If the vegetables are canned as they come onto the market or as they mature in the home garden, a canning outfit can be kept busy most of the summer. A few jars of each vegetable in the fruit closet will relieve the monotony and cost of food through the winter months. Vegetables and fruits are very valuable to the human body for their mineral constituents and their importance in the diet is not sufficiently recognized. They should take the place of part of the fatty foods, sugars, white bread and meat, found in the menu so much through the winter.
All vegetables should be picked and canned the same day if they are to be in the very best condition. Only sound and firm products should be used, to insure best results. Over-ripe or blemished portions should be reserved for immediate table use.
All greens, either the wild varieties, such as dandelions, lambs-quarters and mustard, or the cultivated varieties, such as spinach, French endive, cress and beet tops, may be canned in the same way. They all grow close to the ground and the leaves hold dirt quite easily, so very thorough washing and picking over are necessary. Cut off all stems and discolored leaves; place in a wire basket or flour sack and blanch for 15 minutes. Dip in cold water and pack in the jars tightly, since there will probably be more shrinkage during processing. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart or 1/2 teaspoon to a pint. If using glass jars fill to the shoulder with water. Process for the length of time given in the table on page 12. (Three pounds of fresh spinach gives only about 1 1/2 pints of the finished product.)
May be either peeled or not. If the skin is not tough it is better to leave it on, as it gives a pink color to the canned product. Stalks may be cut in lengths to fit jars or cubed. Rhubard is very watery and unless blanched will not pack tightly enough to avoid an over-abundance of water in the jar. Pack the jars and fill to the shoulder with either sugar-syrup or water. If it is to be used for sauce it is best to sweeten it when canning, but pie-fruit may be sweetened when the jar is opened. Rhubard is so highly acid in nature that the time of processing need not be so long as for other vegetables. (See time table for fruits.)
Either the green or white variety may be canned. Cut off the tips in even lengths, just right to stand up in the jars; cut the remainder into half-inch lengths and can them for creamed asparagus, soup, etc. Place in a wire basket and blanch; dip in cold water and pack carefully. Add salt and fill to the shoulder with water; process as directed in vegetable time table.
Clean as usual; may be either peeled or not. Blanch as directed, dip in cold water, pack, salt and fill to the shoulder with water. Canned radishes may be served either with butter or a cream sauce, and they taste very much like young turnips. This is an excellent way of disposing of an over-abundance of radishes which always grow pithy and undesirable when left in the garden.