Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 19 – THE FINALE
It is quite sad that we have come to the end of our journey working our way through this fabulous old book, but feel it high time to give it back to Mom for her safe keeping, she has been extremely patient waiting to get it back.
The chapter on Canning, Pickling and Preserving reads as follows:
“Rows of jelly glasses sparkling ruby and topaz in the sun; jars of plump pickled peaches studded with pungent cloves, little pots of golden marmalade – these on the pantry shelf, like hand-worked linens on the table, are homemade for the modern household. Maybe you don’t need to put up fruit as grandmother did in order to feed the family during the winter months. Maybe arithmetic proves that you can buy good commercial products for less than the cost of home canning. But you want the fun of saying, as you pass the breakfast jam, “Yes, I made it myself.”
If you have your own garden you want to boast, “We grew these cucumber pickles” or green beans. Only the home gardener can profitably go in for canning vegetables on a large scale. But in any home kitchen, or even kitchenette, you can manage a few precious jars of homemade preserves and relishes.
Principles of Canning: The purpose of the canning process is twofold: to destroy certain enzymes and micro-organisms already in the food and to prevent bacteria from contaminating it once these agents have been destroyed. The first is accomplished by heat, the second by air-tight sealing.
The enzymes and two types of micro-organism yeasts and molds, are easily destroyed by heat, bacteria, the third type, particularly in the spore state, are strongly resistant to heat, Ordinary boiling temperatures will not destroy them unless prolonged for many hours, but the hight temperature reached in a pressure cooker at 15 pounds pressure makes short work of them. Fruits, tomatoes and other acid vegetables present no difficulty in this respect, for an ordinary boiling temperature in combination with the acid in the food will destroy bacteria. The non acid vegetables and meats, however, require special consideration. If the bacteria normally present in such foods are not destroyed they may cause one or more of several types of spoilage.”
This chapter covers the various methods of packaging (cold, hot and open kettle) and the various methods of processing (hot water bath, processing by steam pressure cooker, processing by steamer cooker and oven canning). The chapter also details the preparation of jars, lids and rubbers as well as filling, handling and sealing jars and has 28 pages of recipes for canning, pickling and preserving fruit juices, vegetables, meat, poultry and how to make jellies, jams and marmalades.