EVERY STEP IN CANNING
The Cold-Pack Method
GRACE VIALL GRAY, PH.B., ED.B
Formerly Associate Professor of Home Economics, Iowa State College
It was six years ago that I first heard of the One Period, Cold-Pack Method of canning. A little circular was put in my hand one day at a federated club meeting announcing the fact that in a few weeks there would be a cold-pack demonstration about fifty miles away. Immediately I announced that I was going to the demonstrations. So leaving my small daughter with my mother, I went to the Normal School at DeKalb, Illinois, and heard and saw for the first time cold-pack canning.
It is sufficient to say that those three days were so crowded full of interest and new messages on the gospel of canning that I felt amply repaid for going fifty miles. As a result of that trip, the first story ever published on cold-pack canning appeared in The Country Gentleman and I had the pleasure of writing it. So enthused was I over this new, efficient and easy way to can not only fruits but hard vegetables, such as peas, corn and beans, that I wanted to carry the good news into the kitchen of other busy housewives and mothers.
My mother had insisted that I take with me my younger sister, just from college, but with no domestic science tendencies. So, much against her wishes, preferring rather to do some settlement work, my sister went with me. The canning was so interesting that for the first time in her life, my sister became enthusiastic over one phase of cooking. My mother was so pleased at this zeal that when she received my sister's letter written from DeKalb, saying, "Mother, I am enthused about this canning and want to can everything in sight this summer," she hastily washed all available glass jars and tops and had everything in readiness for young daughter's return. And we canned. We were not content to can alone but invited all the neighbors in and taught them how to can. Our community canned more things and more unusual things, including the hard vegetables, that year than they had ever attempted before.
Do not think for one minute it was all easy sailing, for there were doubting Thomases, but it only took time and results to convert even the most skeptical ones. And here I must make a confession. It was much easier for my sister, unversed in any phase of canning, to master this new method than it was for me with my four years' training course and my five years of teaching canning behind me. And this is the reason. She had nothing to "unlearn," she knew no other method whereas I had to "unlearn" all my previous methods.
The one period, cold-pack method is so entirely different from the old hot pack or open kettle method that to be successful you must forget all you ever knew and be willing to be taught anew. And right here is where many women "fall down"—they are not willing to admit that they know nothing about it and so do not get accurate information about it. They are so afraid of appearing ignorant. This false feeling is the greatest obstacle in woman's way.
I still go into small towns on my lecture trips and women will say, "Oh, that cold-pack canning isn't new to me. I have used it for thirty years." And when I show my surprise, they further enlighten me with, "and my mother used it before me, too." With a little tactful questioning I usually get these answers: "Of course, I do not hot dip and cold dip. I never heard of that before. I pack the products into the cold jars and for all vegetables I use a preserving powder because there is no way on earth to keep corn and peas and such things unless you put something into them to keep them. Fruit will keep all right. Then I cook them in my wash boiler until they are done." And when I ask, "How do you know when they are done," I invariably get the answer, "Oh, I take out a jar once in a while and try it." It seems like such a hopeless task to change all these old-fashioned, out-of-date methods of cooking but with a great amount of patience and much actual canning it can usually be done. Not always, of course, for there are some women who seem to delight in sticking to the old rather than try the new.
The present book is therefore designed for all interested in greater efficiency in the home, including not only students of home economics but all persons who have charge of homes and are interested in learning new, efficient, time and labor saving methods.
In the preparation of this book I have received much help from Mr. O.H. Benson, Agriculturist in charge of the government Boys' and Girls' Club Work, and my first instructor in Cold-Pack Canning. I also wish to acknowledge my appreciation to those who have helped to make this book possible by contributing information, advice and encouragement.
GRACE VIALL GRAY.
I. GETTING READY TO CAN
II. SOFT FRUITS AND BERRIES
III. HARD FRUITS
VI. JELLIES, JAMS, PRESERVES, MARMALADES, FRUIT JUICES AND SIRUPS
IX. EASY METHODS OF CANNING IN TIN
X. INTERMITTENT CANNING OR FRACTIONAL STERILIZATION
XI. WHY CANNED GOODS SPOIL
XI. I GETTING READY TO DRY
XIII. HOW TO DRY FRUITS
XIV. HOW TO DRY VEGETABLES
XV. EVERY STEP IN BRINING
XVI. CURING, SMOKING AND PRESERVING MEAT
XVII. PRESERVED OR "CANNED" EGGS
XVIII. HOME STORAGE OF VEGETABLES
XIX. HOW TO MARKET HOME CANNED PRODUCE
EVERY STEP IN CANNING
GETTING READY TO CAN
Before the World War, housewives had lost the good habit of canning, preserving and pickling. It was easier to buy California fruits by the case and canned vegetables by the dozen or half dozen cans, according to the size of the family. There is no doubt it was cheaper and decidedly easier to purchase canned fruits, vegetables, greens, soups and meats than to take time and strength in the very hottest season of the year to do our own canning.
