In preserving, canning, and jelly making iron or tin utensils should never be used. The fruit acids attack these metals and so give a bad color and metallic taste to the products. The preserving kettles should be porcelain lined, enameled, or of a metal that will not form troublesome chemical combinations with fruit juices. The kettles should be broad rather than deep, as the fruit should not be cooked in deep layers. Nearly all the necessary utensils may be found in some ware not subject to chemical action. A list of the most essential articles follows:
Two preserving kettles, 1 colander, 1 fine strainer, 1 skimmer, 1 ladle, 1 large-mouthed funnel, 1 wire frying basket, 1 wire sieve, 4 long- handled wooden spoons, 1 wooden masher, a few large pans, knives for paring fruit (plated if possible), flat-bottomed clothes boiler, wooden or willow rack to put in the bottom of the boiler, iron tripod or ring, squares of cheese cloth. In addition, it would be well to have a flannel straining bag, a frame on which to hang the bag, a sirup gauge and a glass cylinder, a fruit pricker, and plenty of clean towels.
The regular kitchen pans will answer for holding and washing the fruit. Mixing bowls and stone crocks can be used for holding the fruit juice and pared fruit. When fruit is to be plunged into boiling water for a few minutes before paring, the ordinary stewpans may be employed for this purpose.
Scales are a desirable article in every kitchen, as weighing is much more accurate than the ordinary measuring. But, knowing that a large percentage of the housekeepers do not possess scales, it has seemed wise to give all the rules in measure rather than weight. If canning is done by the oven process, a large sheet of
asbestos, for the bottom of the oven, will prevent the cracking of jars. The wooden rack, on which the bottles rest in the washboiler, is made in this manner: Have two strips of wood measuring 1 inch high, 1 inch wide, and 2 inches shorter than the length of the boiler. On these pieces of wood tack thin strips of wood that are 1£ inches shorter than the width of the boiler.
These cross-strips should be about 1 inch wide, and there should be an inch between two strips. This rack will support the jars and will admit the free circulation of boiling water about them. Young willow branches, woven into a mat, also make a good bed for bottles and jars. The wire basket is a saver of time and strength (fig. 1).
The fruit to be peeled is put into the basket, which is lowered into a deep kettle partially filled with boiling water. After a few minutes the basket is lifted from the boiling water, plunged for a moment into cold water, and the fruit is ready to have the skin drawn off.
A strong wire sieve is a necessity when purges of fruit are to be made (fig. 2). These sieves are known as puree sieves. They are made of strong wire and in addition have supports of still stronger wire. A fruit pricker is easily made and saves time (fig. 3). Cut a piece half an inch deep from a broad cork; press through this a dozen or more coarse darning needles; tack the cork on a piece of board.
Here are the original 1905 pages:
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