Grace Viall Gray.

Every Step in Canning online

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decay. If you do this you can have an abundant supply of many kinds of
fresh vegetables all winter, where climatic and living conditions will
permit. Storage costs but little money and little effort and yet it is
very satisfactory.

There are many vegetables that can be stored to good advantage. They
are: Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Beans, Celery, Carrots, Chicory or
Endive, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kohl-rabi, Lima Beans, Onions, Sweet
Potatoes, Squash (Winter), Salsify or Vegetable Oyster, Tomatoes,
Turnips.

To get good results in any kind of storage, you must observe four
things:

1. Proper ventilation.
2. Proper regulation of temperature.
3. Sufficient moisture.
4. Good condition of vegetables when stored.

There are six different ways to store vegetables. They are: cellar
storage, pit storage, outdoor cellar or cave storage, attic storage,
sand boxes and pantry storage.


CELLAR STORAGE

We will first of all consider cellar or basement storage. One of the
most convenient places for the storage of vegetables is a cool,
well-ventilated and reasonably dry cellar underneath the house. This
cellar must have windows or some method of ventilation, must not be
too warm and not so cold that food will freeze. If there is proper
ventilation there can be some dampness without injury to the
vegetables. If your cellar or basement floods easily or has water
standing in it anywhere it should not be used for vegetable storage.

If there is a furnace in the cellar or basement a small room as far as
possible from the heating plant should be partitioned off. Do not
build a room in the middle of the cellar, for two sides of the room
should consist of outside walls.

If possible have two outside windows for proper regulation of the
temperature and for good ventilation. If you cannot have two windows
have one.

A very good arrangement for constant circulation of air consists in
having a stove-pipe inserted through one of the lower panes of the
window to admit cold air. One of the upper panes of the window can be
removed to allow for the escape of warm air. That is, of course, if
the window is made of nine or twelve small panes of squares of glass.
In severely cold weather this upper pane can be replaced or the
opening stuffed up in some way.

If you do not have an old stove-pipe you can make a wooden flue of old
boards or old discarded boxes.

Most cellars and basements are now made with concrete floors. The
ideal floor for storage purposes is an earth floor. However, we can
put two or three inches of sand on our concrete floors and get good
results. Sprinkle the sand with water from time to time.

Put the vegetables that are to be stored in boxes, baskets, barrels or
crates. Use containers that hold only two or three bushels apiece. If
larger boxes or barrels are used there is always danger of heating and
decay. Of course, proper precautions should be taken against mice.

An excellent way to prevent wilting of crops and shrinkage is to put
moist leaves, oak or maple, in the containers with the vegetables.
Moist sand is sometimes used but it is much heavier to handle than the
leaves. It is no difficult matter to rake the lawn when you are ready
to store the vegetables.

The vegetables that are adapted for cellar storage are beets, cabbage,
carrots, celery, parsnips, potatoes, salsify and turnips.


PIT STORAGE

There are two kinds of pits that may be used for storage. Those that
are not frost-proof and those which are frost-proof.

Some vegetables are not injured by being held in a frozen condition
during the winter months. Cabbage is not injured by moderate frost.
Cabbage and parsnips will stand freezing and a little thawing, so they
can be put in pits or better still, boxes or barrels set into the
ground may be used. Make the pit mound shaped. If the earth is mounded
around the box, barrel or pit, surface water cannot run in.

If using this kind of storage do not store the products until both the
ground and the products are frozen solid. The idea is to keep the
vegetables frozen or to have very few freezings and thawings, and
those few should be gradual.

After the pit has been made or the box or barrel has been set into the
ground and filled with vegetables, it should be covered first with a
piece of burlap or carpet, then with a mouse-proof board cover and
finally with straw or similar material. When taken from the pit, the
vegetables can be thawed out over night in cold water, after which
they can be kept in the cellar for a short length of time.

The pits for keeping vegetables free from frost must be carefully and
thoughtfully made, but they are cheap and are very useful and
practical when caves or cellars are not convenient.