But what was true then is not true now. The war taught us thrift. The crime of wasting even a few tomatoes or berries has sunk into our minds to stay forever; scientific canning methods have been adopted by the modern woman. Women who had never canned in days before the war had to can during war days. Food was so scarce and so high in price that to buy fancy or even plain canned products was a severe strain on the average housewife's purse. The American woman, as was to be expected, came quickly and eagerly to the front with the solution and the slogan: "More gardens and more canning and preserving at home."
A great garden and canning movement swept the whole country. As I have just said, women who had never canned before became vitally interested in putting up not merely a few jars of this and that, but jars upon jars of canned fruits, vegetables and greens; and so great was their delight in the finished products that again and again I heard them say: "Never again shall we depend upon the grocery to supply us with canned goods."
If these women had been obliged to use the same methods that their grandmothers used before them, they would have canned just the same, because it was their patriotic duty to do so; but they would have canned without the enthusiasm and zeal that was so apparent during the summers of 1917 and 1918. This enthusiasm was a result of new canning methods, methods unknown to our grandmothers. The women of to-day were forced into a new field and learned how satisfying and well worth while the results were. It is safe to guarantee that every home-canning recruit will become a home-canning veteran.
The fascination of doing one's own canning after one has learned how simple and economical it is will be lasting. No one need fear that home canning is going to suffer because the war ended the immediate necessity for it. Home canning has come into its own because of the war, and it has come to stay because of its many merits.
There are four methods of canning that are employed by women all over the United States. They are the "open-kettle," the "intermittent," the "cold-water" and the "cold-pack" methods.
DRAWBACKS OF THE OLD METHODS
The "open-kettle," or "hot-pack," method is the oldest. It was largely used in the pre-war days. The food is completely cooked in the preserving kettle, and is then packed into hot, sterilized jars, after which the jars are sealed. As the packing into the jar is done after the sterilization has been completed, there is always a possibility of bacteria and spores entering the jar with the cooked food and the air. Fruits can be handled successfully in this way, but this method cannot be used for vegetables, greens and meats. It is a very laborious, hot and hard way to can. Modern housewives are discarding it more and more every year and are beginning to place their trust in the newer and far more scientific methods of canning.
The "intermittent," or fractional sterilization, method is still beloved by some people who cling to the sure and hate to venture into the new. Vegetables can be handled by this method as can all fruits and meats. It is used rather extensively in the South, where they say the conditions do not favor "cold-pack." The great objection to this method of canning is that it requires three periods of sterilization on three different days and three liftings of jars in and out of the sterilizer.
What is sometimes called the "cold-water" method of canning should not be confused with the "cold-pack" method. The "cold-water" is often used in connection with the canning of rhubarb, green gooseberries and a comparatively few other sour berry fruits. If the "cold-water" method is used we would suggest that the product be thoroughly washed, placed in a strainer, scalding water poured over it, and the product then packed at once, in practically a fresh state, in the jars, and clean, cold water applied until the jars are filled. If these steps are taken carefully and quickly the method in most cases will be successful with such acid products as I mentioned. As the products will have to be cooked before they can be used many housewives do not consider it any saving of time or labor to follow this method.
THE COLD-PACK METHOD
The method of to-day that came into its own during the war is known as the "cold-pack" method of canning. It fought a long fight to prove that it was a very efficient, economical and satisfactory process for busy housewives to can everything that grows.
This is the method that I shall mostly refer to in this book, and if I should omit the phrase "cold-pack" you will know that I am referring to it. "Cold-pack" simply means that the products are packed cold in their fresh and natural state in the glass jars or containers. To the fruits hot sirup is applied; to the vegetables hot water and a little salt are added. The sterilization is done in the glass jars or tin containers after they are partly or entirely sealed, making it practically impossible for bacteria or spores to enter after the product has once been carefully sterilized or cooked. In following this method vegetables should first be blanched in boiling water or live steam, then quickly plunged into cold water and the skins removed. The products are then packed in containers and sterilized according to the instructions and recipes given later.
When we use the term sterilizing we simply mean cooking the product for a certain period of time after the jar has been filled with food. It is sometimes called processing. Sterilizing, processing, boiling and cooking are all interchangeable terms and mean one and the same thing.
By this "cold-pack," or cold-fill, method of canning, all food products, including fruits, vegetables and meats, can be successfully sterilized in a single period with but one handling of the product in and out of the canner.
All the flavor is retained, the product is not cooked to a mushy pulp, and the labor and time needed for the canning are less than in any other method. The housewife's canning enemy, mold, is eliminated and all bacteria and bacterial spores which cause vegetables and meat to spoil are destroyed.
