how to preserve fruit and vegetables
Food Preservation

How To Preserve Fruit And Vegetables

Garden owners will find that learning how to preserve fruit and vegetables is a major economy, as it not only reduces the household expenses, but also adds to the excellence of the table. Even if you cannot grow your own vegetables, but watch the markets carefully, and buy at the moment when fruit is cheap but in first-rate condition, and then follow the instructions in the art of bottling, and make jams and jellies, etc., you also can enjoy the benefits of reduced household expenses. There are, as you will see, ways of bottling fruits without sugar. More stress is laid on the bottling of fruit than vegetables, as the bottling of vegetables is more difficult than fruit, and requires a rather more elaborate sterilization process and equipment.

how to preserve fruit and vegetablesThis economy can, however, only be effectively made by following directions in detail, and in noting the reasons why ) faults in bottling are entailed and how they can be avoided. The same applies to jams, jellies, pickles and chutneys, and to the more luxurious forms of preservation such as the making of candied fruits which, since they are luxuries, have been omitted from this article.

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PRESERVING FRUIT – BOTTLING OF FRUITS

General rules. Although rules will vary for different fruits, there are certain rules which are applicable in every case, and if these rules are not observed, bottling is liable to be a failure.

1. Always choose sound fruit, and slightly under ripe. The fruit should be “firm. Ripe.” Over ripe fruit will lose shape and flavour and become very soft or break during sterilizing. It is most unsatisfactory to pack fruit at different stages of ripeness in the same bottle.

2. Bottles and jars should be absolutely clean and free from flaws and cracks. They should be steamed and the insides left moist as the fruit will then pack more easily.

3. Fruit. Must be picked dry. If there is an unexpected shower of rain, stop picking until the fruit is quite dry again.

4. Wash the fruit if necessary. Soft fruit will retain its firmness and good flavour if left unwashed, but if it is unavoidable, it should be done after the fruit has been packed into the bottles. The bottles can then be filled with water and emptied out two or three times. Hard fruits, such as gooseberries, plums, may be washed before packing; the best way is to place the fruit in a colander and rinse under the tap.

5. Grading of the fruit according to size and ripeness will ensure even heating with much more attractive results.

6. All utensils, rings and covers should be sterilized by dipping into boiling water.

7. Rubber rings must not have any flaws and their edges should be smooth.

8. Hot bottles straight from the sterilizer should never be placed on a cold surface or they may crack. Stand the bottles on a piece of wood or on asbestos.

9. Test the thermometer in boiling water before using it, and see that it registers 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

to. Before putting the sterilized bottles into store, test all the seals by removing the clip or screw and lifting the bottles by the lid. There will be no need to replace the clips, and if screw bands are replaced, they should first be greased with vaseline and then only lightly screwed down.

SPECIAL PREPARATION FOR PRESERVING FRUITS

Apples.

To prevent browning when peeled, each fruit should first be halved and one half should be laid flat with the cut side down, whilst the other is cut into rings, quarters, or whatever is desired. These sections must be placed without delay into a weak brine (2 teaspoonfuls salt to f quart water), and a plate placed over the pieces to keep them from rising. When ready to pack, they should b,e quickly rinsed, in cold water, and packed into the bottles, and covered immediately with syrup (8 oz. Sugar to each pint of water). The remainder of the fruit can be left in the brine until required.

If economy in bottles and storage space has to be considered, a slightly different method can be used. The pieces of apples should be removed from the salted water, and dipped in boiling water for three minutes, or steamed in a colander over a pan of boiling water until tender. The fruit will shrink; much more can be packed into one bottle than by the other method. The packing must be very close, and very. Little water or syrup will be added. Apples packed’ in this way will be very useful in tarts, pies and puddings.

The best varieties of cooking apples suitable for bottling are: Bramley’s Seedling, Lane’s Prince Albert, Lord Derby, and Annie Elizabeth.

Pears.