The frost-proof pit for storing vegetables should always be placed in
as well-drained a place as possible. A shallow excavation should be
made from one to two feet deep, four feet wide and as long as
desired. Line the pit with straw, hay or leaves, then place the
vegetables in a conical pile on the straw. Cover the vegetables with
six inches of the material used in making the lining. This is covered
with three or four inches of earth. The straw is allowed to extend up
through the earth at the top of the pile, thus assuring ventilation.

When it becomes colder add more covering to the pit by another layer
of straw and a layer of earth. In very cold climates a layer of manure
or corn stalks will afford protection against frost.

It is well to make several small pits rather than one larger one for
the reason that when a pit has once been opened it is difficult to
protect the remaining vegetables from frost.

It is advisable to store several varieties of vegetables in one pit so
that when each pit is opened you have a variety of vegetables. If you
follow this plan separate the various crops by using straw or leaves.

Pits are entered by chopping a hole through the frozen earth at one
end, large enough to reach into or crawl into. After the vegetables
have been obtained keep the hole stuffed and covered most carefully
and deeply with old sacks and straw.

If the smaller pits are used, a decidedly better arrangement, take out
all the vegetables in the pit and those that are not needed for
immediate consumption can be placed in the cellar storage room, or
other cool place, until needed. Do not use those pits if you live
where winter rains are abundant as the pits will become water soaked
and the vegetables will suffer more or less decay.


OUTDOOR CELLAR STORAGE

Outdoor cellars or caves may be cheaply built for more or less
temporary use or they may be very expensively built of concrete,
brick, or clay blocks. Of course, the latter are permanent storing
places and offer perfect storage for potatoes, carrots, cabbages,
parsnips, beets, turnips and salsify.

The objectionable features of indoor cellar storage is that such
storage does not furnish ideal conditions for keeping the vegetables
fresh for any great length of time.

The objectionable feature to the pit storage is the inaccessibility to
these pits during severe weather.

The outdoor cellar or cave overcomes both these objections. The
outdoor cellar or cave is an underground structure, preferably built
in a hillside and fully covered with earth except at one end only
where the entrance is located. If there are doors at both ends it is
almost impossible to prevent freezing in very cold weather. The cave
door should fit perfectly and there should be a hatchway or door over
the steps leading down to the cave door.

A very satisfactory inexpensive cellar can be made by digging an
excavation about 5 ft. deep and in this erecting a frame by setting
posts in rows near the dirt walls. Saw these posts off at uniform
height and place plates on their tops. On these plates place rafters.
Board up completely with the exception of the entrance. Cover the
whole with dirt or sod and in cold climates add a layer of straw or
fodder.

A ventilation must be provided in the roof at the back end. A sewer
tile with the bell end up makes a very good flue. A dirt floor is
satisfactory as it contains moisture. If there is any seepage use a
drain tile to carry it off.

The more pretentious permanent cellars are provided with air spaces to
furnish insulation; are provided with large ventilation shafts through
the roof and cold air intakes under the floor. Thorough drainage is
obtained by placing a line of tile around the outside wall and also by
having the air intake serve as a drain for surplus water that might
get into the cave. The floor is cement or concrete. Such a cave is
expensive but is a permanent structure and a good addition to any farm
or estate. If properly made it is possible to maintain a temperature
of 34 to 38 degrees without much fluctuation during the winter months.
This kind of storage is not only adapted for vegetables but apples as
well. It is better adapted to the Northern, Eastern and Western States
than to the Southern States, where it is likely to be warm at the time
the vegetables are ready for storage. When making the cave, have it as
near as possible to the kitchen door. Sometimes caves are made so that
they can be entered from the house, cellar or porch.


ATTIC STORAGE

Some vegetables such as onions, squashes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins
can be stored in the attic in crates which allow free circulation of
air. They must be absolutely free from bruises and must be well
ripened and cured. To cure the vegetables expose them to the air for a
few days in the shade. Remove the tops of onions before storing. The
attic is much better for storing onions than the basement. Squashes
are susceptible to cold and moisture, so are suitable for the attic.

Be very careful in handling the squashes to prevent breaking the
stems off. Watch pumpkins and squash carefully and at the first sign
of decay, use immediately or can.