EXPENSIVE OUTFITS NOT ESSENTIAL
For this "cold-pack" method you can use whatever equipment you have in the kitchen. Complicated equipment is not essential. Many of us have purchased commercial outfits, for we know we can turn out more at the end of a day and have found it well worth while to invest a few dollars in equipment that enabled us to be more efficient. But if you are a beginner and do not care to put any money in an unknown venture use the available things at hand, just to prove to yourself and others that it can be done.
Every type of glass jar manufactured can be used except those which are sealed with wax. So dig into your storerooms, attics and basements and bring forth all your old jars. If a top is in good condition and will make a perfect seal when adjusted with a good rubber you can use that jar.
If the tops cannot be restored to good condition it is poor economy to use them. Imperfectly sealed jars are probably responsible for more spoiled canned goods than any other cause. Good tops and good rubbers are requisites for good canning.
For your canner, or sterilizer, you may use a wash boiler or a galvanized bucket, such as is used for a garbage pail—a new one, of course. Either is excellent where the family is small and the canning is accordingly light. Some use the reservoir of the cookstove while others employ a large vat. If you should have to buy the wash boiler or pail see that it has a tight-fitting cover and be sure the pail does not leak. Then all you have to do is to secure what we call a false bottom, something that will keep the jars of fruit from touching the direct bottom of the boiler or pail. This false bottom, remember, is absolutely necessary, for without it the jars will break during the boiling.
For this false bottom use a wire netting of half-inch mesh and cut it to fit the bottom of the sterilizer, whether boiler, pail or bucket. If you haven't any netting and do not care to purchase it a wooden bottom can be made to fit the sterilizer, or if that is not available put thin pieces of wood in the bottom—anything to keep the jars from coming in direct contact with the bottom of the sterilizer.
If you have only a small quantity of berries or fruit to can use a deep saucepan with a tight-fitting cover and a few slats of wood. This rack is absolutely necessary to keep the contents of the jars from becoming overheated. Even if they should not break there is a tendency for part of the contents to escape under the cover and be lost. Do not use hay, old clothes, newspapers or excelsior for a false bottom; they are unsatisfactory because they do not allow proper circulation of water.
Individual jar holders are very convenient and are preferred by many women to the racks. Inexpensive racks with handles are on the market and are worth what they cost in saved nerves and unburned fingers. Some hold eight jars, others hold twelve. So it just lies with you, individual housekeeper, whether you want a rack that will hold all your jars or a set of individual holders that handles them separately.
To return to the subject of the canner, let me add that no matter what kind you use, it must be at least three inches deeper than the tallest jar. This will give room for the rack and an extra inch or two so that the water will not boil over.
Besides the canners, the jars, the rubber rings and the rack you will need one kettle for boiling water, into which the product may be put for scalding or blanching; another kettle for water—if you haven't running water—for the "cold dip."
If you use a homemade rack without handles you should have a jar lifter of some kind for placing in and removing jars from the canner. If individual holders are used this is not necessary, as they contain an upright bail. Some women use a wire potato masher for lifting the jars out of the canners. Other kitchen equipment, such as scales, knives, spoons, wire basket or a piece of cheesecloth or muslin for blanching or scalding the product, and the kitchen clock play their part in canning.
No canning powder or any preservative is needed. If the product is cooked in closed jars in the hot-water bath as directed the food will be sterilized so that it will keep indefinitely. If it is desired to add salt, sugar, sirup, vinegar or other flavor this may be done when the product is packed in the jar.
A great many people have been led to believe through advertising matter that it is both safe and practical to use canning compounds for the preserving of vegetables which have proved hard to keep under the commonly known methods of canning. The first argument against the use of a canning compound is that it is unnecessary. It is possible to sterilize any fruit or vegetable which grows on tree, vine, shrub or in the ground by this cold-pack, single-period method of canning, without the use of a compound. The second argument against it is that many of the canning compounds are positively harmful to health. Some of them contain as high as ninety-five per cent of boric acid. Directors of county and state fairs should exclude from entry all fruits and vegetables that have been preserved in any canning compound. Perfect fruit can be produced without any chemical preservative. The third argument is that they are expensive.
There are many modifications of the original wash boiler and garbage pail cookers. These are all known as the hot-water-bath outfits. In these outfits the products are all cooked in boiling water.
There are condensed-steam cookers under various names, where the product is cooked in condensed steam. These steamers are generally used for everyday cookery.
The water-seal outfit, the steam-pressure outfit and the aluminum pressure cooker follow in order of efficiency as regards the time required to sterilize food.
Following the hot-water canner in simplicity of construction and manipulation is the water-seal cooker. The temperature of the hot-water-seal outfit is a little higher than the homemade or hot-water-bath outfit; so time is saved in the sterilizing.
The steam-pressure and the pressure cookers are more complicated but more efficient. Some prefer the aluminum pressure cooker because it can be used for everyday cooking in the home.
Pressure cookers are expensive, but they are worth their price, as they are used daily and not just during the canning season.