The same treatment of weak brine is applicable to pears. Peeled pears will discolour, if exposed to air. A quick and neat way of coring pears is to use a strong teaspoon to the core atter the fruit has been halved. The choice of variety .in the case of pears is more difficult than for apples as the best bottled pears are obtained only when a well-ripened dessert is used. Good results have been obtained with such varieties as Pitmaston Duchess, Beurre Hardy, Catillac, and the familiar Williams’s Bon Chretien pear. The same method is followed as with apples, but if you are dealing with cooking varieties or dessert varieties that do not ripen well, the pieces should be stewed gently until quite tender in a syrup’ (4 oz. Sugar to f pint water), and after draining off the water they should be packed into the bottles and covered with the syrup in which they have been cooked.

Stone fruits.

Large plums and apricots are difficult to pack into bottles without wasting bottle space, but a good pack for home use can be made by halving the fruit and removing the stones, though it is advisable to include a few stones in each bottle to maintain the true flavour. They can be packed in the centre of the jar, out of sight. Fleshy varieties of plum such as Victoria, Pond’s Seedling and Magnum Bonum will bottle well, but make sure the fruit is firm ripe. After packing, cover with syrup (8-12 oz. Per pint water for whole plums, and 12 oz. For halves) and sterilize according to directions. Greengage, Mirabelle and Early Rivers will bottle well whole.

Apricots should be ripe and well coloured. They will pack well in halves with stones removed and cut surface facing the bottom of the bottles. Varieties Moorpark and Shipley will pack well.

Soft fruits.

When dealing with soft fruits such as raspberries, it is better to pick them straight into the bottles. Only firm, sound fruit should be used, the stalk being removed,carefully. If the fruit has to be left overnight, and cannot be picked straight into bottles, it must not be left in the baskets, but should be spread out on trays or sheets of paper to prevent heating, and left in a cool, dry place. It should then be packed as for soft fruit and covered with syrup (12 oz. Per pint water) and sterilized according to directions. Varieties: Lloyd George, Duke of Cornwall, Pyne’s Royal, and Superlative give the best results.

Blackberries must be picked early in the season as they are liable to lose their flavour later. Cultivated varieties such as Himalayan Giant will bottle well, but it is very important to select berries which are firm ripe, and after removing the stalks these should be washed well in cold water. Use syrup (8 oz. Per pint water) for covering after packing. Blackberries and a good cooking variety of apple make a very nice mixture if bottled together.

Currants Of all kinds can be used for bottling, but the black give the best results, although it is necessary to select only the firm ripe good-sized, thin- skinned currants. Stalks should be removed, and the currants gently washed in cold water. After packing according to directions for soft fruits, cover with an 8-12 oz. Per pint strength syrup.

Gooseberries.

Green varieties of medium size are preferable, and the fruit should be picked before quite ripe. The stalks and blossom ends should be removed (referred to as “topping “ and “ snibbing “). Pack as for hard fruit and use the 8 oz. Per pint syrup.

Loganberries.

This is the best of the soft fruits for bottling and will keep its colour, flavour and shape well. Use before quite ripe and do not wash unless absolutely necessary. Use a 12 oz. Per pint syrup. 1F there is a sign of maggots in the fruit, berries should be soaked in salted water (1- oz. To a pints water) for one hour. The berries can be rinsed in cold water and packed without risk.

Strawberries.

These are not very satisfactory to bottle as they so quickly lose colour and shrink during sterilization.

Tomatoes.

Young and firm fruit should be chosen, and stalks removed. Fruit should then be washed and blanched. This is most conveniently done by tying in a piece of cheese cloth or muslin, or placing in a blanching basket and dipping in boiling water for a minute or less, according to ripeness of fruit. This will loosen the skin and facilitate peeling.

Plunge at once into cold water to make the fruit firm and easily handled. The skin should be peeled off, and it may be necessary to remove existing hard core. Small tomatoes can be packed whole, but there is an advantage in halving medium size and large fruits, as every part of the bottle is more easily utilized, and ripe tomatoes with broken skins can be used. For whole tomatoes fill to the brim with a solution of r teaspoonful of salt to pint of water, taking care to pack firmly, and for cut tomatoes, pack tightly layer upon layer, and improve the flavour by adding f oz. Salt and I teaspoonful sugar to each a lb’. Tomatoes. No liquid should be added as the juice of the tomatoes is sufficient to cover them.