SAND BOX STORAGE

Sand boxes in cellars, pits or caves are desirable for beets, turnips,
kohl-rabi, carrots, winter radishes and rutabagas. The sand keeps them
cold and prevents evaporation. Kohl-rabi should be tender when stored.


PANTRY STORAGE

Where there is no attic or where it is inconveniently reached, the
products that are adapted to a very dry place can be stored on the
pantry shelves or in a dry cellar near the furnace. They are onions,
squashes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.

The keeping qualities of all these vegetables, no matter what storage
is used, depends chiefly upon their condition when placed in storage.
All products to be stored must be mature, but not overgrown. Root
crops should be dry while the ground is in good working condition. All
vegetables should be allowed to become surface dry before placing them
in storage.

White or Irish potatoes, especially, should not be exposed to bright
sunlight any length of time. Only vegetables free from disease or
injury should be stored. Any that are damaged can be used immediately,
or can be canned or dried.

Further particulars for the storing of fresh vegetables are given in
the following tables.

TABLE FOR VEGETABLE STORAGE

VEGETABLES
|HOW BEST STORED
| |PREPARATION FOR STORAGE
| | |AMOUNT FOR FAMILY OF TWO
| | | |REMARKS
| | | |
Irish Potatoes
|Must be kept cool with a slight degrees of moisture. Use
|either cellar or cave methods. No potato should be more than
|four ft. from air if stored in barrels, boxes, crates or
|bins.
| |Potatoes must be dug before the ground is crusted with
| |frost. Frosted potatoes will spoil, one after another.
| |Impossible to sort out frosted potatoes.
| | |10 to 15 bus.
| | | |Remember Irish potatoes are ruined by
| | | |freezing. Potatoes should be kept absolutely
| | | |dark to prevent greening by light. Never buy
| | | |potatoes in sacks that show wet places due to
| | | |a frosted potato.
| | | |
Sweet Potatoes
|Require warmth and dryness. In crates or on shelves in warm
|dry room. Can be spread on the floor in the room above the
|kitchen where they will have plenty of heat, especially for
|the first 2 or 3 weeks after they are dug.
| |When the sweet potatoes are dug they should be allowed
| |to lie in the sun and wind for 3 or 4 hours so as to
| |become perfectly dry. They must be well ripened and free
| |from bruises. Can be kept on shelves in a very dry place
| |and they need not be kept specially cold. Sweet potatoes
| |keep best when they are showing just a little
| |inclination to sprout. However, if they start growing
| |the quality is greatly injured.
| | |2 to 3 bus.
| | | |If you are in doubt as to whether the sweet
| | | |potatoes are matured enough for storage, cut
| | | |or break one end and expose it to the air for
| | | |a few minutes. If the surface of the cut or
| | | |break dries, the potato is mature. But if
| | | |moisture remains on the surface, it is not
| | | |fully ripened. In places where there are early
| | | |frosts, sweet potatoes should be dug about the
| | | |time the first frost is expected, without
| | | |considering maturity.
| | | |
Carrots
|Are best stored in sand in cellars, caves or pits; or in
|tightly covered boxes or crocks. Must be kept cold and
|evaporation must be prevented, for otherwise they become
|wilted.
| |Can remain in the ground until the weather is quite
| |cool; then be pulled, the tops cut off and then stored.
| | |1 to 3 bus.
| | | |If you store carrots in the cellar and it is
| | | |extremely dry cover them with a little
| | | |moistened sand.
| | | |
Celery
|May be rooted in earth in a cellar or cave and if watered
|occasionally will keep fresh until Christmas. The soil, earth
|or sand, in which the celery is set should be 2 or 3 inches
|deep. This soil must not be allowed to become dry.
| |Can remain in the ground until the weather is quite
| |cool.
| | |5 dozen good plants or bunches.
| | | |Another way to store celery is to bank it to
| | | |the top with earth; cover the tops with
| | | |boards, straw, or leaves and allow it to
| | | |remain where it has grown until wanted for
| | | |use. Another way is to dig a trench 12 inches
