By the canning process, fruits are preserved by simply cooking them and sealing up immediately, boiling hot, in airtight glass jars or tin cans. They will keep almost any length of time and retain their flavor in a remarkable degree.
In our chapter on Fruits, the terms can and jar are used interchangeably.
In very small families, it is a good plan to use pint jars. If the rubber rings become hard and inflexible, put them in water and ammonia - 1 part of the former to 2 of the latter - and let stay half an hour. It will restore their elasticity.
Very small fruit is put up in bottles successfully. The corks should fit tightly and be sealed with sealing-wax.
The proportions for sealing-wax are 8 ounces rosin, 1 ounce beeswax, and less than an ounce (perhaps 3/4 of an ounce) of beef tallow. Melt slowly and pour over corks or in the grooves of covers when well heated through, but not boiling hot. It must simply be melted sufficiently to be well mixed together.
When the top of a glass jar refuses to yield to all efforts at unscrewing, hold a hot cloth around it, and it will soon succumb. In opening a tin can of fruit, empty the contents immediately, even if it is not all to be used at the time. Fruit acids in tin are said to produce poisons when exposed to the air.
Tin should not be used for acid fruits. The acid corrodes it.
Boiling hot fruit or fruit juices may be poured into glass jars without danger of breakage, if the jar is set on a folded wet towel during the pouring. A silver spoon put into the jar while being filled will also insure it against breaking. Some persons use both means at the same time for still further safety.
The methods 1 give for canning small fruits are the simplest 1 ever saw, and the results are the nearest to fresh fruits 1 ever tasted. It is all fruit with no dilution whatever, Sugar may be omitted if desired, which will lessen the expense of canning considerably. One can of this fruit is equal to 3 that you buy, and the expense of canning in the city is about the same per can as the price at the stores.
Mrs. F. McKercher, Chicago.
Look over carefully, and fill your cans, as many as will stand in your wash boiler. Put sugar enough in each can to sweeten for the table. Pack the jars full, and screw the covers on, but do not put on the rubber bands. Put cold water in the boiler, nearly to the top of the jars. It is safer to stand them on something in the boiler. Pieces of berry-boxes answer every purpose. Let the water boil 20 minutes. Then remove a couple of the jars. Take off the covers. The fruit will have settled down some. Fill one up from the other. Put on the rubber band and seal up. Then take another from the boiler, and fill it up from the same jar. If you fill 13 to start with, it will take about 3 of them to fill up the other 10 that have settled. After canned fruit stands all night, it is safer to use a little wrench to give an extra turn to the cover before putting away for good.