Here are examples of how they rank as to time required: In a hot-water-bath outfit soft fruits must be sterilized sixteen minutes; in a steamer, sixteen minutes; in a water-seal outfit, twelve minutes; in a steam-pressure-outfit under five pounds of steam, ten minutes; in an aluminum pressure cooker outfit with ten pounds of steam, five minutes.
It takes longest to can with a homemade or hot-water-bath outfit; the shortest and quickest method is with the pressure cooker that has a pressure of ten pounds or more. Each housewife has different financial problems, different hours of working and different ways of working. Where quick work is desired and expense is no item the pressure cooker is advisable; where money is scarce and time is no object the homemade outfit answers. Each one must decide which outfit is best for her own particular case. It matters not which outfit you have—they have all been thoroughly tested and approved by experts. Each one does the work.
This equipment for canning should be in all kitchens: four-quart kettle for blanching; steamer for steaming greens; colander; quart measure; funnel; good rubber rings; sharp paring knives; jar opener; wire basket and a piece of cheesecloth one yard square for blanching; pineapple scissors; one large preserving spoon; one tablespoon; one teaspoon; one set of measuring spoons; measuring cup; jar lifter; either a rack for several jars or individual jar holders; and a clock.
The manufacturers, realizing that boys and girls must be kept busy during the vacation months, have made some wonderful devices for outdoor canning. Would it not be a good plan to buy one for the young people of your family and give them something definite and worth while to do in summer? You know little brains and hands must be kept busy—if not usefully employed they are often inclined to mischief. This type of cooker furnishes its own heat; so it can be used in the back yard, in the orchard or under the trees in the front yard.
Remember that the higher the altitude the lower the degree of heat required to boil water. Time-tables given in instructions for canning are usually based upon the requirements of an altitude of 500 feet above sea level. Generally speaking, for every 4000-foot increase in altitude it will be well to add twenty per cent to the time required as given in recipes or time schedules for the canning of all kinds of fruits, vegetables, greens and meats.
SOFT FRUITS AND BERRIES
Having decided on your canning outfit, whether you are going to can in boiling water, in a condensed steam cooker, or in steam under pressure; having gathered together the necessary tools, such as spoons, knives and a funnel; having raided the storeroom and collected some jars, you are now ready for the actual work of canning.
It is rather unfortunate that strawberries should be one of the very hardest products to can with good results. The canning itself is simple—all berries are quickly and easily canned—but strawberries always shrink, are apt to turn a little brown, and, what distresses us most of all, they float to the top of the jar.
The berry's tendency to shrink is responsible for loss of color as well as its floating qualities. However, if you will be exceedingly careful to remove the berries from the canner the minute the clock says the sterilizing period is over, you will have a fairly good product. Two minutes too long will produce a very dark, shrunken berry. So be careful of the cooking time. Another thing that makes a good-looking jar is to pack a quart of berries—all kinds of berries, not merely strawberries—into a pint jar. If you will get that many in you will have a much better-looking jar, with very little liquid at the bottom. It does not hurt the berries at all to gently press down on them with a silver spoon while you are packing them into the jar.
We know we are going to get a quart of berries into every pint jar, so we know just how many quarts of berries we will need to fill the necessary jars for the next winter's use.
The first thing to do is to test each jar to see that there are no cracks, no rough edges to cut the rubber, and to see whether the cover and clamp fit tightly, if a clamp type of jar is used. The bail that clamps down the glass tops should go down with a good spring. If it does not, remove the bail and bend it into shape by taking it in both hands and pressing down in the middle with both thumbs. Do not bend it too hard, for if it goes down with too much of a snap it will break the jar. This testing of the bails should be done every year. The bails on new jars are sometimes too tight, in which case remove the bail and spread it out. After the bail has been readjusted, test it again. The chances are it will be just right. Of course all this testing takes time, but it pays.
If you are using some old Mason jars put a rubber on each jar, fill the jar with hot water, and then put the cover on tight and invert. This is a sure test for leakage. Never use a Mason cap twice unless the cover and collar are separate so that both can be completely sterilized. Fortunately the old-fashioned Mason jar metal cover to which a porcelain cap is fastened is going out of style.
If you still have some of these old covers it will be economy to throw them away. You will be money ahead in the end. After these tops have been used once it is impossible to make a fastening between the porcelain and the metal so tight that it is not possible for the liquid to seep through and cause the contents to spoil. This accounts for many failures when old tops are used. For this reason never use the old-fashioned, zinc-topped covers.
The new and safe Mason jar covers consist of two parts, the metal collar and the porcelain cap. They are for sale at all grocery or 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 deg.F [C] IN CONDENSED STEAM OUTFIT [D] IN WATER-SEAL OUTFIT 214 deg.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 1/2 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 11/2 to 20 20 15 10 5 Use thin sirup and cut into halves 2 or smaller pieces PEARS Wash, pare or 11/2 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 11/2 12 12 8 6 4 Add boiling Remove skins and thin sirup white fiber or surface, then blanch LEMONS, WHOLE 11/2 12 12 8 6 4 Add boiling Remove skins and thin sirup white fiber or surface, then blanch GRAPEFRUIT, WHOLE 11/2 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.
