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canning than it does when the product is canned in the hot sirup.

However, during the World War we had a good chance to test the fruits
which we canned without sugar, when that commodity was scarce and, in
fact, impossible to get in very large quantities. We used our fruits
just as they were and considered them very good. This all goes to show
that we can easily adjust ourselves to prevailing conditions. In
canning without the sugar sirup, you would follow these directions:

Cull, stem or seed, and clean fruit by placing in a strainer and
pouring water over it until clean. Pack product thoroughly in glass
jars until full; use table knife or tablespoon for packing purposes.
Pour over the fruit boiling water from kettle, place rubbers and caps
in position, partially seal glass jars and place produce in canner.

If using hot-water-bath outfit sterilize from twenty to thirty
minutes. After sterilizing remove packs, seal glass jars, wrap in
paper to prevent bleaching, and store in a dry cool place.

When using a steam-pressure canner instead of the hot-water bath
sterilize for ten minutes with five pounds of steam pressure. Never
allow the pressure to go over ten pounds when you are canning soft
fruits.


WHEN TO CAN

Inexperienced canners may not know when certain fruits are in season
and at their prime for canning. The list below is necessarily subject
to change, as seasons vary from year to year; but in normal years this
table would hold true for the Northern States.

Apples September
Apricots August
Blackberries August
Cherries July
Currants July
Gooseberries July
Grapes September
Huckleberries July
Peaches August-September
Pears September
Pineapple June
Plums August
Quinces September
Raspberries July
Rhubarb All summer
Strawberries May-June

For your canning you will need as your guide the charts on the pages
which follow. They are very simple and will tell you how to prepare
all the various fruits, whether or not they are to be blanched, and if
so exactly how many minutes, and how long to cook or sterilize the
products, according to the outfit you are using.



CHART FOR CANNING SOFT FRUITS AND BERRIES

[A] NUMBER OF MINUTES TO BLANCH OR HOT-DIP
[B] IN HOT WATER BATH OUTFIT AT 212°F
[C] IN CONDENSED STEAM OUTFIT
[D] IN WATER-SEAL OUTFIT 214°F
[E] IN STEAM PRESSURE 5 TO 10 POUNDS
[F] IN PRESSURE COOKER 10 POUNDS

