Grace Viall Gray.

Every Step in Canning online

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hardware stores.

If you are using the vacuum-seal jars which have a composition
attached to the lacquered tops, carefully examine this rubber
composition to see that it is perfect. This composition should go
entirely round the top and should not be cut or broken in any place.
If it is the top must be discarded for a perfect one.

Of course with this type of jar no rubber rings are necessary, as the
rubber composition on the lacquered top does the sealing.

It is a wise plan to go round the tops and over the inside of all new
glass jars with a heavy and dull knife to scrape off any slivers of
glass or bursted blisters that may be still clinging to the jars.
Those on the tops cut through the rubber and cause leakage. Those in
the jars may get into the product. I often find these splinters,
particularly on new straight-sided jars.

It matters not what type of jar you use. Use what you have at hand,
but if you are buying new jars consider the following things before
making your selections: No metal, unless it is enameled or lacquered,
should come in contact with the food. The jars should be of smooth,
well-finished glass. The color of the jar does not affect the keeping
qualities of the food. The top or part of the top that comes in
contact with the contents should be all in one piece, so as not to
offer a place for the accumulation of organisms and dirt. The jars
which have nearly straight sides and a wide mouth or opening are
easier to wash and facilitate better, quicker and easier packing of
the product.

Wash the jars in soap and water. Rinse in boiling water. Some people
temper new jars so they will stand the shock of hot water or hot sirup
without breaking. If you wish to take this extra precaution put the
jars in a dishpan or kettle of cold water after they have been washed
in soapy water; bring the water slowly to a boil and let it boil
fifteen minutes. After the jars are ready test the rubber rings. This
may seem a useless precaution, but it is a necessary one, for there is
no one detail in the business of canning that is more important. Even
in the best boxes of rubbers there is occasionally a black sheep, and
one black sheep may cause the loss of a jar.

Test each rubber before you use it by pressing it firmly between the
thumbs and forefingers, stretching it very slightly. If it seems soft
and spongy discard it. All rubbers fit for canning should be firm,
elastic, and should endure a stretching pull without breaking. A good
rubber ring will return promptly to place without changing the inside
diameter.

A great many women are laboring under the wrong impression that color
affects the quality of a ring. Some women insist on red, and others on
white. Color is given to rings by adding coloring matter during the
manufacturing process. The color of the ring is no index to its
usefulness in home canning.

Use only fresh, sound strawberries or other berries. There is a little
knack about preparing the strawberries that few housewives know. Hull
the berries by _twisting the berries off the hull_, instead of pulling
the hull from the berry as most women do. You will have a
better-looking berry if you will be careful about this. Place the
berries in a strainer and pour cold water over them to cleanse them.


HOW TO ADJUST THE COVERS

Never allow the berries or any fruit to stand in water, as the flavor
and color are destroyed by water-soaking. Pack in glass jars, pressing
the berries down tightly, but without crushing them. Put the rubber on
the jar if you are using a jar requiring a rubber. Pour hot sirup over
the berries. Put the top of the jar in place, but only partially
tighten it.

If using the screw-top jars, such as the Mason, screw down with the
thumb and little finger, not using force but stopping when the cover
catches.

If using vacuum-seal jars put the cover on and the spring in place.
The spring will give enough to allow the steam to escape.

In using glass-top jars with the patent wire snap, put the cover in
place, the wire over the top and leave the clamp up.

The cover on a glass jar must not be tight while the product is
cooking, because the air will expand when heated, and if the cover is
not loose enough to allow the steam to escape the pressure may blow
the rubber out or break the jar.

The product is now ready for the canner.


STERILIZING

If you are using the homemade outfit, such as wash-boiler or garbage
pail, all berries and soft fruits are sterilized sixteen minutes; in
all commercial hot-water-bath outfits and in condensed steam, sixteen
minutes; in the water-seal, twelve minutes; in the steam pressure
under five pounds of steam, ten minutes; and in the pressure cooker
under ten pounds of steam, five minutes. Do not allow the pressure to
run above ten pounds for soft fruits; fifteen pounds makes them mushy.

If you use any type of hot-water-bath outfit be sure the water is
boiling when the fruit is lowered into the canner, and _keep it
boiling_ vigorously for the entire sixteen minutes. At the end of the
sterilizing time, _immediately_ remove the jars from the canner.

