Some housewives hold that when canned vegetables may be bought for the low price at which they now stand, it is mistaken economy to attempt to "put up" such articles at home. But there are two sides to this question. In the first place there are small country places where it is next to impossible to buy many kinds of canned vegetables, and the dwellers in such localities must, of necessity, do their own canning. A still greater consideration is the fact that vegetables preserved in tin cans are not as delicate in flavor as those put up in glass. Imported peas, beans, etc., may be purchased in glass jars, but these are so expensive as to be beyond the reach of the economical housewife. Let her then supply herself with a number of wide-mouthed glass jars with properly fitting rubber rings and tops, and she may snap her fingers at importers and domestic grocers.
This is a delicate process, but the result amply repays one for her pains.
Stew small tomatoes tender and squeeze from them every drop of juice. Strain this juice through a flannel jelly-bag, without squeezing the bag. Season, and set aside until needed. With a thin-bladed, sharp knife remove the cores from the center of large, firm, smooth tomatoes. Lay the tomatoes, side by side, in a deep bake-pan, and pour cold water around them until it covers them entirely. Set in a moderate oven where the contents will heat gradually, and cover closely. When the water begins to boil, the pan may be removed, and the tomatoes carefully taken up. Put them very gently into large-mouthed quart jars. Bring the strained juice to a boil, skim well, fill the jars to overflowing with this, and screw on the tops.
These tomatoes may be stuffed and baked in the winter, and will be found to be as fine in flavor as the fresh vegetables. Tiny "egg tomatoes" may be canned in the same way, without removing the cores, and form a dainty garnish for such dishes as beef a la jardiniere.
Select firm, ripe tomatoes; immerse in boiling water for a few minutes and slip off the skins. Have ready a large kettle of boiling water. Into this put enough tomatoes to fill just one jar. It takes about six tomatoes to fill a jar. Cover and allow them to remain eight minutes. Pack into a hot jar, fill up with boiling water and seal at once. They keep well and taste almost like fresh ones.
Scald the tomatoes and remove the skins, laying the vegetables in a colander, that the juice may drip away. Put into a porcelain-lined kettle and bring to a boil. Stew for fifteen minutes, pour off any superfluous liquor, season with salt, and pour the tomatoes, boiling-hot, into the cans. Seal immediately.
One of the most difficult vegetables to can is sweet corn, and I would advise the housewife not to run the risk of throwing time and labor away upon the attempt to preserve this vegetable. I, myself, have observed the utmost care in canning corn, only to find, after the lapse of a few weeks, that the vegetable had begun to ferment and was uneatable. It may, however, be safely canned with tomatoes, and thus prepared, makes a delicious scallop and a pleasant addition to vegetable soups and to stews.