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(OLD) | Shell | 5 to 10 | 3 to 3½ |12 to 20
| | | |
MUSHROOMS | Wash; cut into pieces | 5 | 3 to 5 |12 to 24
| | | |
OKRA | Dry young pods whole. | | |
| Cut old pods in ¼-inch | 3 | 2 to 3 |12 to 20
| slices | | |
| | | |
ONIONS | Remove outside papery | | |
| covering; cut off tops | | |
| and roots; slice thin | 5 | 2½ to 3 |12 to 18
| | | |
PARSNIPS | Clean; pare; cut into | | |
| ½-inch slices | 6 | 2½ to 3 |20 to 24
| | | |
PEAS | Can be dried whole or | | |
| put through grinder | 3 to 5 | 3½ |12 to 20
| | | |
PEPPERS |Skin blistered in oven, | | |
|steamed or sun-withered | .. | 3 to 4 | 24
| | | |
POTATOES, | | | |
IRISH | Cook and rice them | .. | 2½ | 5 to 6
| | | |
POTATOES, | | | |
IRISH | Cook and slice them | | |
| ¼-inch thick | .. | 6 |12 to 20
| | | |
POTATOES, | | | |
SWEET | Cook and rice them | .. | 2½ |12 to 20
| | | |
POTATOES, | | | |
SWEET | Cook and slice them | | |
| ¼-inch thick | .. | 6 |12 to 20
| | | |
PUMPKINS | | | |
AND SQUASH | Cut into 1/3-inch | | |
| strips; peel; remove | 3 | 3 to 4 | 16
| seeds | | |
| | | |
SPINACH |Wash thoroughly; can be | | |
| sliced | 3 | 3 |12 to 18
| | | |
SALSIFY | Wash; cut into ½-inch | 6 | 2½ to 3 |20 to 24
| slices | | |
|
SWISS CHARD|Wash thoroughly; can be | | |
| sliced | 3 | 3 to 4 |12 to 18
| | | |
TOMATOES | Wash; slice after | | |
|steaming to loosen skin | 2 to 3 | 2½ to 3 |12 to 16
| | | |
TURNIPS | Pare and slice thin | 5 | 2½ to 3 |12 to 18
| | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

[Footnote 1: Till skin cracks.]

In a properly constructed sun drier vegetables will dry in from 3 to
12 hours under normal summer conditions. Products dried in a sun drier
are superior to those dried in the open without any protection.
Products dry more quickly in high altitudes than at sea level.




CHAPTER XV

EVERY STEP IN BRINING


We have learned how to preserve fruit and vegetables by canning and
drying and now we are going to learn another method to preserve foods,
in which salt is used. We use this salt method for vegetables. It is
not adapted to fruits. We may pickle apples, pears and peaches, but we
ferment, brine and dry-salt only vegetables.

This salt method is not a substitute for drying or canning, but just
an additional method we may employ. Every thrifty housewife of to-day
wants her shelves of canned foods, her boxes of dried foods and her
crocks of salted foods. Each kind has its proper function to perform
in the household. One cannot take the place of the other.

For women on the farm salting is a salvation. In busy seasons when
canning and drying seem an impossibility, a great many vegetables can
be saved by this method in a very short time. The labor required is
very small, as no cooking is necessary. A good supply of salt is the
one necessity.

Besides the saving of time, salting saves jars, which are absolutely
necessary in canning. Old containers can be used if they are
thoroughly cleansed. The vegetables can be put in any container, so
long as it holds water and is not made of metal. Metal containers
should not be used. Old kegs, butter and lard tubs if water-tight,
stoneware jars or crocks, chipped preserve jars, glass jars with
missing covers and covered enamel buckets can all be utilized. Avoid
using tubs made of pitch or soft pine unless coated with melted
paraffin, as they impart a flavor to the vegetables. Maple is the
best.


THREE METHODS OF SALTING FOOD

There are three ways of preserving food by salting: First,
fermentation with dry salting; second, fermentation in brine or
brining; and third, salting without fermentation, or dry salting.