In taking canned goods from boiling water care is needed to see that
they are protected from drafts. If necessary close the windows and
doors while lifting the jars out, as a sudden draft might break them.

Examine rubbers to see that they are in place. Sometimes if a cover is
screwed down too tight the pressure of the steam from the inside
causes the rubber to bulge out. Simply loosen the cover a thread or
two, push the rubber back into place and then tighten.

In case the rubber does not seem to fit well or seems to be a poor
rubber it should be replaced by a new one, and the jar returned to the
cooker for five minutes.

The jars should be sealed tight - covers screwed down, clamps put in
place - immediately after they are removed from the cooker.

Invert the jar to test the joint, then let it cool. If the seal is not
perfect correct the fault and return the jar to the cooker for five
minutes if hot, ten minutes if the jar is cold.

Do not invert vacuum-seal jars. These should be allowed to cool, and
then be tested by removing the spring or clamp and lifting the jars by
the cover only. Lift the jar only half an inch, holding it over the
table, so that in case the lid does not hold the jar and contents will
not be damaged. Or, better still, tap round the edge of the cover with
a rule. An imperfect seal will give a hollow sound.

As light injures delicately colored fruits and vegetables, it is wise
to store them in dark places, such as cupboards, or basement or attic
shelves protected from the light. Black cambric tacked to the top
shelf and suspended over the other shelves is a sufficient protection
from light. A discarded window shade can be rolled down over the
shelves and easily pulled up when you desire to take a jar from the
shelves.

Canned goods are best kept at a temperature below seventy degrees
Fahrenheit, where that is at all possible.


STEPS IN CANNING SOFT FRUITS AND BERRIES

It might be well to enumerate the steps in berry and soft-fruit
canning, or do what we called in our schooldays "review it":

1. Get the canner and all its accessories ready.

2. Test and wash jars and tops and put in water to sterilize.

3. Test rubber rings.

4. Make sirup and put in double boiler to keep hot

5. Prepare the product - hull, seed, stem.

6. Place berries or fruit in strainer or colander.

7. Rinse by pouring cold water over product.

8. Pack from strainer into hot jar.

9. Use big spoon to get a firm pack.

10. Dip rubber in hot water to cleanse it and put it in place on the
jar.

11. Pour the hot sirup over the fruit at once.

12. Put top of jar on, but not tight.

13. Ready for canner.

14. Sterilize for the necessary length of time, according to the
outfit you are using:

MINUTES

Hot-water-bath outfit 16
Condensed-steam outfit 16
Water-seal outfit 12
Steam pressure, 5 pounds, outfit 10
Pressure cooker, 10 pounds, outfit 5

15. Remove from canner.

16. Tighten cover, except vacuum-seal jar, which seals automatically.

17. Test joint.

18. Three or four days later, if perfectly air-tight, label and store
in a dark place.

These steps are followed for strawberries, blackberries, blueberries,
dewberries, huckleberries, gooseberries, raspberries, and for all soft
fruits, such as cherries, currants, grapes and figs.

The other soft fruits, such as peaches and apricots, which have a
skin, are scalded or "hot dipped" for one to two minutes in boiling
water or steam and are then plunged into cold water. These two steps
of hot-dipping and cold dipping make the removal of skins a very
simple operation. After the skins are removed the fruit is put into
the hot jars and the process continued from Step 8, as with
strawberries.


SIRUPS

Of course you are wondering about the sirups for the different fruits.
There is no set rule for making sirup. It is not necessary to use
sirup in canning fruits. The amount of sugar used in the sirup will
depend upon the individual taste. In a first-class product there
should be enough sirup to improve its flavor, but not enough to make
it take the place in the diet of a sweet preserve rather than a fresh
fruit.

The sirups are made either with varying proportions of sugar and water
or with the same proportions boiled different lengths of time. What is
known as the California sirup is made with three parts of sugar to two
parts of water, boiled gently to different concentrations.

Thin Sirup. For a thin sirup take three cups of sugar and two cups
of water. Mix sugar and heat until the sugar is dissolved. This is
used for all sweet fruits not too delicate in texture and color, as
apples, cherries, pears, or for fruits in which more sugar will be
added in preparation for the table.

Medium Thin Sirup. The sugar and water should be boiled about four
minutes, or until it begins to be sirupy. This is used for
raspberries, peaches, blackberries, currants, etc.

