some are blanched or scalded and cold-dipped, while others are not. They
are then packed into jars and boiling sirup is poured over them. Then
the rubbers are adjusted, the covers placed on, but not made tight, and
the jars are placed under water in the water bath or on the racks in the
pressure cooker, which should contain a small amount of water, as has
been explained. After cooking the required length of time, the jars of
fruit are removed from the cooking utensil, sealed, and allowed to cool.
The sirup used in the cold-pack canning method may be heavier in each
case than that mentioned for the open-kettle method, because there is no
evaporation, as is the case where fruits are boiled in the sirup before
they are placed in the cans, but less will be required if the packing is
GROUP 1 - SOFT FRUITS
86. SWEET SOFT FRUITS. - The sweet fruits included in Group 1
- blackberries, huckleberries, elderberries, ripe gooseberries,
mulberries, raspberries, and sweet cherries-may be canned in exactly the
same way, so that the same general directions will apply to all. Prepare
the different kinds of berries, which should be as fresh as possible, by
looking them over carefully and removing the poor ones, and then
washing them. To wash them, pour them into a colander and dip it up and
down in a large pan of clean, cold water. The less handling such fruits
receive, the more perfect will they remain for canning. Prepare sweet
cherries, which should be procured with the stems on if possible, by
first washing them and then stemming them. They may be pitted, or
seeded, or they may be left whole, depending on personal preference.
Cherries that are not pitted will keep their shape and have a good
appearance, but they are not so convenient for eating as those which
have been pitted.
87. After the fruit has been prepared in the manner just explained, pack
it closely into the hot, clean jars, using a spoon for this purpose and
turning each jar as the fruit is poured into it. Press the berries or
the cherries down carefully, so that 2 quarts of them will fill a
1-quart jar. Then proceed to make the sirup. As these fruits are the
sweetest, they require less sugar than any other. If such fruit after it
is canned is to be used for pie making, sirup No. 1 or 2 will be
suitable, but if it is to be used for sauce, No. 3 sirup may be used.
When the mixed sugar and water is boiling rapidly, pour it over the
fruit packed into the jars. Then place the rubbers, adjust the jar tops,
and proceed to sterilize and cook the cans of fruit. Boil these in the
water bath for 15 minutes, or cook them in the pressure cooker for 8
minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 4 minutes at a pressure of
88. SOUR SOFT FRUITS. - Of the sour fruits, STRAWBERRIES, GRAPES, and
CURRANTS require about the same quantity of sugar, that contained in
sirup No. 3, 4, or 5 usually being sufficient. Otherwise, the canning
process, including the length of time for processing, does not differ
materially from that just given for sweet soft fruits.
In the case of strawberries, those which are of medium size and rather
dark in color are best for canning; in fact, very large, light-colored
strawberries will shrink more than any other kind. The berries are
washed in the same way as other berries, but they should not be allowed
to stand in water for any length of time, because this will tend to make
them soft and mushy. Strawberries must be stemmed after they are washed,
and for this purpose a strawberry huller should be utilized. Such a
device, which is shown in Fig. 1, permits the stems to be removed
without crushing the berries and soiling the fingers.
In preparing currants for canning, the procedure is the same as for the
fruits already mentioned; and the same thing is true of grapes that are
not to be seeded. If the seeds are to be removed, however, the procedure
up to getting the cans of fruit ready for processing is different, as is
here pointed out. After washing the grapes, squeeze the pulp from the
skins and then cook it in a kettle for a sufficient length of time to
make it soft. Remove the seeds by forcing the pulp through a sieve. Then
add as much sugar as would be used for making the required sirup, and
cook until the sugar is dissolved. With this done, add the sweetened,
seedless pulp to the grape skins and fill the jars with this mixture.
Then continue the canning process as for the other fruits of this group.
89. The procedure in canning APRICOTS and PEACHES, the other two sour
soft fruits, differs slightly from that required for strawberries,
grapes, and currants. So that the skins of both of these fruits may be
easily removed, they must be scalded, which is an operation that
corresponds to blanching in vegetable canning.