Dry Salting. Fermentation with dry salting consists in packing the
material with a small amount of salt. No water is used, for the salt
will extract the water from the vegetables and this forms a brine.
This is the simplest process of all three and is used mostly for
cabbage. To make sauerkraut proceed as follows: The outside green
leaves of the cabbage should be removed, just as in preparing the head
for boiling. Never use any decayed or bruised leaves. Quarter the
heads and shred the cabbage very finely. There are shredding machines
on the market, but if one is not available use a slaw cutter or a
large sharp knife.

After the cabbage is shredded pack at once into a clean barrel, keg or
tub, or into an earthenware crock holding four or five gallons. The
smaller containers are recommended for household use. When packing
distribute the salt as uniformly as possible, using one pound of salt
to forty pounds of cabbage. Sprinkle a little salt in the container
and put in a layer of three or four inches of shredded cabbage, then
pack down with a wooden utensil like a potato masher. Repeat with
salt, cabbage and packing until the container is full or the shredded
cabbage is all used.

Press the cabbage down as tightly as possible and apply a cloth, and
then a glazed plate or a board cover which will go inside the holder.
If using a wooden cover select wood free from pitch, such as basswood.
On top of this cover place stone, bricks or other weights - use flint
or granite; avoid the use of limestone, sandstone or marble. These
weights serve to keep vegetables beneath the surface of the liquid.
The proportion of salt to food when fermenting with dry salt is a
quarter pound of salt to ten pounds of food. Do not use more, for the
product will taste too salty.

Allow fermentation to proceed for ten days or two weeks, if the room
is warm. In a cellar or other cool place three to five weeks may be
required. Skim off the film which forms when fermentation starts and
repeat this daily if necessary to keep this film from becoming a scum.
When gas bubbles cease to rise when you strike the side of the
container, fermentation is complete. If there is a scum it should be
removed.

As a final step pour very hot melted paraffin over the brine until it
forms a layer from a quarter to a half-inch thick, to prevent the
formation of the scum which occurs if the weather is warm or the
storage place is not well cooled. The cabbage may be used as soon as
the bubbles cease to rise. If scum forms and remains the cabbage will
spoil. You may can the cabbage as soon as bubbles cease to rise and
fermentation is complete. To can, fill jars, adjust rubbers and partly
seal. Sterilize 120 minutes in hot-water bath, or 60 minutes in
steam-pressure outfit at five to ten pounds pressure.

The vital factor in preserving the material by this method is the
lactic acid which develops in fermentation.

If the vegetables are covered with a very strong brine or are packed
with a fairly large amount of salt, lactic acid fermentation and also
the growth of other forms of bacteria and molds are prevented. This
method of preservation is especially applicable to those vegetables
which contain so little sugar that sufficient lactic acid cannot be
formed by bacterial action to insure their preservation.

In the well-known method of vinegar pickling the acetic acid of the
vinegar acts as a preservative like the lactic acid produced by
fermentation. Sometimes brining precedes pickling in vinegar, and
often the pickling is modified by the addition of sugar and spices,
which add flavor as well as helping to preserve the fruit or
vegetables. In some cases olive oil or some other table oil is added
to the vinegar, as in the making of oil cucumber pickles.

Besides sauerkraut, string beans, beet tops, turnip tops, greens, kale
and dandelions are adapted for fermentation with dry salting. String
beans should be young, tender and not overgrown. Remove the tip ends
and strings; cut or break into pieces about two inches long. Wash the
beet and turnip tops as well as all greens, in order to remove dirt
and grit. Weigh all products that are to be salted.

For salting, a supply of ordinary fine salt, which can be purchased in
bulk for about two cents a pound, is most satisfactory for general
use. Table salt will do very well, but it is rather expensive if large
quantities of vegetables are to be preserved. The rather coarse
salt - known in the trade as "ground alum salt" - which is used in
freezing ice cream can be used. Rock salt because of its coarseness
and impurities should not be used.