Medium Thick Sirup. Boil the sugar and water until it will pile up
over the edge of the spoon when it is tipped. This is used for sour or
acid fruits, as plums, gooseberries, apricots, sour apples, and some
of the delicately colored fruits, as strawberries.

Thick Sirup. The sugar and water are boiled until it will form a
ball in the spoon and cannot be poured from the spoon. This is used
for preserves.

It is possible to get more, sometimes almost twice as much, sirup
into a quart jar containing large fruits, as apples and pears, than
into a quart jar containing small fruits, as currants or blackberries.

There is a little knack worth knowing about combining the sugar and
water for the sirup. If the sugar is sifted into the boiling water
just as fine-grained cereals are sifted into water, there will be no
scum formed. This is a saving of sugar.

If you wish to can strawberries for the market or to win a prize at
the county or state fairs, can them as follows:

Canned by this recipe, strawberries will not rise to the top of the
sirup. Use only fresh, ripe, firm and sound berries. Prepare them, and
add eight ounces of sugar and two tablespoonfuls of water to each
quart of berries. Boil slowly for fifteen minutes in an enameled or
acid-proof kettle. Allow the berries to cool and remain several hours
or over-night in the covered kettle. Pack the cold berries in hot
glass jars. Put rubbers and caps of jars in position, not tight.
Sterilize for the length of time given below for the type of outfit
used:

MINUTES
Water bath, homemade or commercial 8
Water seal, 214 degrees 6
5 pounds steam pressure 5
10 pounds steam pressure. Do not use.

Remove the jars, tighten the covers, invert the jars to cool and test
the joints. Wrap the jars with paper to prevent bleaching.




CHAPTER III

HARD FRUITS


PINEAPPLES

The object of canning citrus fruits is, first, to save the surplus and
by-products; second, to furnish wholesome fruits at reasonable cost to
more of our people; third, to help the producer to transform
by-products into net profits.

Almost every one likes canned pineapple, but some housewives stopped
canning this fruit because they found that when cooked in sirup it
seemed to get tough and less palatable. Vegetable and fruit fibers are
toughened when cooked with sugar for any length of time, so in all
cases where you desire to keep the product as Nature grew it avoid
this form of cooking.

When the product is put into the jars with a sirup and cooked in the
jar you will have a product superior to the one that is cooked over
the direct fire in the kettle with the sirup.

But pineapple slices or pieces are so hard they cannot be put directly
into the jars as berries are. Pineapples must undergo a preliminary
process to make them palatable and soft. This preliminary process is
known in canning as "blanching."

After the pineapple has been prepared by paring and removing the eyes,
it can be left in slices or cut into cubes. In cutting hold the
pineapple at the top and use a sharp knife. It is then placed in a
wire basket or a piece of cheesecloth for the blanching. Blanching
means to immerse the product in boiling water for a certain length of
time to reduce its bulk and soften it.

Pineapples are blanched for five minutes. We scald peaches and
apricots, which are soft fruits; but we blanch pineapples, apples and
quinces, the hard fruits.

Scalding means to immerse the product in boiling water for a very
short time - just long enough to loosen the skins. Blanching is just a
longer period of scalding.

When you blanch pineapples use only enough water to cover them. This
same blanching water can be used for making the sirup. It contains
much of the pineapple flavor and there is no reason for discarding it.
But this is absolutely the only blanching water that is ever used. All
other blanching water, particularly that in which vegetables are
blanched, is full of objectionable acids that we want to get rid of,
so under no circumstances must it be used. But with pineapples the
object of blanching is primarily to soften the hard fiber, so there is
no objection to using the blanching water.

After the pineapple has been in the covered kettle of boiling water
for five minutes, it is held under cold water until cool enough to
handle. Never let it soak in cold water, as that will impair its
delicate flavor. After this it is packed into hot sterilized jars.
Rubber rings are put on the jars, the covers are put in place - not
tight - and the jars are put in the canner.

Pineapple is sterilized for thirty minutes in a hot-water-bath outfit;
thirty minutes in a condensed steam outfit; twenty-five minutes in the
water-seal; twenty-five minutes in the steam pressure under five
pounds of steam, and eighteen minutes in the pressure cooker under ten
pounds of pressure. At the end of the sterilizing period the jars are
removed, the covers completely tightened and the joints carefully
tested for leakage.

