to the degree of sweetness liked in fruit or any
other food. Fruits differ as to the amount of sugar required to bring
out and fix the best qualities of the fruit, therefore no hard and fast
rules, as to the proportion of sugar to fruit, can be made. A good general
rule is to use only as much sugar as shall bring out and fix the pleasant
flavor of the fruit. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sweet cherries,
sweet plums, peaches and pears require very little sugar, while straw-
berries lose shape, color, and flavor if preserved with much less than a
pound of sugar to a pound of fruit. The following table gives the pro-
portions of sugar to fruit, which has been found to give satisfactory
results.

Because of season, climate, etc., fruits vary as to the amount of
sugar they contain and the proportions of sugar may be changed to meet
these conditions. As for example, in a cold season, the fruit will not
be so sweet as in a warm, sunny season, and a little extra sugar should
be added.

Syrup for Canned Fruit,

(i) One pint of sugar, and two pints of water. Use for peaches,
pears, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sweet plums, grapes. If the
fruits are acid use No. 2 or 3.

(2) Two pints of sugar and three pints of water.

(3) Two pints of sugar and two pints of water. Use for sour cher-
ries, sour plums, green gooseberries, crab-apples, quinces.

To make the syrup, put the sugar and water into the preserving
kettle and place on the back part of the range. Stir frequently until the
sugar is dissolved. Then heat slowly to the boiling point. Boil gently
for twenty minutes. Skim the syrup, if necessary. A pint of syrup will
be required for each quart jar of large fruits, such as quinces, crab-
apples, plums, peaches, pears. The small fruits will require a little over
half a pint. Fill the sterilized jars loosely with the fruit, then fill up
with the syrup.

In the case of very juicy fruits, such as berries, the product is
much finer, if instead of water the juice of the fruit be used in making
the syrup. From six quarts of berries take one quart. Put in a pre-
serving kettle and heat slowly to the boiling point, crush with the wooden



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The Farm Table. 691

masher. Spread two thicknesses of cheese cloth in the colander and
place over a bowl. Press out all the juice. Mix half a pint of water
with what remains in the cloth and squeeze again. Measure the liquid
and add enough water to make three pints^ then proceed as in making
syrup with water. When the syrup boils skim carefully.

When the fruits are stewed before being put into the jars, the sugar
may be added directly to berries, grapes and cherries. In this case no
water is added. All the other fruits should be cooked gently in the pre-
pared syrup. Be careful to keep the stewing fruits well skimmed.
Quinces must be cooked in clear water until tender, before being cooked
in the syrup. Strain the water in which they were cooked and use in
making the syrup.

Where the pronounced flavor of the quince is not liked, equal quan-
tities of the cooked quince and pared and quartered apples may be cooked
together in the syrup. Fall pippins are the best for this purpose.



V. PRESERVES.

Until methods of canning were known, and glass jars were invented
with covers and rubber rings to make them air tight, fruit was preserved
either by drying or by being cooked with nearly its own weight of sugar.
The fruits cooked with a large quantity of sugar have always been known
as preserves. Nearly every housekeeper likes to put up a small quantity
of preserves, but not always as rich as a pound of sugar to a pound of
fruit, and with the fruit jars it is no longer necessary to use so much
sugar. Strawberries to be in perfection should be preserved pound for
pound. Very sour cherries and white and red currants are delicious when
preserved like strawberries. Of course, such rich preserves are to be
served in very small quantities and on rare occasions. When preserving
these small fruits the fruit and sugar are put into the preserving kettle
in alternate layers, beginning with the fruit. The depth of fruit and
sugar should not be more than four inches, for it is important that fruit
should not be crushed or broken. The contents of the kettle must be
heated slowly to the boiling point, and boiled gently for ten minutes,
counting from the time it begins to boil. Skim carefully. At the end
of ten minutes the fruit may be put into jars and sealed at once. Or it
may be poured into meat platters and placed in a sunny room for two
days. In that time the syrup will have thickened and the fruit have
grown plump and firm. It may now be put into small jars or tumblers,
covered and put away.