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.
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 puree, 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 Puree. Small, misshapen, unevenly ripened tomatoes may be converted into tomato puree. 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. Puree 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 in packing, and to subject the product to a sudden shock by quick change in temperature.
STEPS IN CANNING VEGETABLES
If you will follow these steps for all vegetable canning you cannot help but be successful:
1. Clean jars and test rubbers. If rubbers do not return to normal shape after stretching, do not use.
2. Prepare material to be canned, according to directions given on chart.
3. Hot-dip—blanch or scald—the prepared food. This process consists of immersing the prepared product in boiling water for different lengths of time, according to the material to be canned. See chart. Hot-dipping shrinks the product and enables one to pack more material in a jar.
4. Cold-dip the material. This process consists of plunging the blanched or scalded food into cold water, which makes it more easily handled. Be sure the water is cold; the colder the better.
Take the product out immediately and let it drain. Don't let any food soak in the cold water.
From this point on, speed is highly important. The blanched vegetables which are slightly warm must not be allowed to remain out of the jars a moment longer than is necessary.
Remove skins when required, and as each article is pared cut it into pieces of proper size and
5. Pack directly into the clean, scalded cans or jars. Pack as solidly as possible, being careful not to bruise or mash soft products. Pack the product to within three-eighths of an inch of the top. Lima beans, navy beans, peas, corn, pumpkin and sweet potatoes swell, so pack them within only one inch of the top of the jar.
6. Add seasoning. One teaspoonful salt to every quart jar of vegetables, and an equal amount of sugar to tomatoes, corn and peas if desired.
7. Add boiling water to within a quarter inch of top to all vegetables, except tomatoes and greens. Tomatoes contain ninety-four per cent water, so none should be added. Tomato juice can be used if desired. Greens are canned in just the water that clings to the leaves after the cold-dip.
8. Adjust rubber rings and the covers of the jars; partially seal.
9. Sterilize—see time-table on pages following.
10. Remove from canner and completely seal. Test for leaks. Cool jars as rapidly as possible, without drafts striking them.
Rapid cooling of the product prevents overcooking, clarifies the liquid and preserves the shape and texture of the product.
SPECIAL DIRECTIONS FOR VARIOUS VEGETABLES
Greens. No water is added to greens. Ninety percent of greens is water. They are high in mineral matter and we must preserve that.
Asparagus. Remove string before packing in jar. Can or dry tough ends for soup. If asparagus is packed in jars as whole stalks, pack with the tips up.
Tomatoes. Remove skins before packing. Tomatoes may be canned whole or in pieces. Skin, cook and strain imperfect tomatoes. Use this for liquid; as 94 per cent of the tomato is water, no water is needed.
Eggplants. Make slices about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Do not add salt, as it causes eggplants to turn dark.
Pumpkin and squash. If you do not wish to scrape out of the shells you can remove seeds, pare and cut into small blocks of uniform size. Then blanch.
Sweet corn. Corn expands a little in processing, and for this reason jars should not be filled quite full. Corn that has reached the dough stage before being packed will have a cheesy appearance after canning. Corn should never be allowed to remain in the cold-dip water.
Field corn. This product is commonly known as corn-club breakfast food. The corn should be selected between the milk and the dough stage. Wide-mouthed glass jars or tin cans should be used for canning this product. Avoid packing container too full, as the product swells during the sterilization period. The corn should be canned the same day it is picked from the field if possible. After this product has been sterilized and cooked and stored away it will form a solid, butter-like mass which may be cut into convenient slices for toasting, frying and baking purposes.
Mushrooms. Do not fail to blanch and cold dip. After opening containers remove the mushrooms immediately and use them as quickly as possible.
Sweet peppers. Place the peppers in the oven and bake them until the skins separate from the meat. Remove the skin. Pack in hot jars. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt to a quart. Add boiling water.
Lima beans. Lima beans can be either blanched or steamed. If blanched allow 5 minutes; if in live steam allow 10.
Wax or string beans. Beans can be canned whole or cut into uniform pieces.
Cabbage and cauliflower. Cabbage and cauliflower should be soaked in cold brine (1/2 lb. salt to 12 quarts water) for one hour before blanching.
Brussels sprouts. Use small solid heads.
Peas. A cloudy or hazy appearance of the liquid indicates that the product was roughly handled in blanching and cold dipping, or that broken peas were not removed before packing.
Carrots and parsnips. Carrots can be packed whole, in slices or in cross-section pieces. Skin of parsnips can be scraped off after blanching and cold dipping.
Beets. Small beets that run 40 to a quart are the most suitable size for first-class packs. Well-canned beets will show a slight loss of color when removed from the canner, but will brighten up in a few days.