A weight must be used. The size of the weight depends on the quantity
of material being preserved. For a five-gallon keg a weight of ten
pounds will be sufficient, but if a larger barrel is used a heavier
weight will be needed. The weight should be sufficient to extract the
juices to form a brine, which will cover the top in about twenty-four
hours. If a brine does not form it may be necessary to add more stones
after the material has stood a while.

There always will be more or less bubbling and foaming of the brine
during the first stages of fermentation. After this ceases a thin film
will appear which will rapidly spread over the whole surface and
quickly develop into a heavy, folded membrane. This scum is a growth
of yeast-like organisms which feed upon the acid formed by
fermentation. If allowed to grow undisturbed it will eventually
destroy all the acid and the fermented material will spoil. To prevent
mold from forming it is necessary to exclude the air from the surface
of the brine.

Perhaps the best method is to cover the surface - over the board and
round the weight - with very hot, melted paraffin. If the paraffin is
hot enough to make the brine boil when poured in, the paraffin will
form a smooth, even layer before hardening. Upon solidifying, it forms
an air-tight seal. Oils, such as cottonseed oil or the tasteless
liquid petroleum, may also be used for this purpose. As a measure of
safety with crocks, it is advisable to cover the top with a cloth
soaked in melted paraffin. Put the cover in place before the paraffin
hardens.

After sealing with paraffin the containers should be set where they
will not be disturbed until the contents are to be used. Any attempt
to remove them from one place to another may break the paraffin seal
and necessitate resealing.

Some vegetables which do not contain sufficient water are better
fermented by covering them with a weak brine. Those which are the most
satisfactory when fermented in this way are cucumbers, string beans,
green tomatoes, beets, beet tops, turnip tops, corn and green peas.
The general directions for this brining are as follows:

Wash the vegetables, drain off the surplus water and pack them in a
keg, crock, or other utensil until it is nearly full - within about
three inches of the top of the vessel. Prepare a weak brine as
follows: To each gallon of water used add one-half pint of vinegar and
three-fourths of a cup of salt and stir until the salt is entirely
dissolved. The vinegar is used primarily to keep down the growth of
injurious bacteria until the lactic-acid ferment starts, but it also
adds to the flavor. Spices may be added if desired.

The amount of brine necessary to cover the vegetables will be equal to
about one-half the volume of the material to be fermented. For
example, if a five-gallon keg is to be packed, two and one-half
gallons will be needed. It is best to make up at one time all the
brine needed on one day. A clean tub or barrel can be used for mixing
the brine. Pour the brine over the vegetables and cover. Set the
vessel and its contents away in a moderately warm room to ferment.

When fermentation ceases, the container should be placed in a cool
cellar or storeroom and the surface of the liquid treated to prevent
mold. Before adding the paraffin or cottonseed oil, any scum or mold
which may have formed on the surface of the liquid should be removed
by skimming.

These general directions can always be followed with successful
results, but some modifications are desirable for certain vegetables.

Cucumbers - Dill Style. To pickle cucumbers wash the cucumbers and
pack into a clean, water-tight barrel, keg or crock. On the bottom of
the barrel place a layer of dill weed and a handful of mixed spice.
Add another layer of dill and another handful of spice when the barrel
is half full, and when almost full, add a third layer. If a keg or
crock is used, the amount of dill and spice can be reduced in
proportion to the size of the receptacle. When the container has been
filled to within a few inches of the top, add a layer of covering
material - beet leaves or grape leaves - about an inch thick. If any
spoilage should occur on the surface, this layer will protect the
vegetables beneath. Press down with a clean board weighted with bricks
or stone.

Make the brine as given in the general rules. Add sufficient brine to
cover the material and allow it to stand twenty-four hours. Then make
air-tight. The time necessary for complete fermentation to occur
depends upon the temperature. In a warm place five days to a week may
suffice; in a cool cellar three to four weeks.