All these small fruits, except the strawberries, may be preserved with
half a pound of sugar to a pound of fruit and sealed while boiling hot.



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692 Reading-Course for Farmers' Wives.

The large fruits must be cooked gently in the syrup until tender The
cooked pieces of fruit should be taken from the syrup and put into the jar
and the strained syrup ppured over them. Put a piece of cheese cloth in
the funnel and pour the syrup through it into the jar. A syrup made
with one quart of water and two quarts of sugar is suitable for peaches,
plums and quinces.

Pears, peaches, apples and sweet plums may be preserved in boiled
grape juice. Boil the grape juice in an open preserving kettle until it is
reduced one-third. Cover the fruit generously with the boiled grape juice
and cook gently until clear and tender. Put boiling hot into sterilized jars.

Boiled cider may be used in the same manner for preserving sweet
apples and pears. Without sugar it gives a very tart preserve. Remem-
ber that the grape juice and cider must be perfectly fresh and sweet when
it is put on to boil.

^VL JAMS.

Jams are made with the pulp of the fruit and sugar. The finer the
fruit, the finer will be the quality of the jam. Gnarled and bruised fruit
may be used, if all the imperfect parts are cut out. Large fruit should
be washed, pared, cored and quartered. A great many people when mak-
ing jam with berries, do not remove the seeds. A very seedy jam is not
appetizing, besides so many small seeds make trouble in the digestive
tract. If the labor of removing the seeds is too great, do not use the
small fruits for jams. Better press out the juice and can it for drinks,
frozen dishes, and various other desserts. To make the jams, measure
the sugar and the prepared fruit, allowing one quart of sugar to two
quarts of fruit. Rinse the preserving kettle with cold water, that there
may be a little moisture on sides and bottom. Put in alternate layers of
fruit and sugar, having the first layer fruit. It does not matter how
thick the layer is, since the fruit is to be broken up fine during the process
of cooking. Heat slowly, stirring frequently and being careful to scrape
the bottom each time the mass is stirred. From time to time crush the
fruit with the spoon. Cook about two hours. When done, the jam
should be a smooth mass. There is always danger of the jam getting
scorched unless watched and stirred very carefully. If the kettle can be
set on a tripod or any iron stand, the danger of burning will be greatly
reduced. When the jam is done, put it in small sterilized jars.

VIL JELLIES.

Pectose and pectase always exist in the unripe fruit. As the fruit
ripens the pectase acts upon the pectose, converting it into pectin. It is
because of the pectin in the fruit that we are able to make jelly. Pectin



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The Farm Table. 693

IS at its best when the fruit is just ripe or a little underripe. If the fruit
is allowed to become overripe the pectin will undergo changes which will
weaken its gelatinizing power. If the juice of the fruit ferments or the
cooking continues too long, the pectin undergoes a change and loses its
power of gelatinizing.

When equal quantities of fruit juice and sugar are combined (and
the mixture is hea'ted to the boiling point for a short time,) the pectin
in the fruit gelatinizes the mass. The small juicy fruits such as cur-
rants, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and grapes when just ripe or
a little underripe contain about the right proportion of water for jelly
making. When water-soaked during a rain, they contain too much water
and should not be picked until the superfluous water has evaporated or
been changed under the influence of the sun. Dry fruits such as bar-
berries, apples, peaches, pears, quinces, plums, must be boiled gently in
water until soft. The strained liquid will contain the pectin and flavor-
ing and coloring matter. With these explanations and a few general rules
any woman should find it easy to make good jellies.

