While vegetables require a little more care than fruit in canning, if they receive that care one will be rewarded with nice fresh canned vegetables, free from harmful preservatives, all through the winter.
If one is alone with all the housework to do, it is better to put up a few jars at a time.
Always use new rubbers on jars in canning vegetables.
"Blanching", in this connection, means a short boiling in a weak brine (1/4 cup of salt to 3 qts. of water) and is used with vegetables to eliminate the acids which they contain.
Place the vegetables in a wire basket or a cloth bag and dip into the boiling brine, then into cold water.
Prepare nearly all vegetables as for the table, before blanching, (okra and corn are exceptions).
After blanching, pack as close as possible in jars. Fill jars to overflowing with water with or without salt, according to special directions; fasten covers on tight (do not be afraid the jars will burst), and set into a kettle or boiler with a board containing holes or with several thicknesses of cloth or with thin tin rings underneath. Surround jars 3/4 of their depth with water, cover the vessel close so that the steam will be retained, bring to the boiling point and boil rapidly and continuously the required length of time.
Use wrench for tightening covers of Mason jars during the cooking. If Lightning jars do not seem to be air-tight, thin bits of wood may be placed under the wires. With corn and peas, it is better to have the water deep enough to cover the jars, for boiling after tops are tightened.
Invert jars after removing from the water, cover to exclude light, cool.
Store in dark, rather cool place.
Use cold water to surround jars at first if contents are cold and warm water if contents are warm.
The length of time given is for cooking quart jars. 1/2 - 1 hour less will be required for pints and I hour more for 2 quarts.
Prepare asparagus as for the table; blanch tips 3 m., other parts 5 m., dip in cold water, pack in jars-the tips in one, the middle of the stalks in a second, and the inferior ends for soups, in a third.
Fill jars with cold water to which salt has been added in the proportion of 1 teaspn. to the quart.
Fasten covers and cook according to general directions for two hours, tighten covers and cook for one hour longer.
Place stalks in jars, heads up, and pack as close as possible.
To Use: Open jar, add 1/2 teaspn. salt, set jar in cold or lukewarm water, heat to boiling, pour water off (save for soups), and draw stalks out carefully on to slices of prepared toast.
Follow directions for canning asparagus.
Prepare as for the table or leave whole, blanch for 2 m., and follow directions for canning asparagus, using water without salt to fill the jars.
Narrow dock, milkweed, pigweed, purslane or spinach. Wash the greens thoroughly, drop into boiling salted water and leave just long enough to wilt. Remove from water with skimmer, pack into jars, cover with cold salted water and proceed as with other vegetables.
There are no vegetables that we enjoy more in winter than our "greens."
Wash young tender okra, cut off stems and tops, blanch 10 m., dip in cold water, cut in transverse slices or leave whole, and finish the same as asparagus.
Blanch fresh-gathered, mature, but not old peas, for 5 m. (old for 8 m.), dip in cold water, proceed as for canning asparagus, using sugar, 1 teaspn. to quart of water if peas are not sweet. Boil 3-4 hrs. in all; 1 hr. after tightening covers, with water covering jars if possible.
Prepare fresh-gathered corn as for drying. Pack at once (filling all spaces) in clean jars to within an inch of the top, cover to the depth of a half inch with slightly salted water, fasten covers on as tight as possible, cook 3 or 4 hours, screw covers down again, cover jars with boiling water and boil for 1 hour longer. Remove boiler from fire and let jars cool in the water.
Ears of corn may be boiled in clear water 5 m. and dropped in cold water before removing kernels.
Prepare as in preceding recipe and cook for 1 hr. after the water is boiling; tighten covers, invert and leave until the next day. Cook for 1 hr. the second day and again the third day, that is, 1 hr. each for three consecutive days.
Boil small dark red beets for 30 m., drop into cold water and rub the skins off. Place in jars, cover with cold water, fasten covers, boil 1 hr., tighten covers and boil for 1 hr. longer.
Pour boiling salted water over mushrooms and allow them to stand in a warm place until withered; cool, drain, pack close in jars and cover with the water in which they were standing; seal and cook 1 1/2 hr. Tighten covers and cook 1/2 hr. longer. Invert jars until cool.