NUMBER OF MINUTES TO STERILIZE
KIND OF | [A] |[B] |[C] |[D] |[E] |[F] |REMARKS
FRUIT/PREPARATION | | | | | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
APRICOTS: To remove|1 to 2| 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use
skins hot-dip and | | | | | | |medium-thick
cold-dip. Can be | | | | | | |sirup
canned with the | | | | | | |
skins. Pits give a | | | | | | |
good flavor | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
BLACKBERRIES: Pick | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
over, wash and stem| | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
BLUEBERRIES: Pick | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
over, wash and stem| | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
CHERRIES: Wash, | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
remove stems, and | | | | | | |sirup if sour;
remove pits if | | | | | | |thin sirup if
desired. If pitted | | | | | | |sweet
save the juice | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
CURRANTS: Wash and | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
pick from stems | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
CRANBERRIES: Wash | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
and stem | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
DEWBERRIES: Wash | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
and stem | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
FIGS: Wash and stem| None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Figs can be
| | | | | | |hot- dipped for
| | | | | | |a minute or two
| | | | | | |if desired.
| | | | | | |Hot-dipping
| | | | | | |shrinks the
| | | | | | |figs so more
| | | | | | |can be packed
| | | | | | |in a jar
| | | | | | |
GOOSEBERRIES Wash | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use
and snip off stems | | | | | | |medium-thick
and blossom ends | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
GRAPES Wash and | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
pick from stems | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
HUCKLEBERRIES Wash | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
and stem | | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
PEACHES Blanch and | 1-2 | 16 | 16 | 12 |*10 | X |*Use only 5
cold-dip, then | | | | | | |pounds
remove skins. | | | | | | |pressure. If
| | | | | | |peaches are
| | | | | | |canned under
| | | | | | |more than 5
| | | | | | |pounds of
| | | | | | |pressure they
| | | | | | |become
| | | | | | |flavorless and
| | | | | | |
PLUMS Wash; stones | 1-2 | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |For sweet plums
may be removed if | | | | | | |use thin or
desired. | | | | | | |medium-thin
| | | | | | |sirup; for sour
| | | | | | |plums use
| | | | | | |medium-thin
| | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
RASPBERRIES pick | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use medium-thin
over, wash and stem| | | | | | |sirup
| | | | | | |
RHUBARB Wash, cut | 1 | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Be very careful
into ½ inch pieces.| | | | | | |not to hot-dip
Use sharp knife | | | | | | |the rhubarb
| | | | | | |more than one
| | | | | | |minute, for it
| | | | | | |gets mushy
| | | | | | |
STRAWBERRIES Pick | None | 16 | 16 | 12 | 10 | 5 |Use
over, wash and hull| | | | | | |medium-thick
| | | | | | |sirup
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
HARD FRUITS | | | | | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
| | | | | | |
APPLES Pare, core |1½ to | 20 | 20 | 15 | 10 | 5 |Use thin sirup
and cut into halves| 2 | | | | | |
or smaller pieces | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
PEARS Wash, pare or| 1½ | 20 | 20 | 15 | 10 | 5 |Use thin sirup
not as desired. | | | | | | |
Small pears may be | | | | | | |
canned whole or | | | | | | |
quartered | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
PINEAPPLE Cut into | 5 | 30 | 30 | 25 | 25 | 18 |Use thin or
slices or inch | | | | | | |medium-thin
cubes. The cores | | | | | | |sirup
can be removed | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
QUINCES Remove | 6 | 40 | 40 | 30 | 25 | 20 |Apples, pears
skins and cores. | | | | | | |and quinces
Cut into convenient| | | | | | |should be
slices | | | | | | |dropped into
| | | | | | |salt water to
| | | | | | |keep fruit from
| | | | | | |turning brown.
| | | | | | |Use salt in the
| | | | | | |proportion of
| | | | | | |one
| | | | | | |tablespoonful
WINDFALL APPLES FOR| | | | | | |to one gallon
| | | | | | |of water. Use
| | | | | | |thin
| | | | | | |
PIE FILLING Cut | None | 12 | 12 | 10 | 6 | 4 |Can in water
into halves | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
QUARTERED APPLES | None | 12 | 12 | 10 | 6 | 4 |Can in water
FOR SALAD | | | | | | |and save the
| | | | | | |sugar for other
| | | | | | |purposes
| | | | | | |
CRAB APPLES Pare | None | 16 | 16 | 8 | 5 | 5 |Can in water or
and core | | | | | | |use thin sirup
| | | | | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CITRUS FRUITS | | | | | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ORANGES, WHOLE | 1½ | 12 | 12 | 8 | 6 | 4 |Add boiling
Remove skins and | | | | | | |thin sirup
white fiber or | | | | | | |
surface, then | | | | | | |
blanch | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
LEMONS, WHOLE | 1½ | 12 | 12 | 8 | 6 | 4 |Add boiling
Remove skins and | | | | | | |thin sirup
white fiber or | | | | | | |
surface, then | | | | | | |
blanch | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
GRAPEFRUIT, WHOLE | 1½ | 12 | 12 | 8 | 6 | 4 |Add boiling
Remove skins and | | | | | | |thin sirup
white fiber or | | | | | | |
surface, then | | | | | | |
blanch | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
ORANGE AND OTHER | None | 10 | 10 | 6 | 5 | 4 |Use thin sirup
CITRUS FRUITS, | | | | | | |
SLICED Slice with a| | | | | | |
sharp knife | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
FRUITS CANNED IN | 30 | 30 | 20 | 12 | 10 | |
WATER WITHOUT SUGAR| | | | | | |
SIRUP | | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTE. - When cooking products in pint or half-pint jars deduct three or
four minutes from the time given above. When cooking in two-quart jars
add 3 or 4 minutes to time. The estimates given are for quart jars.




CHAPTER IV

VEGETABLES


It is practical to can all vegetables, even such difficult ones as
corn, peas and beans, by the cold-pack method of canning without using
any preservatives, if you will follow all directions, instructions and
the time-table accurately. Vegetable canning is a little more
complicated than fruit canning.


TOMATOES

Every one likes canned tomatoes. In many homes more tomatoes are
canned than any other product. The housewife uses them for soups, for
sauces and for seasoning many meat dishes. Some women say: "I can
preserve everything but tomatoes. They always spoil. What do I do
wrong?" If the following directions are followed tomatoes will not
spoil.