Jellies Made With Juicy Fruits,

Have the fruits clean and free from leaves, stems, and hulls. Put
them into the preserving kettle. Crush with wooden masher. Heat
slowly, stirring frequently. When the fruit is boiling hot, crush well
with wooden masher. Put a strainer or colander over bowl. Wring a
double square of cheese cloth out of water and spread in the bowl. Pour
the fruit and juice into the cheese cloth and let it drain as long as the
juice drips. Do not use any pressure. When the fruit stops dripping,
change the strainer and fruit to another bowl. Bring the ends and twist
and press out as much juice as possible. This juice may be used to make
a second quality of jelly. The clear juice may be strained through 9
jelly bag or it may be made into jelly at once. When the juice is passed
through the flannel bag, the jelly made from it will be clear and sparkling.
To make the jelly, measure the juice and pour it into the preserving
kettle. For each cupful of juice use a cupful of granulated sugar. Heat
slowly, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Watch carefully and
when the mixture boils, draw the kettle back and skim. Move the kettle
back to the hot part of the range and when the liquid boils again draw
back and skim. Boil and skim a third time and then pour into hot steril-
ized glasses. Put the glasses on a board, cover with a cloth, and place
the board in a sunny window, where there is no dust. As soon as the
jelly is set and cold, cover with disks of white paper which have been
dipped in brandy or alcohol ; and if the glasses have covers put them on.
If there are no glass covers, the glasses may be covered with thick white



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694 Reading-Course for Farmers' Wives.

paper which has been brushed with the white of egg or olive oil. Or the
jelly may be covered with paraffine which has been broken into small
pieces and put into a cup. Place the cup in a pan of warm water on the
back of the range. Cover the jellies with the melted paraffine, having it
about one-fourth of an inch thick. Paste the labels on the jellies and
set away in a cool dry place.

Jellies Made with Fruits that Require Water (a Second Method). :

All the large fruits, green grapes, crab-apples, plums and barberries
^ome under this head. The stems and blossom ends of the fruit, and all
imperfections must be removed. Then the fruit must be washed. Quinces
must be rubbed with a coarse towel, to remove the " down " before being
washed. Remove the core from the quinces, and cut the fruit fine.
Measure the fruit and put it in the preserving kettle.' Cut apples, pears
and peaches in quarters. Do not pare. Add the water, heat slowly to
the boiling point and simmer gently for two hours. Drain the juice and
proceed as for jellies made with juicy fruits. The proportion of water
required by the different fruits varies with the kinds of fruit. The fol-
lowing table gives about the right proportion. Apples, eight quarts, water-
four quarts. Crab-apples, eight quarts, water, four quarts. Quinces,
eight quarts, water, four quarts. Green grapes, eight quarts, water, four
quarts. Plums, eight quarts, water, one quart. Barberries, water to
barely cover them; this will be about three quarts of water to eight
quarts of the fruit.

In all cases the fruit is to be cooked with the kettle uncovered. Re-
member that the fruit must simmer for two hours.

A second quality of jelly may be made with the parings, cores and
broken pieces of such fruit as quinces, pears, and apples.

Acid fruits make the most satisfactory jelly to serve with meats.

Why Jellies "Candy/'

Sometimes when jelly boils rapidly, particles of it are thrown on the
upper part of the sides of the kettle. These particles often form crystals.
If these crystals are stirred into the jelly they may in time cause the mass
to crystalize.

Another cause of crystals in the jelly is too much sugar in the prep-
aration. In a season when there has been a great deal of sunshine and
heat there will be more sugar in the fruit than in a cold wet season. In
such a case use less sugar. Three cupfuls of sugar to four cupfuls of
fruit juice will be enough.

When the fruit juice and sugar refuse to jelly and the mixture be-
comes thick and ropy, it is useless to cook it any longer. The thick ropy



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The Farm Table. 1695

condition shows that it has already been cooked too much. The trouble
at the beginning was probably that the fruit was too ripe, or that it was
water soaked. If jelly does not show any indications of solidifying when
it has boiled the given time, do not continue the boiling. Pour the prep-
aration into hot sterilized jars. Put the jars in a sunny window and cover
with sheets of glass. In a few days it will have gelatinized.

Juice from grated young carrot may be added to cause it to solidify.