The dill and spices may be omitted, in which case we then have plain
cucumbers.

String Beans. Remove the ends and strings from the beans and cut
into pieces about two inches long; pack in the container; cover with
brine and ferment.

Green Tomatoes. Green tomatoes should be packed whole and prepared
as cucumbers. The dill and spice may be added if desired.

Beets. Beets must be scrubbed thoroughly and packed whole. If peeled
or sliced before being fermented the beets lose considerable color and
flavor.

Beet Tops and Turnip Tops. These should be washed thoroughly and
packed into the container without being cut up.

Peas. Green peas should be shelled and packed in the same way as
string beans. It is advisable to use fairly small containers for peas,
so that the quantity opened up will be used before it has a chance to
spoil.

Corn. Husk and clean the silk from the corn; wash and place the ears
on end in the jar, packing the jar nearly full. Pour the brine over
the ears; add cover and weights. Fermented corn has a sour taste,
which may not be relished if the corn is eaten alone. For this reason
it will be preferable in most cases to preserve corn by canning,
drying or by salting without fermentation. Fermented corn, however,
may be used in the preparation of some dishes, such as chowders,
omelets, and so forth, where its flavor will be masked to some extent
by the other ingredients. To some people this peculiar acid taste of
fermented corn is not at all objectionable.

Salting Without Fermentation. In this method the vegetables are
packed with enough salt to prevent fermentation or the growth of
yeasts or molds. The vegetables preserved most satisfactorily by this
method are dandelions, beet tops, turnip tops, spinach, kale, chard,
cabbage, cauliflower, string beans, green peas and corn. The following
directions should be followed:

The vegetables should be washed, drained and weighed. The amount of
salt needed will be a quarter of the weight of the vegetables. Kegs or
crocks make satisfactory containers. Put a layer of vegetables about
an inch thick on the bottom of the container. Cover this with salt.
Continue making alternate layers of vegetables and salt until the
container is almost filled. The salt should be evenly distributed so
that it will not be necessary to use more salt than the quantity
required in proportion to the weights of the vegetables that are used.

Cover the surface with a cloth, and a board of glazed plate. Place a
weight on these and set aside in a cool place. If sufficient liquor to
cover the vegetables has not been extracted pour in enough strong
brine - one pound of salt to two quarts of water - to cover the surface
round the corner.

The top layer of vegetables should be kept under the brine to prevent
molding. There will be some bubbling at first. As soon as this stops,
set the container where it will not be disturbed until ready for use.
Seal by pouring very hot paraffin over the surface.

String beans should be cut in two-inch pieces. Peas should be shelled.
Cabbage should be shredded in the same way as for sauerkraut. Corn,
however, requires somewhat different treatment, and the directions for
salting it are as follows:

Salted Corn. Husk the ears of corn and remove the silk. Cook in
boiling water for about ten minutes to set the milk. Cut off the corn
from the cob with a sharp knife. Weigh the corn and pack in layers
with a quarter its weight of fine salt, as described above.

Some experts insist on blanching and cold-dipping all vegetables for
dry-salting without fermentation. They say that, though it is not
necessary, it makes the tissues softer and consequently they are more
easily penetrated by the salt. Furthermore, when preparing these
products for the table the salt soaks out more readily and the
products cook much more quickly if they have been blanched. So where
there is time it seems advisable to blanch for five minutes for
dry-salting.

If properly prepared and stored, fermented, brined and dry-salted
products will keep for a long time. It is absolutely necessary to
prevent mold from growing on the surface of the brine of fermented
vegetables, by the addition of paraffin or in some other way.
Protection of the surface of dry-salted vegetables is desirable, but
not necessary if the containers are covered to prevent the evaporation
of the brine. Most trouble with the fermented or salted products may
be traced to carelessness in protecting the surface of the brine.


