Vegetables keep best at as low a temperature as possible without freezing. Apples bear a very low temperature. Sweet potatoes (which keep well packed in dry forest leaves) require a dry, warm atmosphere. Squashes should be kept in a dry place, as cool as possible without freezing.
- Shell, throw into boiling water with a little salt, boil five or six minutes, drain in a colander and afterwards on a cloth, until completely dried, and place in air-tight bottles. Some use wide-mouthed bottles, not quite filling them, pouring over fried mutton fat so as to cover the pease, and cork tightly, securing the cork with resin or sealing-wax. When used, boil until tender, and season with butter.
Apples are usually kept on open shelves, easily accessible, so that the decaying ones may easily be removed. They are sometimes packed in layers of dry sand, care being taken not to let them touch each other, with good results. When they begin to decay, pick out those which are speckled, stew them up with cider and sugar, and till all empty self-sealing fruit-cans, and keep the sauce for use late in the season. Or pack in dry saw-dust, or any grain, as oats, barley, etc., so that they will not touch each other; or if fruit is fine, wrap each apple in paper and pack in boxe\s.
A barrel hoop suspended from the ceiling by three cords, from which grape stems are hung by means of wire hooks attached to the small end, sealing the other with hot sealing-wax, each stem free from contact with its neighbors, is said to be the best contrivance for keeping grapes. The imperfect grapes must be removed, and the room must be free from frost, and not dry enough to wither them or too moist. The simplest way to keep grapes is to place them in drawers holding about twenty-five pounds each, piling the boxes one over another.
- For present use they should be laid away carefully in a bin with a close lid (hung on hinges) so that the light may be excluded. To keep them for a longer time, the best plan is to pull them on a dry day, cut off the tops and trim, and pack them in clean barrels or boxes, in layers with fine clean moss, such as is found in abundance in woods, between them. The moss keeps them clean and sufficiently moist, preventing shriveling of the roots on the one hand, and absorbing any excess of dampness on the other.
- Take up the cabbages by the roots, set closely together in rows, up to the head in soil, roots down as they grew; drive in posts at the corners of the bed, and at intermediate points if necessary, higher on one side than the other; nail strips of boards on the posts and lay upon these old boards, doors, or if nothing else is at hand, bean-poles, and corn fodder, high enough so that the roof will be clear of the cabbages, and allow the air to circulate; close up the sides with yard or garden offal of any kind, and the cabbages will keep fresh and green all winter, and be accessible at all times. Exclude moisture but never mind the frost.