Cleanse the cans thoroughly and test to see if any leak or are cracked. If tin cans leak, send them to the tinner; if discolored inside they may be lined with writing-paper just before using. In buying stoneware for canning purposes, be sure that it is well glazed, as fruits canned in jars or jugs imperfectly glazed sometimes become poisonous. Never use defective glass cans, but keep them for storing things in the pantry; and in buying them, take care that they are free from flaws and blisters, else the glass will crumble off in small particles when subjected to heat. Self-sealers are very convenient, but the heat hardens the rubber rings, which are difficult to replace, so that in a year or two they are unfit for use. For this reason many prefer those with a groove around the top for sealing with wax or putty. The latter is very convenient, as jars sealed with it can be opened readily with a strong fork or knife, and are much more easily cleaned than when wax-sealed. Putty may be bought ready for use, and is soon made soft by molding in the hand. In using it should be worked out into a small roll, and pressed firmly into the groove with a knife, care being taken to keep it well pressed down as the can cools. In canning, provide a wide-mouthed funnel (made to set into the can), and pour the fruit into a funnel from a bright tin dipper (if old or rusty it will discolor the fruit) or a small pitcher, heated before putting in the hot fruit to prevent breaking. Pour fruit as quickly as possible, and screw down top immediately.

Fruit should be selected carefully, and all that is imperfect rejected. Large fruits, such as peaches, pears, etc., are in the best condition to can when not quite fully ripe, and should be put up as soon as possible after picking; small fruits, such as berries, should never stand over night if it is possible to avoid it. The highest-flavored and longest-keeping fruits are best put up without paring, after having carefully removed the down with a fine but stiff brush. Use only the best sugar in the proportion of half a pound of sugar to a pound of good fruit, varying the rule, of course, with the sweetness of the fruit. Or, in canning for pies omit sugar, as the natural flavor is better preserved without it, and some prefer this method for all purposes. It is economical, and well worthy of experiment. Cans put up in this way should have a special mark so as to distinguish them from the rest. When ready to can, first place the jars (glass) in a large pan of warm water on the back of the stove, make ready the syrup in a nice clean porcelain kettle, add the fruit - it is better to prepare only enough fruit or syrup for two or three cans at a time - and by the time it is done, the water in the pan will be hot and the cans ready for use. Take them out of the water and set them on a hot platter, which answers the double purpose of preventing their contact with any cold surface like the table, and saving any fruit that may be spoiled. Fill as full as possible, and set aside where no current of air will strike them; or, better, wring out a towel wet in hot water and set them on it; let stand a moment or two or until wiped off, when the fruit will have shrunk away a little; fill up again with hot syrup, or if you have none, boiling water from the tea-kettle will do, and then seal. In canning peaches, the flavor is improved by adding two or three whole peaches, or dropping in the center of the can a few of the stones. For peaches, pears and berries, some sweeten as for eating, let stand until sugar is dissolved (using no water), place on stove in porcelain kettle and keep at boiling point long enough to heat the fruit, and then can in glass jars as directed.

There are several other ways of preparing glass cans for fruit, among them the following: Wring a towel from cold water, double and wrap closely about and under the can so as to exclude the air, and put a cold silver spoon inside and fill; or, put a towel in a steamer, set in the cans, and place over a kettle of cold water, boil the water, and when ready to fill, remove the cans and wrap in a towel wrung from warm water, put a table-spoon rinsed in hot water inside, and fill; or, wash the cans in tepid water, place an iron rod inside, and at once pour in the boiling fruit, but not too fast. In using glass cans with tops which screw on, be sure that the rubbers are firm and close-fitting, and throw away all that are imperfect. When the can is filled to overflowing, put on the top at once and screw down tightly, and as the fruit and cans cool, causing contraction of the glass, turn down again and again until perfectly air-tight. Wrap as soon as cold with brown wrapping-paper, unless the fruit-closet is very dark. Light injures all fruit, but especially tomatoes, in which it causes the formation of -citric acid, which no amount of sugar will sweeten. The place where canned fruits are kept should also be dry and cool, for if too warm the fruit will spoil. In canning, use a porcelain-lined kettle, silver fork or broom splint and wire spoon or dipper; a steel fork discolors the fruit.

Cans should be examined two or three days after filling, and if syrup leaks out from the rim, they should be unsealed, the fruit thoroughly cooked and kept for jam or jelly, as it will have lost the delicacy of color and flavor so desirable in canned fruits. Pint cans are better for berries than quart. Strawberries keep their color best in stone jars; if glass cans are used for them, they should be buried in sand. If syrup is left after canning berries, it may, while thin, be flavored with vinegar, boiled a moment, and then bottled and corked for a drink mixed with ice-water.

In using self-sealing cans the rubber ring must show an even edge all round, for if it slips back out of sight at any point, air will be admitted. On opening tin cans, remember to pour all the fruit out into an earthen or glass dish. If any part is not used at the time, re-cook, and return to dish, and it will keep for a day or two, many of the less perishable fruits longer. Wines, cider, shrubs, etc., must be bottled, well corked, sealed, and the bottles placed on their sides in a box of sand or sawdust. To can maple syrup, pour hot into cans or jugs, and seal well.

The fine display of canned fruits at the Centennial Exhibition was prepared as follows: The fruits were selected with great care, of uniform size and shape, and all perfect. They were carefully peeled with a thin, sharp, silver fruit-knife, which did not discolor them, and immediately plunged into cold water in an earthen or wooden vessel to prevent the air from darkening them. As soon as enough for one can was prepared, it was put up by laying the fruit piece by piece in the can, and pouring syrup, clear as crystal, over it, and then, after subjecting the whole to the usual heat, sealing up.

The following table gives the time required for cooking and the quantity of sugar to the quart for the various kinds of fruit.

Time for boiling fruit.

Quant. sugar to qt.

Cherries....................

5min.

6 oz.

Raspberries................

6 "

4 "

Blackberries.................

6 "

6 "

Strawberries....................

8 "

8 "

Plums.....................

10 "

10 "

Whortleberries...............

5 "

8 "

Pie-Plant, sliced.................

10 "

8 "

Small sour pears, whole

30 "

4 "

Bartlett pears, halved...

20 "

6 "

Peaches...............................

8 "

4 "

Time for boiling fruit

Quant. sugar to qt.

Peaches,whole...............

15min.

4oz.

Pine apples,sliced...........

15 "

6 "

Siberian crab-apples....

25 "

8 "

Sour apples, quartered...

10 "

5 "

Ripe currants...........

6 "

8 "

Wild grapes.................

10 "

8 "

Tomatoes...............

20 "

none.

Gooseberries.................

8 "

8 "

Quinces,sliced......................

15 "

10 "