Canned Fruit Juice.
The juice of all kinds of fruit may be prepared the same as for
jellies. After it is strained it must be boiled for about ten minutes, and
then be put into sterilized jars or bottles and sealed. The fruit juice
may be canned with or without sugar. However, it holds its color and
flavor better if some sugar is cooked with it. Grape juice and the juice
of the small seedy fruits are particularly valuable. They may be em-
ployed in making a great many light, cool desserts, such as jellies made
with gelatin, cornstarch, tapioca pudding, sauces, etc. Combined with
water they make most refreshing and healthful summer drinks.

Note. — Special attention is called to questions 6 and 7 in the accompanying
discussion paper.



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SUPPLEMENT TO

CORNELL

IReabino-Courae for yatmers' XKIlives

Published bt thb Ck>LLBOB of Aortoui/ture of Ck>BirBi4L Universitt,

FROM NOYEMBBB TO MARCH, AND ENTBRBD AT ITHAOA AB SBOOITD-OIaASS

Matter under Act of Congress of July 18. 1894. L. H. Bailey, Dibeotob.
Martha Van Rensselaer, Superviaor.

SERIES IV. ITHACA, N. Y. Ho. 80.

THE FARM TABLE. FEBRUARY, I906. CAHHIHO AND PRSBERTIHO.



DISCUSSION-PAPER.

To be returned to Farmers' Wives' Reading-Course. Cornell University, Ithaca. N. Y.

This Discussion-paper, accompanying the Bulletin on Canning and
Preserving Fruit, may be returned with answers to the questions and
with any suggestions and, questions of your own. While the answering
of these questions is not absolutely necessary, a much greater benefit will
be derived if you give to others the benefit of your own experience. As
a member of the Reading-Course you will be credited by us with the work
done. It will also help us to understand your point of view.

As this is the fourth year of the Reading-Course for Farmers'
Wives, it is time for very sincere work on the Bulletins. Anything short
of the anszvcring of the questions of the Discussion-paper and more or
less research work will not be satisfactory, I am sure, to the reader. Read
carefully the Bulletin on Farmers* Wives' Clubs (No. j6), and see if you
cannot associate with you some one or more persons who will study the
Bulletins at the same time. Be sure to let us hear from you. You may
desire to ask questions regarding your own experience in home work, or
the application of principles set forth in the Bulletins.

With best wishes for a pleasant and profitable year, I am,
Very cordially yours,

MARTHA VAN RENSSELAER,
Supervisor Farmer^ Wives' Reading Course.

I. With what fruits have you had most success in canning?



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698 Reading-Course for Farmers' Wives.

2. Is there any economy in doing your own canning in preference to
buying canned goods, if you have a good market for your fresh fruit?



3. Have you had success in canning and preserving in ways not men-
tioned in the Bulletin? If so, will you explain the method?



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The Farm Table. 699

4. Have you found that canned fruit placed in the dark keeps any
better than in the light?



5. If you have tried the processes given in this Bulletin for canning,
which do you find most successful?



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700 Reading-Course for Farmers' Wives.

6. Does the reading of these Bulletins stimulate you to read more or
less of books or journals?



7. Whether or not you are accustomed to return the discussion
paper, will you not answer these questions: Of how much value is the
Reading-Course to you? Give your reason for not returning the dis-
cussion paper. Are we to infer that the failure to return the discussion
paper is because the course is of no Special interest to you?



Name

Address .



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Home H^ature * Stubi? Course

Published by the College of Asriculture of Cornell UniTersity,
■ -* - • « r, Fe" " '-" -" . ^ .^ -



in October, December, February aud April and Entered October
X, Z904, at Ithaca, New York, as Second-class Matter, under
Act of Congress of July z6, 189^

ANNA BOTSPORD COM8TOCK, Editor




New Series. Vol. II. ITHACA, N. Y., OCTOBER-NOVEMBER, 1905 No. i

NATURE-STUDY ON THE FARM

,^^Ur'«^ 1VERYONE who owns a foot of land has Nature for
a partner. If the land is not cultivated Nature
sows there her own crops; reaps them and sows
them again. If the land is cultivated Nature helps
as willingly to raise the crops which please her
partner — Man. But she still favors her wild and
hardy plants and finds place for their seeds even
on cultivated soil. Whether the plants be culti-
vated or not, she brings her insects to feed upon them. Then she brings
her birds to feed upon the insects and the seeds; she is always busy
doing something upon this land, which she owns in partnership. The
farmer works only during the day time; Nature works night and day.
The farmer does little work during the winter ; Nature keeps at it stead-
ily all the year round.

