Canning differs from preserving in that the fruit is kept, either with or without sugar, by sealing in air-tight jars or cans, and is not cooked long enough to destroy its natural flavor. Some authorities state that fruit may be kept by putting it in the jars, filling with cold water, and sealing immediately. But nearly all fruits are improved by the addition of more or less sugar. As a rule, all fruits that require sugar when fresh require it when canned.

The important points in canning are to have the fruit perfect in shape and quality; the syrup clear, rightly proportioned, and boiling hot; the jars hot and filled to overflowing, and sealed quickly and thoroughly, that no air may be left inside. Have all utensils in order and at hand, that there may be no needless delay. Large-mouthed glass jars with glass covers or porcelain-lined screw covers are the best. Pint jars are more convenient for a small family. They should be scalded, and the covers and rubbers clean and perfectly fitted. Keep the jars in hot water until ready to fill, or roll each one in hot water just before filling, or place them in a folded towel wrung out of hot water, and put a silver spoon or fork in the jar while filling. A clamp is a great convenience, as the jar may be held in the clamp directly over the kettle and filled very quickly. If without this, have a broad shallow pan, half filled with hot water, on the stove or on a table near by, and place the jars in it while filling them. A wide-mouthed tunnel aids in filling the jars. When the fruit is to be boiled in the jars, place a perforated tin or some flat stones or muffin rings in the boiler, to keep the jars from resting on the bottom. Then the water will be under as well as around the jar, and there will be no danger of breaking.

All ripe mellow fruit may be prepared and put at once into the jars. Place the jars in a boiler or kettle of warm water, with something underneath to avoid breaking. Make the syrup, using sugar according to taste, or in the proportion of one cup of sugar and one cup of water for each jar of small juicy berries, and one cup of sugar and two cups of water for pears and large fruits. Pour the syrup boiling hot into the hot jars, boil five minutes, and seal at once.

Strawberries, plums, and cherries will require more sugar. Cherries should be stoned, but the stones may be used if liked.

Quinces, apples, hard peaches, pears, and fruits which require softening, should be cooked in water or in syrup until tender. Then fill the jars with boiling syrup, straining it if not clear.

Peaches may be canned whole, or if halved, a few of the pits removed and cooked in the syrup to give addi-tional flavor.

Pears should be well ripened and of fine flavor. A taste less, insipid pear is only suitable for sweet pickle.

Tomatoes should be peeled and cooked till well scalded, then salted and sealed at once.

Always fill to overflowing, using boiling water when there is not enough syrup. Run the handle of a silver tablespoon down the inside of the jar, that the syrup may completey surround the fruit. Fasten the covers on securely, and give the screw an extra turn every half-hour until the fruit is cold. If the jars be kept bottom up and in a dark place, there is hardly a chance of failure. The best quality of thick tin-foil may be used as a cover for any large-mouthed bottle or jar minus a cover. Fill the jar with the fruit and syrup, cover with a large piece of tin-foil, work it down over the rim until perfectly smooth and tight. If air-tight, there will be a depression in the cover as soon as the fruit is cold. Fruit thus covered should be kept away from mice, as they will eat the tinfoil.

Canned fruit should be opened some time before using, that it may be aerated and the flavor improved. There has been a strong feeling against the use of fruit prepared in tin cans. Chemists have examined canned fruit as soon as opened, and found it harmless; but if the fruit be left in the tin can, the action of the air causes the acid in the fruit to act upon the metal and form a poisonous compound. Care should be taken to remove the fruit from the can as soon as opened.