You may cook and can them same as pieplant, and this is best for all general purposes, but they are prettier when packed in sterilized jars, set in water on a rack, heated until the juices run freely, then the cans filled with boiling syrup, and sealed. To be certain that the juice and syrup mix well, tie a piece of cheesecloth over the neck of the jar, decant the liquid, boil and pour on again and seal.
Sugar is a preserving agent, and some fruits may, with its aid, be canned and kept without cooking. Currants are often so put up for use with meats. Crush the fruit, and be sure that not a berry escapes, and mix thoroughly with an equal amount of sugar. Fill sterilized jars brimful and screw covers on tight.
If the peaches are very soft, they may be cooked in a syrup to prevent breaking. The sugar will harden the fruit, but will lose some of its sweetness. Both peaches and cherries have a better flavor when some pits are cooked with them. These take up room in the cans, of course. The peach pits should be cracked before cooking.
Cherries may be canned whole in same manner as berries.
Pare the fruit carefully, to leave as smooth a surface as possible, and cook in syrup until tender. Then put carefully and compactly into the sterilized jars, strain the liquid over, fill to the very brim, and seal.
Select ears of corn in the perfect roasting-ear stage, and with a sharp knife score each row of grains, cut a very thin slice from the ends of all the grains, and with a kitchen knife scrape the rest off the cob. For each quart of corn, put into the kettle a pint of water and half a tablespoonful of salt, put the corn to cook, and add more boiling water as it evaporates. Let it cook for fifteen or twenty minutes after it actually boils all through. Watch and stir with a wooden spoon to prevent burning, but do not allow to stop boiling. When it has actually boiled twenty minutes, fill the jars to within one-half an inch of the top, cram down with the spoon to prevent air bubbles through it, finish filling with boiling water, and seal according to rule. May cook corn in jars, but it is difficult to sterilize in center of jars, and it will spoil unless perfectly sterile. It must be cooked in the jars not less than four hours.
Pick the peas just before using. Shell, cook half an hour, and salt same as for the table, put into sterilized jars, and seal.
Or, put the peas into the cans, fill with water, add salt, as for eating, put covers on loosely, and cook in boiling water four hours, and seal as before. The first are more apt to keep well.
Choose, prepare, and cook as for the table, except to season with salt only, and seal according to rule.
Directions for canning often say "cook in the cans in hot-water bath." This is well if the cooking is done thoroughly, but it is difficult to cook thoroughly unless a very long time is allowed. The center is often not boiling hot.
Tomatoes are easily canned, and their acid, pleasant taste adds much to the winter fare. To can tomatoes, gather ripe, red tomatoes, and prepare them as for serving raw. Put to cook in a porcelain lined or granite ware kettle, and boil until absolutely certain that every particle in the kettle is boiling hot. While these are cooking, see that the covers and rubbers fit the cans by trying them with water. Let covers, rubbers, and cans stand immersed in boiling water until ready to use them. Pour the tomatoes boiling hot into the hot cans, on which the rubbers are fitted. Fill brimful, and screw on covers. Turn the jars upside down, wrap in a wet cloth, and let stand until cold. Screw the covers down tighter as they cool. When cold, set in a cool, dry place. Do not allow to freeze.
Select perfect medium-sized tomatoes. Fill the jars with them, after sterilizing the jars and washing the tomatoes. To each quart of tomatoes put one tablespoon-ful of salt, fill the jar with boiling water, and seal.
Or, scald and pare the tomatoes, fill the jars with them, pour in boiling water half way up the side of the jar, set in a pan in the oven on rack, and when thoroughly heated, but not falling to pieces, fill to the brim with boiling water, and seal. These are nice for special dishes, but too much trouble for every-day use.