Turnips. Scrape skin after blanching and cold dipping.
Corn and tomatoes. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt to every quart of mixture. Mix 2 parts of tomatoes with 1 part corn. One teaspoonful of sugar improves the flavor.
Corn, tomatoes and string beans. Use 1 part of corn, 1 part of green string beans and 3 parts of tomatoes. Add 1 teaspoonful of salt and 1 teaspoonful of sugar to every quart jar.
CHARTS FOR CANNING ALL VEGETABLES AND GREENS
[A] SCALDING OR BLANCHING MINUTES [B] IN BOILING WATER OR HOMEMADE OUTFIT (212 deg.F.) [C] IN CONDENSED STEAM OUTFIT [D] IN WATER-SEAL OUTFIT 214 deg.F [E] IN STEAM PRESSURE 5 TO 10 POUNDS [F] IN PRESSURE COOKER 10 POUNDS
VEGETABLES/ NUMBER OF MINUTES TO STERILIZE PREPARATION [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] Class 1 Greens, Domestic and Wild ALL GREENS SPINACH, Steam in 120 120 90 60 40, at BEET TOPS, CHARD, colander or (2 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. DANDELIONS, ETC. in steamer hr Pick over; wash in until wilted several waters. Takes about 15 minutes. - Class 2 Special Vegetables - ASPARAGUS Blanch tough 90 90 60 50 25, at Wash, remove woody ends 4 1-1/2 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. ends; cut to fit minutes, tip hr hr jar; tie in bundles. ends 2 minutes. TOMATOES Select Scald 1-1/2 22 22 18 18 10, at fresh, ripe, firm 10 lbs. tomatoes. Skins will slip off after scalding and cold dipping. EGGPLANTS Remove skin Blanch 3 60 60 50 45 30, at after blanching (1 hr) (1 hr) 10 lbs. and cold dipping. Slice crosswise and pack. PUMPKIN AND SQUASH Blanch 5 120 120 90 60 40, at Cut into sections; (2 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. remove seeds; hr scrape shells after blanching and cold dipping. CORN SWEET 5 on cob 180 180 120 90 60, at Cut corn from cob, (3 hr) (3 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 10 lbs. blanch immediately ht after and cold dip. CORN FIELD 10 180 180 120 60 50, at Remove husk and (3 hr) (3 hr) (2 hr) (1 hr) 10 lbs. silk. Cut the corn from the cob after it has been blanched and cold dipped. Feed the corn to a food chopper and grind to a pulp. Cook this product in a kettle, add 2/3 teaspoonful sugar and 1/3 teaspoonful salt to each quart. Cook (stir while cooking) until the product has assumed a thickened or pastelike mass. MUSHROOMS If small, 5 90 90 80 50 30, at can them whole; if 1-1/2 1-1/2 (1-1/3 10 lbs. large they may be hr hr hr) cut into sections. SWEET PEPPERS Use .. 90 90 75 60 40, at either green or red 1-1/2 1-1/2 1-3/4 (1 hr) 10 lbs. peppers. ht ht hr - Class 3 Pod Vegetables and Other Green Products - BEANS LIMA 5 to 10 180 180 120 60 40, at Shell and wash. (3 hr) (3 hr) (2 hr) (1 hr) 10 lbs. BEANS WAX OR STRING 5 to 10 120 120 90 60 40, at Wash and string. (2 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. hr CABBAGE Use small 5 to 10 120 120 90 60 40, at solid heads of (2 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. cabbage. hr CAULIFLOWER Use 3 60 60 40 30 20, at flowered portion of (1 hr) (1 hr) 15 lbs. cauliflower. BRUSSELS SPROUTS 5 to 10 120 120 90 60 40, at Cut into sections (2 hr) (2 hr) 1-1/2 (1 hr) 10 lbs. and remove core. hr PEAS 5 to 10 180 180 120 60 40, at Shell and wash. Add (3 hr) (3 hr) (2 hr) (1 hr) 10 to 1 teaspoonful of 15 lbs. salt and 1 tea- spoonful of sugar toevery quart. - Class 4 Roots and Tuber Vegetables - CARROTS, PARSNIPS, 5 90 90 80 60 40, at SALSIFY 1-1/2 1-1/2 (1-1/3 (1 hr) 10 lbs. Remove skin by hr hr hr) scraping after blanching and cold dipping. BEETS 5 90 90 80 60 40, at To retain the color 1-1/2 1-1/2 (1-1/3 (1 hr) 10 lbs. of beets leave 3 or hr hr hr) 4 inches of the stem and all the root on while blanching. After cold dipping, the skin may be removed Scrape the skin. TURNIPS 5 90 90 80 60 40, at Wash thoroughly 1-1/2 1-1/2 (1-1/3 (1 hr) 10 lbs. with a vegetable hr hr hr) brush. Class 5 Vegetable Combinations CORN AND TOMATOES 120 120 120 60 45, at Prepare individual (2 hr) (2 hr) (2 hr) (1 hr) 10 lbs. vegetables and then combine and pack. CORN, TOMATOES AND STRING BEANS Corn 3 Tomatoes 1-1/2 120 120 120 60 45, at String beans 5 (2 hr) (2 hr) (2 hr) (1 hr) 10 lbs. -
Count from time when water begins to boil (bubbles all over). This time schedule is for both pint and quart jars. Add 30 minutes to time of sterilizing for 2-quart jars.