Rubber rings, lids and clips or screw bands should be fixed on the bottles which should be placed on a false bottom in the sterilizer and covered with cold water. The temperature is brought up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit in one hour and should be maintained thus for about thirty minutes. After the bottles are removed, and screwbands have been used, these should be tightened immediately. It is very important that the bottles or jars are completely airtight.

BOTTLING WITH PATENT TOPPED BOTTLES

(a) Clip-top type. In which the lid is held in position by some form of spring or clip.

(b) Screw-top type. In which the lid is held by a screw ring made of lacquered tinplate or aluminium.

These types of bottle give the best results, but if such bottles are not available, ordinary Wide-necked bottles or jam jars can be used, provided they are absolutely free from flaws.

Both the types mentioned can be had in varying sizes, and are easily obtainable. Each bottle “ in both cases consists of bottle, a round or flat rubber ring, and a metal or glass top held in position by the clip or screw ring.

Rubber rings must be examined carefully before inserting between the bottle and the lid, and all perished rings should be discarded. They should not be used more than once, and if new ones are kept from one season to another, do not expose them to light or heat. It has already been noted that they should be soaked in hot water before insertion.

Examination of the bottles is’ equally important. Make’ sure that the rim round the neck of the bottle on which the rings fit is smooth and discard any chipped-neck bottles. The same applies to the glass lid if used.

HOME-MADE SEALS FOR BOTTLES AND JARS

There are several types of home-made seals which can be fixed on the tops of all sorts of bottles and jars. A 2-lb. Jam jar will be found a useful size and is usually easily obtainable. The glass type with a neck is preferable to the straight-sided earthenware type of jar.

There is no need for either glass lid, clip top or screw top, but instead an easily made wax seal will serve the purpose. This seal can be made a week or more before it is required,. which dispenses with last-minute preparations at the critical moment.

Take 4 oz. Powdered resin, ½ oz. Vaseline, ½ oz. Shredded beeswax, and place in a tin which should be stood in a pan of boiling water. Allow this to simmer and stir occasionally until completely melted. Cut out some squares of white ‘calico (or other white washing material) large enough to cover amply the tops of the jars. If it is new material, it is best to wash it first before using. Cut out circles of greaseproof paper to fit the inner neck of the jars exactly. Stick these in the middle of the material square in circles of wax which should be slightly larger than the paper. Use ‘a brush to paint the wax on the material and place the paper over it quickly, as the wax hardens almost immediately.

As each jar is removed from the sterilizer a seal should be tied down very firmly over the hot jar with strong string. If the wax is not adhering to the jar all the way round the neck, the seal will not be airtight. After tying down, the tops and round the lip to the string should be painted all over with liquid wax, starting with the jar which was tied down first, as it will be slightly cool.

A test of perfect sealing will be if the seal is drawn down into a hollow when cool. The rough edges can then be trimmed off the cloth and the bottles are ready for storing.

Liquid fat can also be used, but only bottles with good necks should be chosen. Clarified mutton or beef fat will serve the same purpose, but paraffin wax is liable to shrink on cooling. The fat should first be melted in a tin or an old teapot or kettle placed in a pan of hot water.

The boiling water or syrup used as covering liquid must reach up well into the neck of the jar before sealing is attempted. Just above the level of the liquid the jar should be wiped with a dry cloth, or else the seal will not form.

The melted wax is poured carefully on to the surface of the covering liquid from a warm spoon or from the spout of the teapot or kettle until the jar is full. The wax will shrink when cooling and forms a hollow cup, and will be necessary to add more fat until level with the top of the jar. It is a good idea to brush some of the fat over the edges of the jar. The wax should finally set in a hollow and it is essential that the finished seal should be quite firm and stationary, at which stage the top of the jar should be tied down with paper prior to storing.