For canning purposes, only firm, fresh apricots and peaches that are not
overripe should be selected. Also, in the case of peaches, care should
be taken to see that they are of the _freestone_ variety, as such
peaches may be split easily. _Clingstone peaches_ should not be chosen
unless the fruit is to be canned whole or unless an implement for
removing the seeds, or stones like that shown in Fig. 2, is at hand.
Proceed with the canning of either apricots or peaches by first scalding
them. To do this, put the fruit in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes,
depending on its ripeness. Next, cold-dip it quickly, remove the skins,
and, if desired, cut each one in half and remove the seed, or stone.
When thus prepared, pack the fruit into hot jars as tightly as possible,
pour sirup No. 3, 4, or 5 over them, filling each jar, adjust the rubber
and jar top, and proceed as directed for the cold-pack method. In the
water bath, boil the cans of fruit for 15 minutes; in the pressure
cooker, cook them for 10 minutes at a 5-pound pressure or for 6 minutes
at a 10-pound pressure.
90. VERY SOUR SOFT FRUITS. - Some of the fruits of the third subdivision
of Group 1, namely, SOUR CHERRIES, CRANBERRIES, and GREEN GOOSEBERRIES,
may be prepared and canned in the same way as those included in the
first subdivision. The cherries may be left whole or they may be seeded,
as preferred, and all the fruit must, of course, be fresh. For these
very sour fruits, sirups Nos. 4, 5, and 6 are required, and the
processing time is 15 minutes in the water bath and 10 minutes at a
5-pound pressure or 5 minutes at a 10-pound pressure in the
91. PLUMS for canning should be fresh and firm, but not overripe. This
fruit may be canned with the skins on, but some varieties permit the
skins to be removed after scalding, and this may be done if desired.
Prepare the plums for canning by washing them, and, if the skins are to
be left on, by piercing each one in several places with a fork to
prevent the skins from cracking. Then scald the plums for about 1-1/2
minutes, cold-dip them quickly, and pack them closely into the hot jars.
Pour sirup No. 4, 5, or 6 over the fruit in the jars, using sirup No. 6
if they are very sour, adjust the rubbers and the covers, and proceed
according to the canning method selected. In the water bath, cook for 15
minutes; in the pressure cooker, cook for 10 minutes at a pressure of 5
pounds or for 6 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
92. RHUBARB for canning should be selected when it is most tender. The
variety having red stems is the most attractive after it is canned. Only
the heavy stems, which should be cut from the leaves, may be canned. Cut
these stems into inch lengths, blanch them 1 to 3 minutes in boiling
water, and cold-dip them quickly. Then pack these pieces into the jars.
If the rhubarb is being canned for sauce, fill each jar with sirup No. 5
or 6; if it is being canned for pie, use sirup No. 1, 2, or 3. Next,
adjust the rubbers and covers and proceed with the processing. In the
water bath, cook for 15 minutes; in the pressure cooker, cook for 10
minutes at a 5-pound pressure or for 6 minutes at a 10-pound pressure.
GROUP 2 - HARD FRUITS
93. APPLES. - The canning of apples should be done when there is a large
supply of summer apples that cannot be stored for winter use or used at
once. Canning is also a good means of utilizing windfall apples. This
fruit may be canned in quarters for sauce, in slices for pie, or in any
other desirable shape or condition.
After apples for canning are selected, wash them, scald, or blanch, them
for 1 to 5 minutes in boiling water, and cold-dip them quickly. Next,
peel and core them, and cut each one into pieces of any desirable size.
As these pieces are cut, drop them into salt water - 1 teaspoonful of
salt to each quart of water - to prevent them from discoloring. Then pack
the fruit into the jars and fill the jars with boiling sirup. If the
apples are intended for pie, use sirup No. 1, 2, or 3; if they are for
sauce, use sirup No. 3, 4, or 5. When the jars are filled, adjust the
rubbers and covers and proceed with the processing. If the pieces are
large, cook them in the water bath for 20 minutes; if they are medium in
size, cook them for 15 minutes; and if they are in the form of slices,
cook them for 10 minutes. If they are to be processed in the pressure
cooker, cook them for 8 to 12 minutes at a pressure of 5 pounds or for 6
to 8 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
If the apples to be canned are first baked or made into a sauce, simply
pack them into jars and process them for a few minutes.