A thin or medium-thin sirup is best for pineapples. Measure the
blanching water and to every two cups of it add three cups of sugar.
If you wish the sirup thin heat until the sugar is dissolved. If
medium-thin sirup is desired, boil it about four minutes or until it
begins to be sirupy.


STEPS IN CANNING PINEAPPLE

1. Cut the pineapple into slices of desired thickness.

2. Pare the slices. It is easier to pare the slices than to pare the
whole pineapple.

3. Remove the eyes, using pineapple scissors to facilitate the work.

4. Blanch pineapple for five minutes in a small amount of boiling
water, using a wire basket or cheesecloth.

5. Cold-dip the pineapple.

6. Make a sirup, using the blanching water. Make a thin or medium-thin
sirup.

7. Pack the pineapple into hot sterilized jars, with good rubbers on
them.

8. Pour the sirup over the pineapple.

9. Put the tops of the jars on - not tight.

10. Sterilize for 30 minutes in hot-water-bath outfit, 30 minutes in
condensed-steam outfit, 25 minutes in water-seal outfit, 25 minutes in
steam pressure (5 pounds), 18 minutes in pressure cooker (10 pounds).

11. Remove from canner, tighten covers and inspect rubber and joints.


APPLES

Here are six ways in which canned apples may be used: as a breakfast
dish, with cream and sugar; baked like fresh apples; in apple salad,
often served for lunch or supper; as a relish with roast pork - the
apples may be fried in the pork fat or the cores may be cooked with
roast pork for flavoring; and for apple dumplings, deep apple pie and
other desserts in which whole apples are desirable. The sirup of
canned whole apples can be used for pudding sauces or fruit drinks.

Apples are another hard fruit which require blanching, as it greatly
improves their texture and appearance.

Apples and some other fruits, such as pears and quinces, have a
tendency to turn brown when allowed to stand after they are cut. To
prevent their discoloring the pieces may be dropped into mild salt
water as they are pared and sliced. Let them stand for five minutes,
then wash them in clear water and pack. Use a thin sirup for canning
apples.

Summer apples are not firm enough to keep well when canned. They cook
up and lose flavor. They may, however, be canned to be used in a short
time. Windfall apples may be pared, cored and sliced, using water, and
only a small quantity of that, instead of sirup, and canned for pies.

To be able to can windfall and cull apples and thus have them for home
use through the entire year is a great advantage to all farmers who
grow them. They can be sold on the market canned when they would not
bring a cent in the fresh state.

The windfall and cull apples may be divided into two grades. The
first grade would include the whole reasonably sound fruit; the second
grade the worm-eaten, partially decayed and injured fruit. Do not can
any injured or decayed part nor allow apples to become overripe before
canning.

Canning Whole Reasonably Firm Apples. Wash the apples. Remove cores
and blemishes. Place whole apples in blanching tray or blanching cloth
and blanch in boiling hot water for one or two minutes. Remove and
plunge quickly into cold water. Pack in large glass jars. Pour over
the product a hot thin sirup. Place rubber and top in position. Seal
partially - not tight.

Sterilize jars twenty minutes in hot-water-bath outfit and in
condensed steam, fifteen minutes in water-seal, ten minutes in
steam-pressure outfit with five pounds of steam pressure, five minutes
in aluminum pressure-cooker outfit, under ten pounds of steam
pressure. Remove jars, tighten covers, invert to cool and test joints.

Firm and tart apples may be cored and peeled first, then canned by the
above recipe.

Canning Apples for Pie Filling. Use second grade of windfalls or
culls. Wash, core, pare and remove all decayed spots. Slice apple
quickly into a basin containing slightly salted cold water - about one
tablespoon of salt per gallon - to prevent discoloring. Pack fresh cold
product in glass jars. Add one cupful of hot thin sirup to each quart
of fruit. Put on the rubbers and screw on tops, but do not seal
completely. Sterilize twelve minutes in hot-water bath or
condensed-steam outfit; ten minutes in water-seal outfit; six minutes
under five pounds of steam pressure; four minutes in aluminum
pressure cooker. Remove jars, tighten covers, invert to cool and test
joint. Store.

