Always use a porcelain lined kettle, and a wooden spoon for stirring. Before commencing to work, have everything ready. Bottles, tumblers, jars and their covers, must be washed clean and sterilized in scalding water. Always use new rubbers every season. In filling the jars, set each one in something deep enough to allow the juice to overflow, keep a silver spoon or fork in the jar while it is being filled, and move it about gently to force out the air bubbles. While overflowing, quickly put on the cover as tight as possible, and stand the jar upside down. When sure it is air-tight, put away in a cool dry closet; if in danger of freezing, cover with a paper bag or wrap each jar in newspaper.

There are a few points about fruit that it is well to know, and remember. Good preserves cannot be made from bad fruit. Scrupulously avoid every trace of decayed fruit. Some fruits require very little sugar, and others are spoiled if a good deal of sugar is not used. Strawberries, currants, plums, gooseberries, cranberries, and sour apples require more sugar than raspberries, blackberries, peaches, pears, and quinces.

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Hard fruit, such as quinces and winter pears, must be boiled tender in clear water before adding the sugar.

Strawberries and gooseberries may be used together, three quarts of strawberries to one quart of gooseberries.

Red raspberries and currants make a delicious combination, two quarts of raspberries to one of currants. Hard apples may be used with the quinces and never be discovered.

A pound of sugar (two cups) to a pint of juice is allowed for acid fruits, and three quarters of a pound for sweet. In fruits that jelly with difficulty a tablespoon of the best vinegar added to each gallon of cooked jelly remedies the trouble.

The fruits for jams and marmalades must not be too ripe; thorough cooking is most important; remember marmalade requires more cooking than jam. The general rule is three quarters of a pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. Jam and marmalade must be stirred constantly, with a wooden spoon, to keep from burning. To test marmalade, after cooking half an hour, take out a little; if no juice appears around the edge it is done. Use paraffin over the tumblers of jelly and jam to exclude the air and prevent moulding; melt the paraffin and and turn over the jelly the day after making. Margins of glass above paraffin should be sterilized with hot water and tartaric acid to prevent mould.

To preserve fruits that will easily crush, like berries and plums, it is best to pour over them a boiling hot syrup, stand overnight, drain off the syrup, and repeat till fruit is cooked by the hot liquid. Half a cup of water to two cups of sugar is a good syrup.

Marmalade - General Rule

After cooking, drain the fruit, and rub the pulp through a sieve; add equal weight of sugar and boil half an hour, stirring often to keep from burning.