94. QUINCES. - Quinces may be canned alone, but they may be combined with
apples to good advantage. If canned alone, they may require a heavier
sirup than if apples are used with them. Prepare the quinces in the same
way as apples. If apples are to be canned with them, cut the pieces of
apples twice the size of the pieces of quinces. This should be done
because more time is required for cooking the quinces soft. After
packing the jars and pouring in the sirup, proceed with the processing.
If quinces alone are in the jars, cook them in the water bath for 30
minutes; but if quinces and apples are combined, cook them for 20
minutes. In the pressure cooker, cook the jars of fruit for 12 to 15
minutes at a 5-pound pressure or for 10 to 12 minutes at a
95. PEARS. - Pears for canning should be firm, but not hard. After
sorting and washing them, blanch them for 1 to 3 minutes and cold-dip
them quickly. Then pare, halve, and core them. Pack them immediately
into the jars and pour sirup No. 3 or 4 over them. Next, adjust the
rubbers and covers and proceed with the processing. In the water bath,
cook them for 20 minutes; in the pressure cooker, cook them for 8
minutes at a 5-pound pressure or 6 minutes at a 10-pound pressure.
GROUP 3 - SPECIAL FRUITS
96. FIGS. - Although figs are not a common fruit, there are parts of this
country, particularly on the western coast, in which they are abundant.
For canning, ripe figs should be selected. To prepare them, blanch them
for 2 minutes in boiling water and cold-dip them. Then pack them into
the jars and fill the jars by pouring sirup No. 4, 5, or 6 over the
figs. Proceed with the remainder of the process as in canning peaches.
97. KUMQUATS AND LOQUATS. - Kumquats and loquats are small acid fruits
resembling oranges in color and plums in size and shape. Such fruits are
not very common, but they may be obtained in some markets. To can either
of these fruits, wash them, blanch for 5 minutes, cold-dip, pack into
jars, and fill the jars with sirup No. 5 or 6. In the water bath, cook
them for 15 minutes. In the pressure cooker, cook them for 10 minutes at
a 5-pound pressure or for 5 minutes at a 10-pound pressure.
98. NECTARINES. - Nectarines are a smooth-skinned variety of peach. Ripe
nectarines may be canned in the same way as peaches, but they do not
require so much sugar, sirup No. 2 or 3 usually being about right.
99. PERSIMMONS. - Persimmons are a seedy, plum-like fruit common to the
southern and southwestern parts of the United States. This fruit is very
astringent when unripe, but is sweet and delicious when ripe or touched
by frost. Well-frosted persimmons should be selected for canning. Blanch
them so that the skin may be removed easily and cold-dip them quickly.
Then peel them and pack them into hot jars. Fill the jars with sirup No.
6 and process them in the same way as peaches.
100. PINEAPPLES. - Pineapples are better known than any of the other
special fruits. For canning, those ripe enough to permit the center
leaves to pull out easily should be selected; also, they should be free
from soft or rotten spots, which are most likely to appear first near
the bottom. Pineapples are graded in size by the number that may be
packed in a case. These sizes are 24, 30, 36, and 42, size 24 being the
largest and size 42 the smallest. Sizes 30 and 36 are best for canning.
In canning pineapples, first place each in boiling water for 10 minutes
and dip it quickly into cold water. Then prepare it for the cans. This
may be done by removing the peeling with a sharp knife, digging out the
eyes, and then slicing or dicing; by slicing first and then peeling and
taking out the eyes; or by peeling, taking out the eyes, and then
shredding it with the aid of a fork. When it is prepared, pack the fruit
into the jars, fill each jar with sirup No. 4 or 5, adjust the rubbers
and covers, and proceed to process it. In the water bath, cook for 30
minutes; in the pressure cooker, cook for 12 minutes at a pressure of 5
pounds or for 10 minutes at a pressure of 10 pounds.
CANNING MEAT AND FISH
101. Both fish and meat, including that from fowl and game, may be
canned at times that seem convenient and then used when an emergency
arises or at a time when the same food will cost more to prepare. Fowl,
game, and fish may be canned to special advantage during the season when
each is plentiful. The best process for canning such foods is the
one-period cold-pack method.