This filling can be used for making apple pies in the same way that
fresh apples would be used, with the exception that the sirup must be
poured off and less sugar should be used. Since the apples have
already been cooked, only enough heat is needed to cook the crust and
to warm the apples through. Pies may be baked in seven minutes. The
apple pies made with these apples are, in the opinion of many
housekeepers, as good as those made with fresh fruit, and they can be
made in less time and are less expensive.

The only difference between canning apples for pies and salads or
whole is that when wanted for pies the apples should be sliced
immediately after placing in cold slightly salted water.

Canning Quartered Apples for Fruit Salads. Select best-grade culls
of firm and rather tart varieties. Core, pare and quarter. Drop into
basin containing slightly salted cold water. Pack these quartered
pieces tightly in jars. Add a cup of hot thin sirup to each quart.
Place rubber and top in position, partially seal - not tight. Sterilize
twelve minutes in hot-water bath and condensed-steam outfits; ten
minutes in water-seal outfit; six minutes under five pounds of steam
pressure; four minutes in aluminum pressure cooker. Remove jars,
tighten covers, invert to cool and test joints. Store.


ORANGES

Canning Whole Oranges and Other Citrus Fruits. Select windfall or
packing-plant culls. Use no unsound or decayed fruit. Remove skin and
white fiber on surface. Blanch fruit in boiling water one and a half
minutes. Dip quickly in cold water. Pack containers full. Add boiling
hot thin sirup. Place rubber and cap in position and partially
seal - not tight.

Sterilize twelve minutes in hot-water-bath and condensed-steam
outfits; eight minutes in water-seal outfit; six minutes in
steam-pressure outfit under five pounds of steam; four minutes in
aluminum pressure-cooker outfit. Remove jars, tighten covers, invert
to cool and test joints. Wrap glass jars with paper to prevent
bleaching, and store.

Canning Sliced Oranges for Salad Purposes. The oranges may be
divided into their natural sections or sliced with a knife. Pack jars
or containers full. Pour over product hot thin sirup. Place rubber and
cap in position. Partially seal - not tight. Sterilize ten minutes in
hot-water-bath and condensed-steam outfits; six minutes in water-seal
outfit; five minutes in steam-pressure outfit with five pounds of
steam; four minutes in aluminum pressure-cooker outfit under ten
pounds of steam. Remove jars, tighten covers, invert to cool and test
the joints. Wrap jars with paper to prevent bleaching, and store.


PEARS, QUINCES AND RHUBARB

Pears are prepared and canned just as the whole firm apples are, being
blanched a minute and a half, cold-dipped and sterilized for the same
length of time as apples.

Quinces are so very hard they must be blanched like pineapples, but
for a longer time. Six minutes' blanching is usually sufficient for
quinces. The sterilizing period can be determined by looking at the
chart.

If skins are left on rhubarb it keeps its pink color. The hot dip is
not necessary and may be omitted. It removes some of the excessive
acid in the rhubarb which makes it objectionable to some people. Be
very careful not to hot-dip the rhubarb more than one minute, for it
gets mushy. An advantage of the hot dip is that more rhubarb can be
packed in a jar after it has been hot-dipped.


WHAT A BUSHEL OF FRUIT WILL YIELD

A great many women have no conception of how many jars of fruit they
will get from a bushel or half bushel of produce. It is wise to have a
little knowledge along this line, for it aids in planning the winter's
supply of canned goods as well as at marketing time.

From one bushel of the various fruits you will get on the average the
following:

PRODUCTS, 1 BUSHEL PINT JARS QUART JARS

Windfall apples 30 20

Standard peaches 25 18

Pears 45 30

Plums 45 30

Berries 50 30

Windfall oranges - sliced 22 15

Windfall oranges - whole 35 22


CANNING WITHOUT SUGAR

Though all instructions indicate that sugar is necessary for the
canning of all kinds of fruits, it is not necessary for their proper
sterilization and preservation. Any fruit may be successfully
sterilized by simply adding boiling water instead of the hot sirup. It
is a well-known fact, however, that most fruits canned in water will
not retain so well their natural flavor, texture and color as fruit
canned in sirup. When the product is to be used for pies, salads, and
so on it is not necessary to can in sirup. When fruits canned in water
are to be used for sauces, the products should be sweetened before
use. In many instances it requires more sugar to sweeten a sauce after


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Online LibraryGrace Viall GrayEvery Step in Canning → online text (page 2 of 17)