After one has learned how to can fruits and vegetables successfully, the next thing to attempt is the canning of soups.
Soups may be canned with or without meat. We make one variety which is a pure vegetable soup. We use no stock or meat, and can it in its own juice or liquor, thus using no water.
When we wish to use it we dilute it three or four times and serve it as a vegetable soup or, more frequently, when we have chicken bones or any meat bones on hand, we add a can of this concentrated vegetable mixture to the bones and make a delicious stock soup.
I will give this recipe as I have given it to many friends, all of whom have pronounced it excellent:
1 Peck ripe tomatoes 1 Head cabbage 1 Dozen carrots 1 White turnip 3 Pounds string beans 1 Pound okra 3 Red peppers 1 Peck spinach 2 Pounds asparagus 6 Small beets 6 Ears sweet corn
Scald the tomatoes by placing them in a wire basket and plunging them into boiling water for one and a half minutes. Cold-dip them immediately. After removing the core and stem end of the tomato, the skin slips right off. Save all the tomato juice. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Put into a large pail or bucket with the juice. Blanch the cabbage, carrots, turnip, string beans, okra and sweet red peppers five minutes. Cold-dip. Of course you blanch and cold-dip each product separately. Cut each vegetable after it is blanched and cold-dipped into small cubes and add to the tomatoes.
Spinach must be carefully washed to remove all grit and sand. All greens must be washed through several waters to cleanse them thoroughly.
Instead of blanching the spinach in a kettle of boiling water, as we do the other vegetables, we steam it by placing it in a colander over boiling water or in a regulation steamer with tightly fitting cover, such as is used for steaming suet puddings and brown bread. If you can with a steam-pressure canner or a pressure cooker, then steam the spinach there. If we boiled the spinach for fifteen or twenty minutes we would lose a quantity of the mineral salts, the very thing we aim to get into our systems when we eat spinach, dandelion greens, Swiss chard and other greens. After the blanching or steaming comes the cold dip.
There is something about blanching asparagus, either for soups or when canned alone, that is worth knowing. Instead of blanching the whole stalk of asparagus for the same length of time, we use a little discretion, giving the tougher, harder ends a full four minutes' blanching, but allowing the tender tip ends only two minutes. You are possibly wondering how that is done.
Tie the asparagus stalks in bunches and put the bunches with all the tips standing one way on a piece of cheesecloth. Tie the cloth or snap rubber bands round it, and then stand the asparagus in boiling water in an upright position for two minutes; next lay the asparagus lengthwise in the blanching water for another two minutes, and you have accomplished your purpose. You have given the tougher parts two minutes' more blanching than the tender parts. Use a deep enough kettle so the asparagus will be completely covered when laid lengthwise. After the blanching, cold-dip the asparagus.
Wash the beets. Leave two inches of the top and all the tail on the beets while blanching. Blanch for five minutes, then cold-dip. Next scrape off the skin, top and tail. The tops can be put right into the soup too. Any surplus tops can be steamed with the spinach and can be treated similarly.
Blanch corn on the cob five minutes. Cold-dip. Cut the corn from the cob, cutting from tip to butt end. Add the corn to the other vegetables. Add no water. Pack the mixed vegetables into clean glass jars; add one level teaspoonful of salt to every jar; partially seal; cook one hour and a half in wash-boiler or other homemade outfit. At the end of that period remove jars from canner, seal tight, and the work is done.
Of course you are interested in the cost of this soup. Most of the ingredients came right from our garden. We had to buy the okra and the red peppers, but I figured everything just as if I had to buy it from the market; and on this basis, the cost of our soup would have been only seven and a half cents a can. We canned it in tin, using size Number Two, which is the same as pint size in glass jars.
Another vegetable soup without stock, dried beans and peas being used, is made as follows:
Soak six pounds of Lima beans and four pounds of dry peas over night. Boil each thirty minutes. Blanch sixteen pounds of carrots, six pounds of cabbage, three pounds of celery, six pounds of turnips, four pounds of okra, one pound of onions, and four pounds of parsley for three minutes and dip in cold water quickly. Prepare the vegetables and chop into small cubes. Chop the onions and celery extra fine. Mix all of them thoroughly and season to taste. Pack in glass jars or tin cans. Fill with boiling water. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Process ninety minutes if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; sixty minutes if using water-seal outfit or five-pound steam-pressure outfit; forty-five minutes if using pressure cooker.