102. MEAT. - In canning meat, whether from domestic animals, fowl, or
game, first cut it into pieces of a size that would be suitable for
serving at the table. The meat may be left raw or it may be prepared by
any desirable cooking process, such as frying, fricasseeing, braizing,
etc. Careful attention must be given to the drawing of fowl that is to
be canned, because the entire alimentary tract should be removed without
being broken. The giblets should not be canned with the rest of the
meat, as they will not keep so well. Whether the meat is to be canned
raw or cooked, pack the jars as tightly as possible. If the meat is raw,
add 1 teaspoonful of salt to each quart of food and fill the jars
three-fourths full with boiling water. In case the jar is filled to the
top, fat will rise and injure the rubber. If the meat is cooked, add any
liquid that may have resulted from the cooking, as well as boiling
water, provided more liquid is needed. Then, as in canning vegetables
and fruit, adjust the rubbers and covers and proceed with the
processing. In the case of raw meat, sterilize for 3 hours in the water
bath, or for 1-1/2 hours at a 10-pound pressure in the pressure cooker.
In the case of cooked meat, sterilize for 1-1/2 hours in the water bath,
or for 30 minutes at a 10-pound pressure in the pressure cooker.
103. FISH. - To prepare fish for canning, first clean it by scaling it
and removing the entrails. Wrap the cleaned fish in cheesecloth and
steam for 15 minutes. After steaming, remove the bones, which will come
out easily, and cut the fish into pieces. Pack the pieces into the jars,
and to each quart of the food add 1 teaspoonful of salt. Next, fill each
jar three-fourths full with boiling water and continue with the canning
in the manner directed for meat.
STORING AND SERVING CANNED FOODS
104. After jars of canned food have been cooled and tested for leaks,
carefully wiped with a damp cloth, and then wrapped and labeled, they
are ready to be placed in storage. Such food should be stored in an
orderly manner on shelves that may be covered to keep off dust, or in a
large cupboard provided with doors that may be closed. The temperature
of the room in which the canned foods are kept is of no great
importance, but, in homes provided with cellars, the cellar is the
logical place in which to store them.
Canned foods, no matter how well the canning may have been done, undergo
gradual deterioration. Therefore, those kept for more than a year, will
not be so good as those used during the first year after canning. If
canned foods from a previous year are at hand when new cans are ready to
be stored, the old ones should be placed to the front of the shelves and
the new ones to the back, so that the old ones will be used up first.
105. Canned foods take the place of raw foods, and whether they should
be cooked or not depends on the kind. In the case of vegetables, most of
them may be made ready to serve simply by heating them, although they
may be used in the preparation of many dishes, as is evident from the
recipes throughout the lessons. In the case of fruits, some may be
served just as they come from the can; however, there are many ways of
using canned fruits in the making of desserts, as is pointed out in
_Fruit and Fruit Desserts_. In the case of meats and fish, the food, if
cooked before canning, may be prepared for serving simply by heating it;
whereas, if it is canned raw, some cookery method for meat will have to
When foods are boiled, one reason for a change in taste is that oxygen
is driven off by the boiling. Therefore, to improve the taste of canned
foods that are to be served without any further preparation, it is
advisable, when a jar is opened, to pour the contents into an open dish
and thus expose it to the air.
In opening jars of canned fruit, care must be taken not to crack or nick
either the top of the jar or its cover. The cover of any kind of jar
will come off easily if a little air is admitted. Insert a knife blade
between the cover and jar rubber of a glass-covered jar, but do not use
a knife to loosen a metal top, as it may bend the edge in places. Hot
water poured over the jar will assist in opening it.
SCORING CANNED FOODS
106. In order that the housewife may judge the quality of her own canned
products according to standards that have been set by canning
authorities, a score card, together with an explanation of the terms and
the procedure, is here given. The beginner in canning will do well to
score her own foods, so that any fault that may be found can be
corrected when similar foods are canned at another time. In fact, the
chief purpose of scoring any product is to learn of faults that may be
corrected. The scoring should be done as impartially as if a
disinterested person were doing it, and if the cause of any trouble is
not readily apparent, pains should be taken to find it out.
SCORE CARD PER CENT.
General appearance 10
Method of sealing 10
Proportion of food to liquid 10
Texture of food 20
107. As a rule, scoring, or judging, is done at the time the canned food
is to be opened and used.