| | | |wide and deep enough to correspond with the
| | | |height of the celery, then lift the celery and
| | | |pack it in this trench with some soil about
| | | |the roots. When the weather becomes colder,
| | | |cover the trench with boards nailed together
| | | |in the form of a _V_ shaped trough and over
| | | |this inverted trough put a layer of soil. The
| | | |ends of this trough should be left open for
| | | |ventilation until freezing sets in, then close
| | | |these openings with straw, old bags or soil.
| | | |If the freeze ceases and there is a spell of
| | | |warmer weather open the ends slightly for
| | | |ventilation. When the celery is first stored
| | | |in the trenches the soil about the roots of
| | | |the celery should be watered and and if the
| | | |weather is dry after the celery is put in the
| | | |trenches, pour some water around the roots to
| | | |keep the celery crisp and fresh.
| | | |
Cabbage
|Can be wrapped in paper with the outer leaves left on for
|immediate use and stored in ventilated barrels or large
|crates in the cellar. But as few cellars are cool enough to
|keep cabbage in good condition it is more advisable to store
|it in a long shallow pit in the garden.
| |Is not injured by moderate frost while in the pit but
| |should not be disturbed while frozen. The pit should be
| |long and narrow. Pull the cabbage, stem, root and all,
| |and then laid with heads down about 3 heads in width can
| |be placed in the pit. Cover lightly with soil and as the
| |weather becomes colder add a little more soil until
| |there is a layer 6 or 7 inches thick over the cabbage.
| |Keep the ends of the pit partially open for ventilation
| |until the weather becomes very cold.
| | |25 heads.
| | | |Late varieties of cabbage are the only ones
| | | |fit for storage. It is advisable to dig a
| | | |shallow ditch around the pit so that all
| | | |surplus water can be carried off.
| | | |
Chickory or Endive
|Store in a box or bed of moist sand in the cellar. Put roots
|in an upright position with the sand coming just to their
|tops. Water the sand occasionally. Sometimes a covering of
|straw is added to blanch the tender growth of shoots, which
|is the part used as food.
| |Late in the fall lift the roots out and carefully trim
| |off the leaves without injury to the heart.
| | |5 doz. roots.
| | | |Chickory or endive is grown the same as
| | | |carrots or salsify. It is useful in the winter
| | | |for it furnishes the needed green that is so
| | | |scarce in winter.
| | | |
Beets
|Must not be placed in too large piles in the cellar as they
|are inclined to mold. Can also be buried in pits in open
|ground.
| |Can remain in the ground until very cool weather; then
| |should be pulled, the tops cut off and then stored in
| |the cellar.
| | |1 bushel.
| | | |Beets are not so much inclined to shrivel as
| | | |carrots.
| | | |
Salsify or Vegetable Oyster
|Pack roots in box with moist sand in cellar or as they are
|not injured by remaining in the ground all winter they can be
|left there. Enough for immediate use may be dug in the autumn
|and the others dug as desired.
| |When stored in the cellar after the salsify is pulled,
| |trim off the tops and then stand them in an upright
| |position with the sand even with the tops.
| | |75 to 100 roots.
| | | |Is injured by too much freezing and thawing,
| | | |so should remain frozen.
| | | |
Parsnips
|Can be stored just as salsify or be allowed to remain in the
|ground until wanted.
| |Those that are to be stored in the cellar can remain in
| |in the garden until the weather is quite cool, then
| |prepare and store like salsify.
| | |1 bushel in the cellar and one in the garden.
| | | |Parsnips are best kept frozen or fresh in the
| | | |cellar as too much freezing and thawing
| | | |destroys them.
| | | |
Turnips
|Must be stored where temperature is low or sprouting will
|result. Moderate freezing does no harm while in the storage
|pit but they must not be disturbed while frozen.
| |Pull; cut tops off and store in sand in cellars or
| |caves, or in pits, or in tightly covered boxes or
| |crocks.
| | |1 to 3 bus.
