These tips have been collected from the 1940s and 1950s, most are quite practical but one is truly a piece of old-timer wisdom that I couldn’t resist including (you’ll know which one when you see it!). I’ve also included a section “Canning Arithmetic” from that time period, it provides a guideline for what quantities to expect from several different types of fruits.
- When making catsup, pour off the watery liquid on top of tomatoes after running through sieve. Your catsup will have a bright red appearance and cooking time will be cut in half.
- If your water bath canner does not have a rack, stretch an old rubber ring round the middle of each jar. This prevents the jars from bumping together and breaking while they are being processed.
- If you don’t have a rack, set extra jar rings on the bottom of the pot to keep your jars off the bottom.
- For foods which have been blanched for freezing, add ice cubes to the water in which they are to be chilled to hasten the chilling and retain the full flavor.
- To label jars of food, write on the jar while it is still hot with a bright colored crayon.
- Flaps cut from old unsealed envelopes can be used to label jars of fruit or preserves.
- Select only the perfect and fresh products. Imperfect and irregular shaped fruits and vegetables may be used in jams and preserves.
- One tablespoon vinegar to each quart beets will help retain their color.
- Use soft water for blanching and precooking peas; it helps to prevent cloudiness.
- Make sauerkraut when the moon is new until the first quarter, and the juice will stay on until it is used.
- That teaspoon off your metal measuring spoons makes a handy gadget for coring fresh pears, salads or desserts. Cut pears in half and then run metal teaspoon around the core. Presto, out it comes in a jiffy!
- When working with corn, place cob in angel food tube and cut off the corn. The corn will fall into pan.
- To keep pickles from shriveling, add one heaping tablespoon of alum to first salt water. (you’ll find Common Causes Of Poor Quality Pickles on this page )
- Use only sack salt for pickles and kraut because other salt has been treated, thus will soften, discolor, and give unpleasant taste.
- When processing tomatoes, put onions and peppers in with them, this is grand with rice or macaroni and it is all ready to use.
- Add a few drops of food coloring to a jar or two of pears. The colored pears will provide that extra touch in holiday desserts or salads.
- To clean lids, put them in a pan. Cover with sweet milk, let stand till clabbered, then take out and wash. They are like new.
- Soak jars overnight in a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water, this will remove scale and hard water film.
- A little lime kept on shelves where jellies or preserves are stored, will usually prevent formation of mold.
- A little borax sprinkled in empty jars will keep them sweet and fresh until needed again.
- Red fruit fades if cooked too rapidly at the start. It should be heated slowly until hot clear through, then finished quickly.
- Cook red fruits in aluminum or enamel to avoid their getting a bluish color. Do not use a chipped enamel kettle.
- After plums are washed, pierce each one to prevent the skin from bursting.
- When using glass jars, remove only one at a time from the boiling water bath.
- If you’re processing more than one lot a day, mark the lot number on each label for quality control.
- Protect packed glass jars from the light to help protect the food from fading in color.
If the jars and fruit don’t come out even when you are canning, better sit down and do some figuring before you start to can. Here are some tips to help you…
- Apples: 1 bushel (50 pounds) cans 17 to 20 quarts
- Apricots: 4 baskets or crates (1 bushel) cans 20 to 25 quarts
- Berries: 24 quart crate cans 15 to 24 quarts
- Grapes: 1 bushel (48 pounds) cans 16 to 20 quarts
- Pears: 1 bushel (58 pounds) cans 20 to 24 quarts
- Peaches: 1 bushel (50 pounds) cans 18 to 20 quarts
- Pineapples: 15 pineapples yields 30 pints
- Plums: 1 bushel (56 pounds) cans 24 to 30 quarts
- Tomatoes: 1 bushel (56 pounds) cans 15 to 20 quarts
- Ready to get started? You’ll find the motherload of recipes on this page  (over 80 so far!)
And you don’t want to miss these free labels to print .