If, however, the wax can be moved, it indicates that it has not set against the sides of the jar and the work of preserving is wasted.

Sterilizers.

Here again there may be some misgiving when the expense of a sterilizing outfit is considered. When only a few bottles are to be sterilized, the special sterilizing outfit can be replaced by a large saucepan, fish kettle or similar type of vessel, but it must be sufficiently deep. A washing copper can be adapted for larger quantities. A false, bottom is however essential, and this can be home made by nailing together a few strips of wood in the form of a trellis. Depth of the vessel is emphasized as the bottles must be covered with water, so that there is uniform heat throughout.

A floating dairy thermometer registering up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit is very useful (for jams, up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit will be required).

Covering liquids.

In many cases the preservation of fruit in water will be favoured more than the use of syrup. Better flavour and colour certainly result from the use of syrup, but apart from that, water without sugar can be quite satisfactory. There is, however, one drawback which rather counterbalances the sugar saving in the first place. Fruit bottled in water alone becomes acid during storage and so will need more sugar flavouring than syrup-covered fruit when used later for fruit pie, etc. Fruit will always need re-cooking with sugar before it is used.

Strength of syrup when used will vary with type of fruit. An average proportion of sugar for a syrup is 8-12 oz. Per pint of water. The syrup should be allowed to become quite cold before pouring over the fruit. If a sugar solution of sufficient strength is used in vacuum bottles, the fruit can be served immediately without re-cooking.

Only a very weak syrup need be used with home-made seals. A syrup of 2 oz. Per pint of water is a safe strength.

METHODS OF STERILIZATION

Oven sterilization.

This method is especially practicable when small quantities of fruit ripen daily. Only a moderate oven (about 240 degrees Fahrenheit) is needed. Cook after the fruit has been packed into the bottle, but before the syrup is poured on. The fruit should be packed right to the top of the jars and covered with patty pans or saucers and then placed in the oven. Leave for three-quarters to one hour, turning the bottles occasionally to ensure even heating. It is safest to place the bottles on a shelf at least 6 in. above the bottom plate of the oven. Slow cooking is better than too much haste, as the latter will cause bursts and pulping of the fruit. In about forty-five to sixty minutes the fruit begins to look cooked and sinks in the bottles with the juice running freely. Take the bottles out of the oven one at a time, and have ready a kettle of boiling water or a pan of boiling syrup. The patent cap and home-made seal must be affixed immediately while steam is still rising freely from the bottle; put on the lid, clip or screwband if the patent stopper bottles are used. In this case do not insert the rubber rings until after removing from the oven, as the rubber is liable to perish.

Fruits such as raspberries or damsons will bottle better in dry sugar than in water. The sugar and fruit are packed alternately in the bottles (average proportion I lb. Fruit to 8-12 oz. Sugar), and the bottles are then oven sterilized as above. There is, however, often considerable shrinkage by this method, and it may be necessary to fill up one bottle from another and replace in the oven for about ten minutes to ensure sterilization. The somewhat sad appearance of the fruit after sterilization is compensated for by the delicious flavour.

Water sterilization.

Cover the fruit with cold syrup or water before heating, and when patent bottles are used, fit the rubber ring, top and clip screw-band. When packing the fruit the use of a thin stick will be helpful. Packing particularly well under the shoulder of the bottles is important. Make sure there is no particle of fruit left on the rim of the bottle where the band fits as this may cause an unsealed bottle. If you are using the screw type of bottle, screwbands should first be screwed tightly and then unscrewed a quarter to half turn to allow for the glass to expand during heating. After removing from the sterilizer the bands should be screwed down again tightly. In the clip top type the spring of the clip gives enough to allow for any expansion during heating or contraction during cooling.

The sterilizer pan or boiler must be filled with cold water up to the shoulder of the bottles and the sterilizer must be covered to keep in the steam and placed on the stove. The water should be brought slowly up to simmering point, taking about one hour in the process. Maximum temperature will vary for different fruits, but a guiding rule can be taken as too degrees Fahrenheit in the first half-hour, 170 degrees Fahrenheit in one and a half hours and maintaining at this temperature for ten minutes, i.e., a total of one hour and forty minutes heating. If a thermometer is not used, the water should be brought up to simmering point in one hour and maintained thus for ten minutes, but take great care to raise the heat very gradually, especially during the first half-hour. After removing from the hot water, place the bottles on a wood or asbestos surface to cool, and then test the seal.

