For blueberry pickles, old jars which have lost their covers, or whose edges have been broken so that the covers will not fit tightly, serve an excellent purpose as these pickles must not be kept air-tight.
Pick over your berries, using only sound ones; fill your jars or wide-mouthed bottles to within an inch of the top, then pour in molasses enough to settle down into all the spaces; this cannot be done in a moment, as molasses does not run very freely. Only lazy people will feel obliged to stand by and watch its progress. As it settles, pour in more until the berries are covered. Then tie over the top a piece of cotton cloth to keep the flies and other insects out and set away in the preserve closet. Cheap molasses is good enough, and your pickles will soon be "sharp." Wild grapes may be pickled in the same manner.
These nuts are in the best state for pickling when the outside shell can be penetrated by the head of a pin. Scald them and rub off the outside skin, put them in a strong brine for six days, changing the water every other day, keeping them closely covered from the air. Then drain and wipe them (piercing each nut through in several places with a large needle) and prepare the pickle as follows: For a hundred large nuts, take of black pepper and ginger root each an ounce; and of cloves, mace and nutmeg, each a half ounce. Pound all the spices to powder and mix them well together, adding two large spoonfuls of mustard seed. Put the nuts into jars (having first stuck each of them through in several places with a large needle), strewing the powdered seasoning between every layer of nuts. Boil for five minutes a gallon of the very best cider vinegar and pour it boiling hot upon the nuts. Secure the jars closely with corks. You may begin to eat the nuts in a fortnight.
Ten pounds of watermelon rind boiled in pure water until tender; drain the water off, and make a syrup of two pounds of white sugar, one quart of vinegar, half an ounce of cloves, one ounce of cinnamon. The syrup to be poured over the rind boiling hot three days in succession.
To every quart of fruit, allow a cup of white sugar and a large pint of good cider vinegar, adding half an ounce of stick cinnamon, one tablespoonful of whole cloves, the same of whole allspice. Let it come to a boil, and pour it hot over the fruit; repeat this two or three days in succession; then seal hot in glass jars if you wish to keep it for a long time
The fruit, not the liquor, is to be eaten, and used the same as any pickle. Some confound this with "Spiced Fruit," which is not treated the same, one being a pickle, the other a spiced preserve boiled down thick.
Damsons and plums should be pricked with a needle, and peaches washed with a weak lye, and then rubbed with a coarse cloth to remove the fur.
Select small, sound ones, remove the blossom end, stick them with a fork, allow to each quart of pears one pint of cider vinegar and one cup of sugar, put in a teaspoonful allspice, cinnamon and cloves to boil with the vinegar; then add the pears and boil, and seal in jars.
Seven pounds of fruit, four pounds of sugar, one pint of good cider vinegar, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one teaspoonful of cloves. Put into a kettle and boil until the fruit is soft; then skim out the fruit, putting it on dishes until the syrup is boiled down thick. Turn the fruit back into the syrup again, so as to heat it all through; then seal it hot in glass jars, and set it in a cool, dark place.
Any tart fruit may be put up in this way, and is considered a very good embellishment for cold meats.
Seven pounds of plums, one pint of cider vinegar, four pounds of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of broken cinnamon bark, half as much of whole cloves and the same of broken nutmeg; place these in a muslin bag and simmer them in a little vinegar and water for half an hour; then add it all to the vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil; add the plums and boil carefully until they are cooked tender. Before cooking the plums they should be pierced with a darning needle several times; this will prevent the skins bursting while cooking.
Take the pulp from the grapes, preserving the skins. Boil the pulp and rub through a colander to get out the seeds; then add the skins to the strained pulp and boil with the sugar, vinegar and spices. To every seven pounds of grapes use four and one-half pounds of sugar, one pint of good vinegar. Spice quite highly with ground cloves and allspice, with a little cinnamon.
Select sound, large cherries, as large as you can get them; to every quart of cherries allow a large cupful of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, a dozen whole cloves, and half a dozen blades of mace; put the vinegar and sugar on to heat with the spices; boil five minutes, turn out into a covered stoneware vessel; cover and let it get perfectly cold; pack the cheries into jars, and pour the vinegar over them when cold; cork tightly and set away; they are fit for use almost immediately.