In many homes cream of tomato soup is the favorite. To make this soup the housewife uses a tomato pulp and combines it with milk and seasonings. You can can a large number of jars of this pulp and have it ready for the cream soup. To make and can this pulp follow these directions:
Tomato Pulp. Place the tomatoes in a wire basket or piece of cheesecloth and plunge into boiling water for one and a half minutes. Plunge into cold water. Remove the skins and cores. Place the tomatoes in a kettle and boil thirty minutes. Pass the tomato pulp through a sieve. Pack in glass jars while hot and add a level teaspoonful of salt per quart. Partially seal glass jars. Sterilize twenty minutes if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; eighteen minutes if using water-seal, or five-pound steam-pressure outfit; fifteen minutes if using pressure-cooker outfit.
Soup Stock. To make the soup stock which is the foundation of all the stock soups, use this recipe:
Secure twenty-five pounds of beef hocks, joints and bones containing marrow. Strip off the fat and meat and crack bones with hatchet or cleaver. Put the broken bones in a thin cloth sack and place this in a large kettle containing five gallons of cold water. Simmer—do not boil—for six or seven hours. Do not salt while simmering. Skim off all fat. This should make about five gallons of stock. Pack hot in glass jars, bottles or enameled or lacquered tin cans. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Sterilize forty minutes if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; thirty minutes if using water-seal or five-pound steam-pressure outfit; twenty-five minutes if using pressure-cooker outfit.
Soups made with soup stock are many and varied. One can utilize the things at hand and change the distinctive flavor from year to year. I will give you a few good specimen recipes which if followed will give good results:
Vegetable Soup. Soak a quarter pound dried Lima beans and one pound unpolished rice for twelve hours. Cook a half pound pearl barley for two hours. Blanch one pound carrots, one pound onions, one medium-size potato and one red pepper for three minutes and cold-dip. Prepare the vegetables and cut into small cubes. Mix thoroughly Lima beans, rice, barley, carrots, onions, potato and red pepper. Fill glass jars or the enameled tin cans three-fourths full of the above mixture of vegetables and cereals. Make a smooth paste of a half pound of wheat flour and blend in five gallons soup stock. Boil three minutes and add four ounces salt. Pour this stock over vegetables and fill cans. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Sterilize ninety minutes if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; seventy-five minutes if using a water-seal or five-pound steam-pressure outfit; forty-five minutes if using pressure-cooker outfit.
Cream of Pea Soup. Soak eight pounds of dried peas over night. Cook until soft. Mash fine. Add the mashed peas to five gallons of soup stock and bring to boil. Pass the boiling liquid through a fine sieve. Make a smooth paste of a half pound flour and add paste, ten ounces of sugar and three ounces of salt to the soup stock. Cook until soup begins to thicken. Pack in glass jars or tin cans. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Process ninety minutes if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; eighty minutes if using water-seal outfit; seventy minutes if using five-pound steam-pressure outfit; forty-five minutes if using pressure-cooker outfit.
Cream of Potato Soup. Boil one and a half pounds of potatoes, sliced thin, and five gallons of soup stock for ten minutes. Add three ounces of salt, a quarter teaspoonful of pepper and a half pound of butter and boil slowly for five minutes. Make three tablespoonfuls of flour into smooth paste and add to the above. Cook three minutes and pack in glass jars or tin cans while hot. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Sterilize ninety minutes if using a hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; seventy-five minutes if using a water-seal outfit; sixty-five minutes if using a five-pound steam-pressure outfit; forty-five minutes if using a pressure-cooker outfit.
Bean Soup. Soak three pounds of dried beans twelve hours in cold water. Cut two pounds of ham into quarter-inch cubes and place in a small sack. Place beans, ham and four gallons of water in kettle and boil slowly until the beans are very soft. Remove the ham and beans from the liquor and mash the beans fine. Return ham and mashed beans to the liquor, add five gallons of soup stock and seasoning, and bring to boil. Pack into jars or cans while hot. Partially seal jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Process two hours if using hot-water-bath or condensed-steam outfit; ninety minutes if using water-seal outfit; seventy-five minutes if using five-pound steam-pressure outfit; sixty minutes if using pressure cooker.
Okra Soup. Slice eight pounds okra into thin slices the round way. Blanch ten minutes and cold-dip. Boil one and a half pounds rice for twenty-five minutes. Mix okra and rice and fill cans or jars half full. To five gallons soup stock add five ounces salt, a quarter teaspoonful of coriander seed and a quarter teaspoonful of powdered cloves, and bring to boil. Fill remaining portion of jars or cans. Partially seal glass jars. Cap and tip tin cans. Process two hours if using hot-water-bath outfit or condensed-steam outfit; ninety minutes if using water-seal outfit; seventy-five minutes if using five-pound steam-pressure outfit; sixty minutes if using pressure-cooker outfit.