STORAGE OF BOTTLED FRUITS

Bottles should. Be kept in a cool place and away from a strong light. Brown paper can be fastened with drawing pins over the fronts of shelves; these can be turned back easily to examine the contents from time to time, as there is always a possibility of occasional fermenting or. Moulding. If this is the case, the bottle must be removed immediately and the contents destroyed, care being taken to keep them away from domestic animals. Open fermenting bottles with caution as a certain amount of pressure may have been produced inside.

FAULTS IN BOTTLED FRUITS

There are often disappointments in bottling; either the fruit does not keep well, the seals do not hold, there is poor flavour, the covering liquid is cloudy, fruit rises in the bottles or sinks, air bubbles are evident, fruit turns brown at the top or has a poor colour generally. It is, however, possible to avoid all these faults by careful handling.

  • Fruits do not keep well unless a sufficiently high temperature has been maintained. Insufficient heating and faulty sealing also spoil fruit. Faulty sealing is nearly always due to some defect in the bottle or top, or in the rubber rings.
  • Poor flavour is due to using under-or over-ripe fruit or fruit in a stale or bruised condition, or unsuitable varieties. As already noted the use of water only as a covering liquid tends to acidity.
  • Cloudy covering liquid noticeable just after removing from sterilizer indicates over-cooking or the use of overripe fruit, but if the cloudiness is apparent some time after the fruit has been in store, it may be due to some bacterial action, in which case the contents of the bottle must be discarded as unfit for use.
  • Fruit rising in the bottles is usually caused by loose packing or the use of too heavy a syrup. If the fruit sinks in the bottles it is usually due to overheatin?, heating too quickly or using over-ripe fruit.
  • Air bubbles are caused by pouring on the covering liquid too- quickly. When a large air space is evident work down the packing stick into it. As soon as the edge of the bubble is touched the air will run up the stick to the surface.
  • Fruit will turn brown at the top if the liquid does not completely cover the fruit.
  • Poor colour will often result from using unsuitable varieties or exposing to a bright light.

BOTTLING OF VEGETABLES

Unless a pressure cooker is available, there will be a risk of spoiling the vegetables, and possible bacterial growth. The use of an open saucepan is not advised. The pressure cooker is securely airtight when, down and a temperature up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit maintained for a sufficient time (about thirty to forty minutes) will ensure the destruction of the spores of heat-resistant bacteria. The following extra precautions should be observed when placing the bottles in the pressure cooker: (1) loosen screwbands half a turn to allow escape of air; (2) do not let bottles touch one another; (3) stand bottles in a false bottom (wooden or metal rack); (4) avoid pressure fluctuations by allowing steam to escape and then close control valve to allow pressure to rise to xo Lb.; (5) after removing from stove, allow to cool gradually until pressure gauge registers zero and then open control valve.

Asparagus.

Choose only fresh young stalks of equal length, and bottle as quickly as possible after cutting. Wash well and cut the stalks so that they will fit into the bottles. Prepare the asparagus as for cooking by paring off the hard scales with a sharp knife and tie into bundles. Each bundle should be slightly bigger than the bottle. Put the bundles in a muslin bag with the tips upwards and place in a pan of boiling water.

The water should not completely cover the bundles, as there is always the danger of the tips being over-cooked. Put the lid on the pan and leave for two or three minutes. Remove from the boiling water and dip in cold water for a few minutes. Pack the bundles immediately into the bottles to within I in. of the top, preferably with the tips down. Fill the bottles with covering solution of brine (2 oz. To 4 oz. Salt to I gal. Water) and sterilize in a pressure cooker for thirty-five minutes at to lb. Pressure.

Broad beans.