POINTS TO REMEMBER

These are the special things to remember about fermentation, brining
and dry-salting:

1. For fermentation, such as in making sauerkraut, use a quarter pound
of salt to ten pounds of food material. For every 100 pounds of food
add two and a half pounds of salt.

2. For brining use three-quarters of a cupful of salt and one cupful
of vinegar to each gallon of water.

3. For dry-salting use one pound of salt to four pounds of food.

4. Do not use vinegar, pickle or pork barrels as containers for salted
foods unless they are very thoroughly scalded.

5. Thoroughly scald all containers, covers, weights and cloths before
using.

6. If using glass jars put a cork inside to press the food down. If
white vaseline is rubbed on the rubber rings the solution will not get
through rubber and be lost.

7. After adding salt or brine for fermented foods, cover the food
material with a piece of muslin or cheesecloth six inches larger in
diameter than the diameter of the container. Tuck this in round the
top of the food, cover with weight and adjust lid of container.

8. During fermentation keep the cover on loosely until all bubbles
cease. Test by slightly knocking container to see if any bubbles
appear on the surface.

9. When you have made this test and discovered that the bubbling has
ceased, then it is time to protect the food from all organisms which
destroy lactic acid.

10. To protect the food cover with hot melted paraffin or liquid oil.

11. If evaporation takes place, add water or brine to make up the
original amount of water.

12. When dry sealing is used let the product stand twenty-four to
thirty-six hours, then add strong brine to fill the containers. The
water from the vegetables usually only half fills the containers.

TABLE FOR PRESERVATION OF VEGETABLES BY SALT


METHODS |VEGETABLES ADAPTED| AMOUNT OF SALT | OTHER
| TO METHOD | | INGREDIENTS
| | | NEEDED
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Dry |Cabbage, which is |¼-lb. salt to 10 | No other.
salting with |converted by this | lbs. food or 2½ |
fermentation.| method into |lbs. salt to 100 |
|sauerkraut, string| lbs. food. |
|beans, beet tops, | |
| turnip tops, | |
| greens, kale and | |
| dandelions. | |
| | |
II. |Cucumbers, string | ¾-cup salt, 1 |Dill and spices
Fermentation | beans, green | gallon water, 1 |can be added. 1
with brine. | tomatoes, beets, | cup vinegar for |lb. dry dill or
| beet tops, corn |brine. Amount of | 2 lbs. green
| and green peas. |brine required is| dill and 1 oz.
| |equal to ½ volume| spices for a
| | of food. |4-gallon crock.
| | |
III. Dry | Dandelions, beet | 25 lbs. salt to | Blanch and
salting |tops, turnip tops,|100 lbs. of food.| cold-dip
without | spinach, kale, |Salt should be ¼ | vegetables for
fermentation.| chard, cabbage, | weight of | five minutes
| cauliflower, | vegetable. | before dry
| string beans, | | salting.
| green peas, and | |
| corn. | |
| | |
| | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




CHAPTER XVI

CURING, SMOKING AND PRESERVING MEAT


Many farmers seem to have more trouble with the curing of meats than
with the slaughtering. This part of the work is indeed very important
as it determines whether one will have good tasting cured meat or meat
that is too salty or possibly that is far removed from the original
taste of the raw product.

It is worth every farmer or farmerette's attention to spend some time
on this problem as it pays so well in the resulting, good tasting
meat. Why not have a superior grade of home-cured meat as easily as a
poor grade? Work carefully and accurately done will produce good
results while work slovenly or carelessly done can produce nothing but
poor results. To cure meat so that it is not only delicious but has
good keeping qualities is an art and accomplishment worth striving
for. A pride in this work is just as fine and worth while as the
housewife's pride in her culinary skill or the pride of any other
professional in his or her line of work. To-day we are thinking of
food and its problems as never before and it behooves us all to put
more time, thought, care and skill on all things that pertain to
foods. And as meat is such an essential item in our diet, meat
problems should receive their due attention.

All meat that is to be cured should always be thoroughly cooled and
cut into the desired convenient sizes before it is put into the brine


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