This section is from the book "Everywoman's Canning Book", by Mary B. Hughes. Also available from Amazon: Everywomans canning book; the A B C of safe home canning and preserving.
"Gather up the fragments that remain; that nothing be lost."
Economic conditions make it imperative that we as a nation produce and conserve more food. Every housekeeper should prepare for the reconstruction period that will follow the war, when, owing to the demands to be made upon our markets by the whole world, and to the fact that the man power of civilization will be short and crippled, food will be less abundant and much higher in price than it is now.
Comparatively few housewives, up to the present time, have gone into the fields to help in the production and harvesting of food supplies, yet the day is not distant when the American housewife will manage a hoe quite as easily as she handles her broom and duster now. By thus entering the ranks of producers, she will gain in health and happiness as well as materially.
The most practical way to conserve foods is to can or dry them for future use when the harvests are abundant and foodstuffs are low in price. To encourage housewives to do more canning, preserving, and drying, I have prepared this book, dealing with the problems of home canning as they developed at Mrs. Hemenway's Canning Kitchen for War Relief, in Boston. The conditions there, under which 8,000 jars were safely sealed for winter use, without loss, were the same as those found in the average household. Five years' experience canning my own garden surplus taught me many practical points which have been incorporated here, with the hope of aiding other housekeepers in their canning.
Owing to scientific methods, canning need no longer be the hot, arduous task that it was even five years ago. For the simplified, shortened method of canning called "Cold-Pack," the housewives of America owe thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Lack of sugar need not affect the amount of canning done during the war period, for experiments have proved that fruits keep just as well without sugar if they are properly sealed. Sugar can be added when the fruits are served.
Acknowledgments are due Mrs. Everell F. Sweet, South Natick; Miss Louisa Sohier, Wellesley Hills; Miss Marion Bryant, Newtonville; and to many others, who have contributed choice old family recipes to make this book of value.
Two recipes, "Dixie Relish" and "Cranberry Catsup," are taken from Miss Ola Powell's book, "Successful Canning and Preserving," published by J. B. Lippincott Company, and used with the gracious consent of the author and publisher.
M. B. H.
Wellesley, February, 1918.