Wash the pods as for peas and shell. Blanch the beans for three minutes in boiling water and then place in cold water for a few minutes. Pack them into the bottles loosely to within / in. of the top and add covering solution. The bottles of beans should then be placed in a pressure cooker and sterilized for twenty minutes at to lb. Pressure. Remove the 41:males one at a time and pour off the covering solution, which will have become discoloured, holding back the beans with a spoon. The beans should now be rinsed thoroughly three or four times with boiling water. Refill the bottles with boiling covering solution, screw the fittings down loosely and replace in the hot water in the pan. Heat the water to boiling point and sterilize for twenty minutes. Green Windsor is especially suitable for bottling, as this variety does not turn brown.

French beans.

The beans should be thoroughly washed, topped and tailed and strung. If required they can be cut as for runner beans, hut they are mostly preferred whole. Blanch the beans in boiling water for three minutes and plunge in cold water. Pack into bottles to within in. from the top and add the covering solution (2 oz. To 4 oz. Salt to I gal. Water). Place the bottles in a pressure cooker at to lb. Pressure for thirty-five minutes.

Beetroot.

Choose beet of a deep-red variety and uniformly coloured. Remove the tops and wash thoroughly until all the soil has been softened and removed. Place in boiling water for fifteen to twenty minutes according to size. Remove the skins and cut into slices about in thick. If the beets are small it may be just as convenient to bottle whole. Pack into bottles, pour If in covering solution and sterilize in a pressure cooker for thirty-five minutes at to lb. Pressure.

Carrots.

Only very young carrots should be bottled, that is at the beginning of July when they are only about 3 in. or 4 in. long. Cut off the tops and scrub thoroughly. Place in boiling water and boil for a quarter of an hour and then plunge into cold water. It will now be found that the carrots can easily be skinned; any black parts ‘should be cut away. As soon as a carrot has been skinned place it immediately in cold water to preserve its colour. Pack the carrots into the bottles to within é in. of the top. Fill with covering solution and sterilize for thirty-five minutes in a pressure cooker at to lb. Pressure.

Celery.

Wasit thoroughly and remove outer stalks, which should be scraped if necessary. Cut the heads lengthwise in four or eight sections. Dip into boiling water, and then plunge into cold water before packing. After packing, cover with brine (2 oz. To 4 oz. Salt per gal. Of water) and sterilize in pressure cooker at to lb. Pressure for about thirty-five minutes.

Peas.

Wash the. Pods thoroughly before shelling so as to avoid contaminating the peas themselves. Place the peas in a loose muslin bag and blanch in boiling water for one to two minutes according to the size of the peas. Remove and place in cold water for a few minutes. Pack the peas not too tightly in clean preserving bottles to within 1 in. of the top and cover completely with covering solution. This may be prepared as above, but if the flavour of mint is required prepare in the following manner: Take 1 gal. Of water, 21 oz. Of salt, and 2 oz. Of mint leaves. Boil a little of the water, pour, over the leaves and strain. Add the liquid to the remaining water and dissolve in it the 21 oz. Of salt to form the brine. If possible, 4 oz. Of sugar should be added, as this will improve the flavour of the peas. Place the bottles in a pan and completely cover them with water. Sterilize in a pressure cooker, at so lb. Pressure for thirty-five minutes. Remove from the pan and screw down immediately. When cold test the bottles to see that they are completely airtight.

To use bottled peas. Place the peas in a net or muslin bag and boil for ten to fifteen minutes. This will enable them to be heated without becoming broken.

The following important points require attention in the case of vegetables:— (1) Very clean bottles; (2) vegetables in young and fresh condition; (3) careful washing to remove all trace of soil; (4) not too tightly packed; (5) space between the bottles when placed in the cooker; (6) pressure cooker treatment only; (7) do not attempt to eat if the vegetables do not smell good on being turned out of the bottle.

