An iron plate or stove is preferable to a fire for preserving on; and by boiling the fruit quickly, the form, color, and flavor, will be better preserved, and there will be less waste than in slow boiling. A round wooden stick, smaller at one end than at the other, in Scotland called a thevil, is better adapted for stirring sugar or preserves with than a silver spoon, which last is only used for skimming. That there may be no waste in taking off the scum, it is put through a fine silk sieve, or through a hair sieve, with a bit of muslin laid into it; the clear part will run into the vessel placed below, and may be returned to the preserving-pan.
A silver soup ladle is used for putting preserves into the jars, which should be of brown stone, or of white wedgewood ware. After the jellies or preserves are put in, they must not be moved till quite cold, when they are covered with a piece of white paper, cut so as to fit into the jar, and dipped into brandy or rum. They are then stored in a cool dry place, and should be looked at occasionally If in a few weeks they be observed to ferment, the sirup should be first strained from the fruit, then boiled till it is thick, and again poured over the fruit, previously put into clean jars.
Sugar, low in price, and consequently coarse in quality, is far from being cheapest in the end; while that which is most refined is always the best. White sugars should be chosen as shining and as close in texture as possible.
The best sort of brown sugar has a bright and gravelly appearance.
A jelly-bag is made of half a square of flannel folded by the corners, and one side sewed up; the top bound with tape, and four 1oops also of tape sewed on, so as to hang upon a stand made of four bars of wood, each thirty-six inches in height, fastened with four bars at the top, each measuring ten inches, with hooks upon the cor-ne.s. Twelve inches from the bottom four more bars are placed. A pan or basin is put underneath to receive the juice or jelly as it drops through the bag.
To save Sugar in Preserving Cherries, Green Gages, Damsons, Currants, and Raspberries. Gather the fruit perfectly dry,and to a pound allow five ounces of finely-pounded loaf sugar; put a layer of fruit into a wide-mouthed bottle or jar, and then one of sugar, till the vessel is full; tie over it tightly two folds of sound bladder, and put them into a copper or pan, with straw in the bottom, and water as high as the necks, and let them simmer for three hours. When the water cools, take out the bottles, and keep them in a cool dry place.