The best farmer is the one who keeps this busy partner of his work-
ing for his own interests day and night, summer and winter. But he
can never do this until he understands Nature's ways — how and why
she does her work. He must go out into the fields and ask of Nature,
" Why have you planted here this tree? Why have you sown there those
weeds ? Why have you brought here these insects to destroy our orchards
or our grain ? Why do you not bring more insects which are friendly to
the crops I wish to grow? Why are there not enough birds to kill the
insects which are ruining our harvest ? ''

The most successful farmer of the future will not allow on his prem-
ises plants, insects, birds or animals without knowing why Nature placed
them there and whether they are there for the benefit or detriment of his
estate.

This year the work of the Home Nature- Study class will consist of
going into the fields and asking of Nature " why *' and " how.'' Every
school teacher in New York State if she has pupils from the country,-
should be able to teach them how to study and understand the ways of
Nature, that busy, silent partner of the farmer, the gardener, and the

orchardist.

701

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702 Home Nature-Study Course.

Some Expert Opinions on the Relation of Nature-Study to

Agriculture

"If the farmer as he trudges down the corn rows under the June
sun sees only clods and weeds, and corn, he leads an empty and a barren
life. But if he knows of the work of the moisture in air and soil, of the
use of air to root and leaf, of the mysterious chemistry of the sunbeam,
of the vital forces in the growing plant, of the bacteria in the soil liberat-
ing its elements of fertility; if he sees the relation of all these natural
forces to his own work ; if he can follow his crop to the market, to foreign
lands, to the mill, to the oven and the table ; if he knows of the hundreds
of commercial products obtained from his com or the animals that it
fattens; he then realizes that he is no mere toiler; he is marshaling the
hosts of the universe, and upon the skill of his generalship depends the
life of nations." — David Felmley, President of the Illinois State Normal
School.

The art of agriculture and nature-study may overlap so that part of
nature-study may rest entirely upon agriculture. Indeed agriculture is so
vast that enough subject-matter may be drawn from it to constitute an
entire course of nature-study. Then this course would be agricultural
nature-study. It would be the method of nature-study applied to the
teaching of agriculture, but that would not make nature-study and agri-
culture identical any more than a selection of the subject-matter for
nature-study solely from the field of mineralogy would make mining and
nature-study identical. Nature-study is broad, inclusive, comprehensive.
It is an invaluable aid in the teaching of agriculture. It opens the way to
agriculture in the schools, by awakening interest and quickening observa-
tion, and creating a love for all out-doors, but it is not agriculture. —
Professor F. L. Stevens, Professor of Botany, North Carolina College of
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

"The pupil should be taught to follow from effect to cause and
from cause to effect; to classify objects; to correlate activities and ideas;
to observe in detail, and also to view the general relation of things. As
the personality of the teacher is the most important element in the school-
room, so the development of individuality in the pupil is the most im-
portant element of school work. The objects, the activities, and the per-
sonal contact with the teacher which comes from nature-study, often
prevent the narrowing effect in methods of thought of mere book teach-
ing and avoids suppressing individual initiative. Nature-study may not
result in such apparent accumulation of facts as mere book work does;
its greatest function is to prepare the pupil to acquire facts in after life
as they are needed." — W. M. Hays, Assistant Secretary, United States
Department of Agriculture.



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Online LibraryCornell University. Agricultural Experiment StatioAnnual report of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, Ithaca, N.Y → online text (page 35 of 42)