Tomatoes really are the easiest vegetable to can, because the period
of sterilization is short, and many jars may be canned in a day, or if
one is very busy a few jars may be canned daily without the
expenditure of a great deal of time.

The best tomatoes for canning are those of moderate size, smooth and
uniformly ripe. When a tomato ripens unevenly or when it is misshapen,
it is difficult to peel, and the percentage of waste is high. Tomatoes
should not be picked when they are green or partly ripe, for the
flavor will not be so good as when they are allowed to remain upon
the vines until fully ripe. Care should be taken, however, not to
allow them to become overripe before canning.

In no instance should a tomato with a rotten spot be canned, even
though the spot is cut out, for the occasional spoiled jar resulting
from this attempted saving will cost more than the partly spoiled
tomatoes are worth. If the housewife will can only uniformly ripe,
sound tomatoes, saving the small, uneven but sound fruit for tomato
_purée_, she will have a much better-looking pack and greater food
value at the close of the season. Yellow tomatoes may be canned in the
same manner as are the more common red varieties, except that it is
not necessary to remove the cores.

First of all, grade for ripeness, size and quality; this is to insure
a high-grade product. We could, of course, can different sizes and
shades together, but uniform products are more pleasing to the eye and
will sterilize much more evenly. If the products are of the same
ripeness and quality, the entire pack will receive the proper degree
of cooking.

Wash the tomatoes. Have ready a kettle of boiling water. Put the
tomatoes in a wire basket, or lay them on a piece of cheesecloth or a
towel, twist the ends together to form a sack, and let this down into
the kettle. It is a good plan to slip a rubber band round the neck of
this sack to hold the ends in place. The ends should be long enough to
stand up out of the water and so avoid danger of burning the fingers
when removing the product.

Have the water boiling hard. Lower the tomatoes into the boiling
water. This is called scalding the tomatoes. We scald the tomatoes to
loosen the skin. If the tomatoes are very ripe, one minute scalding
will be sufficient. The average length of time for tomatoes, just
perfect for canning, is one and a half minutes. Do not leave the
tomatoes in the hot water until the skins break, as this gives them a
fuzzy appearance.

The scalding kettle always should be covered, to keep in all the heat
possible. Begin to time from the minute the product is immersed in the
boiling water. If you wait until the water comes back to a boil, you
will scald the product too long and have mushy tomatoes.

Lift the tomatoes out of the hot water and plunge them immediately
into cold water, or hold them under the cold-water faucet. The
cold-dip makes them easier to handle, separates the skin from the
pulp, firms the texture, and coagulates the coloring matter so it
stays near the surface, giving them a rich, red color. Then the shock
due to the sudden change from hot to cold and back to hot again seems
to help kill the spores. Do not let the product stand in the cold-dip.
The water becomes lukewarm, softens the product and allows bacteria to
develop.

Take the tomato in the left hand and with a sharp knife cut out the
core. Be careful not to cut into the fleshy portion or seed cells, for
this will scatter the seeds and pulp through the liquid, injuring the
appearance of the product. Cut out the core before removing the skin,
for the skin will protect the pulp and there will be less danger of
breaking the tomato. If the tomatoes are ripe and have been scalded
properly, the skin can be slipped off with the fingers.

The jars, rubbers and tops should be ready. Glass jars should be hot,
so there will be no danger of breakage in setting them in the hot
water, and so they will not cool the water in the cooker below the
boiling point.

Pack the tomatoes whole, pressing and shaking them well down together,
but not using force enough to crush them.

Now we come to a point where tomatoes are different from most
vegetables. Beans, carrots, peas, and so on, have hot water added to
them. But as a large part of the tomato is water, no more is needed.
Another exception where no water is needed is with the "greens
family." So with tomatoes we add no water, but add one teaspoonful of
salt and one teaspoonful of sugar, just for seasoning, to every quart
jar. I think that tomatoes always are improved by the addition of a
little sugar, but this is not necessary and can be omitted, as also
can be the salt.

The salt in canning does not act as a preservative, but as seasoning;
so if for any reason you forget the salt, do not be alarmed. Your
products will keep perfectly without the salt.