| | | |The object is to keep them cold and prevent
| | | |evaporation. It is a good plan to store a
| | | |portion in the cellar so as to be available
| | | |during the time that those buried in the pit
| | | |are "frozen in" and not so easily accessible.
| | | |
Onions
|Require a cool dry place. Attic excellent.
| |Before storing, cure them by exposing to the air for a
| |few days in the shade. Dryness is absolutely essential.
| |A well cured onion should be firm and not readily dented
| |at the base of the tops by the tip of the thumb when
| |held in the hand.
| | |3 bushels.
| | | |Onions are best for storage if topped about 1ВЅ
| | | |inches long.
| | | |
Cauliflower
|Planted in shallow boxes of soil in light place in the
|cellar.
| |Must not be too mature.
| | |Store as many as possible.
| | | |If kept well watered they will mature for
| | | |winter use.
| | | |
Brussels Sprouts
|Planted in soil in cellar.
| |Must not be too mature.
| | |According to family tastes.
| | | |Keep watered and will mature.
| | | |
Ground Cherries or Husk Tomatoes
|May be stored for some weeks in the husk in their layers in a
|dry place free from frost.
|
Kohl-rabi, Winter Radishes, Rutabagas
|Best stored in sand in cellars, cares or pits.
| |Must be kept cold to prevent evaporation.
| | |According to the family tastes.
| | | |Kohl-rabi must be tender when stored.
| | | |
Horse-radish
|May be kept in the ground where grown all winter. Must be
|kept frozen as thawing injures it.
|
Pumpkins
|Best kept on shelves in a very dry place. Can be kept on
|shelves in furnace room.
| |Must be ripened and cured and free from bruises.
| | |5 ordinary sized pumpkins.
| | | |Need not be kept especially cold.
| | | |
Squashes
|Susceptible to cold and moisture, so store in a dry place
|where temperature will be between 50 and 60 degrees.
| |Care must be taken that stem is not broken.
| | |10 ordinary sized hubbard squashes.
| | | |Whenever squashes or pumpkins in storage show
| | | |signs of decay, the sound portion should be
| | | |immediately canned.
| | | |
Tomatoes
|Cool cellar or cave; can be wrapped in any absorbent paper
|preferably without printing upon it, and laid upon shelves to
|ripen. The paper absorbs the moisture given off by the
|tomatoes and causes them to ripen uniformly. If cellar is dry
|or well ventilated, tomatoes can be kept a month or six weeks
|in this manner.
| |May be kept until Christmas if vines with the green
| |tomatoes hanging on them are pulled and hung in the
| |cellar. Pull the vines before they are frosted.
| | |All that you can put away.
| | | |Most of the tomatoes that are put into storage
| | | |will ripen and be most acceptable as soon as
| | | |they color up. If these tomatoes, when cooked,
| | | |are found to be very acid, the acidity may be
| | | |overcome by using baking soda.
| | | |
Parsley
|Transplant into flower pots late in the fall.
| |Keep in windows where they will receive plenty of
| |sunshine.
| |
Garlic
|Should be thoroughly cured as are onions.
| |Or it may be braided by the tops into strings which are
| |hung up in dry places for curing and storing.
| |
Head Lettuce
|Rooted in earth in a cellar or cave.
| |Water occasionally.
| | |All you have in the garden.
| | |
Dry beans and peas
|Stored where protected from weevils.
| |Should be fully ripened before shelling. Pick pods by
| |hand as they ripen and spread pods to become thoroughly
| |dry. May be shelled by spreading pods on a sheet and
| |beating them with a stick. Can be cleaned by pouring
| |them from a height of 4 or 5 ft. upon a sheet and
| |allowing the wind to blow the particles of pod out of
| |them as they fall.
| | |As many as you can gather.
| | |
Apples
|Must be kept in a dry, cool place and so stored as to be in
|no danger of absorbing odors from vegetables stored nearby.
|Apples absorb odors from potatoes, onions, turnips and other
|strong vegetables.
| |Sort apples carefully removing and using at once all
| |fruit that is bruised and shows signs of decay. The best
| |results are obtained by wrapping each apple in half a
| |sheet of newspaper and storing in barrels, boxes, crates


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