SALTING OF BEANS

This is a more useful way of preserving runner and dwarf french beans than bottling, although much care should be given to details. Choose young, tender beans, and make sure they are quite dry. They can be packed whole or sliced. Place a .good layer of salt in a stone or earthenware jar and on this lay a well-packed layer of beans one bean only in thickness. Continue alternating layer of beans wifh layer of salt until the jar is full, and be sure to have salt as the topmost layer. Press down with a wooden lid or saucer which fits the opening exactly and place a weight on top. Leave for a few days, and if the beans shrink, fill up with more beans, taking care again to have salt as top layer. It is best to cork jar well and paint over with melted wax. Store in a dry place (such as kitchen cupboard). When wanted for use, wash off salt and soak for at least twelve hours in cold water, changing it twice. Cook in boiling unsalted water until tender, i.e., for about twenty-five minutes. A change of boiling water will ensure getting rid of surplus salt altogether.

PICKLES AND CHUTNEYS

Although pickles and chutneys can hardly be regarded as an important means of food preservation, there is no doubt that they are a friendly economy if used sparingly and with discretion, and will add a fillip to remnants of pie, tongue, or to the cold joint. There is something snappy about a good flavoured chutney or pickle, but it’ is up to the housewife to select the ingredients carefully.

PICKLES

Cauliflowers, red cabbage, beetroot, onions, shallots, cucumbers, gherkins, will pickle well, and also green tomatoes, vegetable marrow, mushrooms and walnuts.

Fresh condition of vegetables is most important. After removing outer leaves of cabbages and cauliflowers and cutting up the larger vegetables, it will be necessary to place in a brine (1 lb. Salt to one gallon water) or sprinkle with salt and leave for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, according to vegetables treated.

Rinse arid drain well before packing into clean jars, and cover with ‘cold spiced vinegar up to neck of jar. It is advisable to have quite in. vinegar over the top of the vegetables, as evaporation is liable to occur during storage, and it is important that the pickled vegetable should not be exposed. Seal jars tightly. Hot vinegar is advised for the softer type of pickles (walnuts, plums, etc.), but cold vinegar gives the better result for such vegetables as cabbage, onion, etc., as crispness is important.

When pickling walnuts, discard any of which the shell can be felt by pricking with a needle.

A large number of sweet pickles often have fruits as a base such as damsons, pears, apricots, and crab apples.

CHUTNEYS

Slow cooking is essential if the snappy flavour is to be obtained, and there are to be no complaints as regards roughness to the palate. All the raw material additions such as onions, garlic, raisins, dates, sugar, should be cooked together with the bases for chutney, and not added in the bottle afterwards. Vinegar and spice serve as preserving agents. Remember also that if a sieve is required for certain ingredients, avoid metal as it will affect taste of chutney. This applies also to cooking pans, and only enamel lined pans should be used.

Some forms of chutney such as apple and tomato will demand too much sugar to make it practicable just now, but useful gooseberry chutney can be made by mixing xi lb. Gooseberries, 3 oz. Stoned raisins, 5 oz. Sugar, 4 oz. Onions, 1 oz. Mixed spice, / oz. Crushed mustard seed, pint vinegar, oz. Salt.

A first-rate beetroot chutney can be made by boiling together 3 lb. Beetroot two onions, xi lb. Apples, half teaspoonful ginger, I pint vinegar, one teaspoonful salt, juice of one lemon.

Half a pound of sugar will add relish. But this addition is not necessary it supplies are limited.

Boil onions and apples first with vinegar and sugar and then add beet and boil for fifteen minutes.

Turnips will serve as a useful base. Take z lb. Turnips, I lb. Apples, x lb. Onions, lb. Sultanas, and flavourings of turmeric powder, mustard and pepper ‘ and one quart of vinegar.

After boiling pieces of turnip till soft, drain out and beat to pulp, then add flavourings and other raw materials. Boil for one hour and stir occasionally.

Perhaps the most useful form of chutney is the quickly made’ sugarless sort, using up oddments to hand, and here is a recipe which can serve such a purpose:-

Take the kernels of fruit stones or a few chopped almonds, some plum or apricot jam, and add a finely chopped, small onion. Flavour with pepper and salt, and mix well with vinegar to taste. This can be used successfully with cold joints.

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