This section is from the book "Save It For Winter.", by Frederick Fry Rockwell. Also available from Amazon: Save It For Winter; Modern Methods Of Canning, Dehydrating, Preserving And Storing Vegetables And Fruit For Winter Use, With Comments On The Best ... For Saving, And When And How To Grow Them.
An elaborate equipment for the home canning and drying of fruits is not essential. If one has suitable containers, it may be done with the simplest of utensils-the things ordinarily found in any kitchen outfit.
While this is true, if one is going to take up food saving as a serious part of housekeeping-which it should be, for it means not only better winter diet, but a very considerable saving in the year's expenses for the table-then, it is important to have some equipment especially designed for this work -just as important as it is to have a wheel hoe in the garden, a gas range, a carpet sweeper, an electric iron, or any of the other modern contrivances which make for more efficiency and less labor.
Modern equipment especially designed for doing the different kinds of work which have to be done in connection with food saving is important, however, not merely to lessen the work of the woman in the kitchen. It helps to make results more certain, and makes possible the putting up of better products - that is one reason why it pays, as an investment, as well as in the saving of labor, if the latter is considered a luxury. Another reason is that special equipment makes it possible to do more work in the same amount of time, and frequently the rapidity with which this work can be done will determine how much of what there is available can be saved. Often it is a case of putting things up on a certain day or of losing them altogether.
Fig. 30 - Don't begin your season's work of canning, pickling and preserving, without suitable tools. None of the things shown here is expensive, and with care they will last for years. In addition to the utensils shown above, a sugar tester will be found of very great use.
An argument which comes to mind against getting special equipment for this work is, of course, that it will be used for only a short time in the year, and, therefore, is expensive. If, however, the cost of such special equipment as will be required is figured out on a business basis, as it should be, it will be found to be very reasonable, considering the advantages gained. If well cared for, a drying or canning equipment will last for a great many years-ten at least. Twenty per cent, of the cost price, therefore, is a very generous allowance to make for depreciation and interest on the original cost. Even on this basis, the .yearly charge for a twenty-five dollar outfit would be only five dollars a year. The saving in work and in materials, and in the additional amount of products which it is possible to put up with a suitable equipment, even for a small family, will very quickly equal this sum of money.