THE WAY TO SEAL

The products are in the hot jars now. The jars do not need to be full
in order to keep. If you were canning by the "open-kettle" method, the
air in the partly filled jar would not have been sterilized, and might
contain the bacteria which cause the product to ferment or mold. But
by the cold pack, the air in the can is sterilized while the product
is being sterilized; and if the can is closed immediately after
cooking, a single spoonful may be canned in a two-quart jar and the
product will keep indefinitely.

Place Rubber and Cover on Jar. Fit the rubber. Use good rubbers and
see that they lie flat and fit close up to the can. Put the covers in
place.

Do Not Seal Glass Jars Tight. If using screw-top jars screw each
cover down until it catches, then turn a quarter of a round back; or
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.

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

The cover on a glass jar must not be tight while processing, 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.

When canning in tin we cap and tip the cans at once. The tin will
bulge out, but is strong enough to withstand the pressure, and when
the contents cool the can will come back into shape.

The jars are now ready for the canner. Tomatoes sterilized under
boiling water require twenty-two minutes; in condensed-steam cooker,
twenty-two minutes; in water-seal, eighteen minutes; in
steam-pressure, with five pounds, fifteen minutes, and in the pressure
cooker, at ten or fifteen pounds, ten minutes.

If you use the homemade outfit or any water-bath outfit be sure the
water is boiling when the jars of tomatoes are lowered into the
canner. Time lost in bringing the contents to the point of
sterilization softens the tomatoes and results in inferior goods. Use
the ordinary good sense with which you have been endowed in handling
the jars and you will have no breakage. At the end of the sterilizing
period, remove the jars.

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

Examine rubbers to see that they are in place. Sometimes, if the
covers are 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 to test the joint and 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 jar is cold.

Do not invert vacuum-seal jars. These should be allowed to cool and
then tested by removing the spring or clamp and lifting the jars by
the cover only. Lift the jar only a half 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 ruler. An imperfect seal will cause a hollow sound.

Tomato Purée. Small, misshapen, unevenly ripened tomatoes may be
converted into tomato _purée_. The tomatoes should be washed, run
through a colander to remove skins and cores, concentrated by cooking
to about half the original volume, and packed in the jars. Rubbers and
tops should then be placed in position and the product sterilized for
the same length of time as for canned tomatoes. _Purée_ even may be
kept in bottles sealed with sterilized corks and dipped several times
in paraffin.


HOW OTHER VEGETABLES ARE CANNED

All other vegetables are canned exactly like tomatoes, with two
exceptions. Tomatoes are scalded. All other vegetables are blanched.
We scald tomatoes to loosen the skins and to start the flow of the
coloring matter, which is later arrested or coagulated by the
cold-dip.

Blanching is scalding, only for a longer time. Scalding is never for
more than two minutes. Blanching covers from three to thirty minutes.

We blanch beans, peas, corn, cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, and so
on, for three to ten minutes. We blanch these vegetables to eliminate
any objectionable acids or bitter flavors which may be present, and
thus improve the flavor; to reduce the bulk so we can pack closer; to
start the flow of the coloring matter; to improve the texture of the
vegetables by making them more tender, and to improve the appearance
by helping to make clear the liquid in the jar. Blanching is what
makes for success in the cold-pack method of canning. Blanching is
_very_ important and must be carefully and accurately done.

Let me repeat about blanching: Have the kettle of blanching water
_boiling vigorously, completely immerse_ the product in the boiling
water, cover the kettle _immediately_ and begin to time the product.
Do not stand with the cover in hand and wait for the water to come
back to the boil, for, of course, it stopped boiling for a second when
you lowered into it the cold product. If you cover the kettle the
water will quickly reboil. Do not keep wondering if it is boiling and
take off the cover to see. All these may seem foolish precautions, but
it is necessary to follow directions accurately.

And remember, all things that are scalded or blanched must be followed
immediately by a cold plunge or "cold-dip." The scalding or blanching
is the "hot-dip," and this must be followed by the "cold-dip." You may
be asking, what is the point of this "cold-dip"? It is a very logical
question.

We "cold-dip" a product to harden the pulp under the skin and thus
permit the removal of the skin without injury to the pulp; to
coagulate the coloring matter and make it harder to dissolve during
the sterilization period and to make it easier to handle the products


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Online LibraryGrace Viall GrayEvery Step in Canning → online text (page 3 of 17)