CANNING AND PRESERVING FRUIT The art of preserving and canning fruit is much more important than is usually realized. Preserved fruit is, perhaps, most often classed with candy and other sweetmeats as an expensive luxury. But fruit, prop erly put up, is not necessarily expen sive and may be regarded as a very essential part of the diet in winter. The value of fruit in the diet can hardly be overestimated. The fruit juices have a peculiarly wholesome effect upon the digestive organs and tend to keep the blood in good con dition. They also, to a large extent, prevent the necessity for cathartic medicines. Fresh fruit in season should, of course, have the prefer ence, but in winter properly canned fruit and preserves take their place with almost equally good effect in the diet.
Preserving and Canning.—These terms are used somewhat loosely, but the word preserves more properly ap plies to the old-fashioned method of our grandmothers, which consisted in boiling the fruit in sirup after the time-honored recipe of " pound for pound." This process, to be entirely successful, is difficult and tedious. It is also expensive on account of the amount of sugar required. The old fashioned preserves are still favored by some, but the easier, quicker, and cheaper method of canning has large ly deposed them. The term " pre
serves " also covers jams and marma lade, which are fruit, or mixtures of fruit, stewed to di smooth paste.
Fruit Jellies.—These dainties are made of fruit pressed and strained from the pulp and boiled until clear; the scum, as fast as it rises, being re moved with a skimmer. Sugar is then added at the rate of one pound for each pint of boiling liquor, and the whole is stirred over the fire un til the sugar dissolves. It is then poured into tumblers or jars which have been previously boiled and al lowed to stand in hot water on the back of the stove until needed. The jars are then covered to exclude dust and allowed to stand until they are cold. One or more layers of tissue paper saturated with brandy or other spirits are pressed tightly over the top of the cold jelly, and metal or paper lids are fastened over the whole. Or after the paper dipped in spirits has been put in place the tops may be covered with a thin layer of cotton batting.
Or jelly may be covered by pour ing over it a thin coating of melted paraffin.