The _general appearance_ is judged before the jar is opened. If a jar of
food is well and symmetrically packed and has clear liquid and a good
color, it should receive a perfect score of 10.
The _method of sealing_ must also be judged before the can is opened. A
properly filled jar with the rubber and cover in good condition and
tightly sealed should receive a perfect score of 10.
The _proportion of food to liquid_ should score 10. The jars should be
as full of uncrushed food as possible, and the liquid that has been
added should fill all crevices to the very edge of the jar.
The _flavor_ is judged after the can is opened, and if it is perfect, it
is entitled to a score of 35. The flavor of canned fruit is injured by
any kind of spoiling, such as molding, fermentation, etc. Fruits canned
in good condition should retain the characteristic flavor of the fresh
fruits; also, they should contain sufficient sugar to be agreeably
sweet, but no more. Canned vegetables should retain their characteristic
flavors, with no sour, musty, nor disagreeable taste, and be slightly
salty. Canned meats and fish should also possess their characteristic
The _texture of food_ is entitled to a score of 20 if it is perfect.
The canned food should be whole; that is, in the original pieces as they
were put into the can. Underripe fruit or insufficiently cooked fruit or
vegetables do not have the proper texture; neither do overripe or
The _color_ of canned food merits a score of 15 if it is right. Fruits
and vegetables should have retained their natural color. Fading after
canning may be prevented by wrapping the cans, as has been explained.
* * * * *
PRINCIPLES OF DRYING
108. DRYING consists in removing the moisture contained in foods by
evaporation and thus rendering them less susceptible to the attacks of
undesirable bacteria. _Dried foods_, as foods so treated are called,
will not replace fresh or canned foods. However, they are valuable in
many cases and possess some advantages over such foods. For example, the
weight of dried foods is very greatly reduced, the storage space
required by them is much less, and they are easy to keep without
spoiling and easy to transport. Likewise, the containers for such foods
are less costly than those required for canned foods and they are easily
procured, since paper boxes or paper bags are satisfactory. In fact, the
housewife, by taking care of the bags and boxes that come into the home,
can easily provide all the containers she will possibly need at
practically no cost.
109. The water in food that is to be dried may be evaporated by applying
heat, by bringing the food in contact with moving air, or by subjecting
it to a combination of both of these methods. The heat for drying may be
obtained from the sun, as in the _sun-drying method_, or from the stove,
as in the _stove-drying method_, while moving air for evaporating
moisture may be obtained from an electric fan, as in the _electric-fan
In the application of any of these drying methods, however, it is
important to note that the more surface of food there is exposed, the
more quickly will evaporation take place. Drying should therefore be
done on devices constructed in such a way that air may pass up through
food, as well as across its surface. In drying foods, the racks should
be turned frequently, so that all parts will be exposed equally to the
heat or the currents of air. Also, the food must be turned over often,
in order that all parts will dry evenly.
110. Any fruit or vegetable may be dried if the method is properly
applied, but there is usually more or less change in both the flavor and
the color of the dried food. The more rapidly the drying can be done,
the more natural will the color and flavor remain; whereas, the longer
the process is continued, the greater will be this change.
Foods should be dried when they are in such quantity that they cannot be
used to advantage in the raw state, when there is no market for them,
when the owner cannot afford to give them away, and when home canning
ceases to be practical and profitable. In other words, if it is not
practical to save foods in another way, they should be dried.
111. DEVICES FOR DRYING. - Many manufactured devices may be had for the
drying of foods. Some are made so that they may be placed on top of a
stove, like that shown in Fig. 23. This device is in the form of a metal
box. It has a tray for holding the food to be dried, and underneath this
is a space for holding water. Water is poured into this space through a
funnel in one corner, and heat for drying is supplied by heating the
water. Other devices are made so that they may be suspended over a
stove, put into a stove oven, or used out of doors. Still others have a
heating device placed inside of them. It is possible, however, to make
drying devices in the home that will answer the purpose just as well as
the devices that may be bought.
[Illustration: FIG. 23]
As has been stated, drying devices should be so made that the air may
pass up through the food and across its surface. A pan, a platter, or a
solid board, as will be readily seen, is not so good for drying as a
wooden frame of convenient size that has small slats or fine,