grapes for canning, the mason jar, home canning

Canned Fruits

Commercial canning (in tin cans) was fairly common in the U.S. by the mid-1800s. But in 1858, John L. Mason invented a glass jar that had a screw thread around the outside rim. This allowed a reusable metal lid to be screwed on, rather than having to mess with sealing wax. People could now preserve pickles, relishes, sauces, and fruit. Later, people began to can vegetables and meats. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS CANNED FRUITS […]

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quinces on tree

Ways to Use Quinces (Fruit)

Quinces are yellow when ripe and resemble a pear, but the exterior is bumpy. They have a sour, astrigent taste unless completely ripened, so they’re usually cooked. The quince tree was brought to the American colonies by English settlers. During the 18th century, there was usually a quince at the lower corner of the vegetable garden [reference]. Today, there aren’t many commercial quince tree orchards in the U.S.  They’re considered a specialty fruit and aren’t […]

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plums-dried to make prunes

Recipes for Prunes (Dried Plums)

Prunes are often joked about being used only for relief of constipation. In 2001, plum growers in the U.S. were authorized by the government to call prunes “dried plums.” So now we see packages labeled “dried plums” rather than prunes.  [reference] ============================ FROM OLD COOKBOOKS: DRIED FRUITS Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, and prunes are valuable sweets for boys and girls. It is much better to eat one of these fruits than candy. […]

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bunch of bananas

Vintage Banana Recipes

BANANAS  weren’t known in the United States until Captain Lorenzo Baker introduced them in 1870.  They were expensive and only available to those living near port cities on the east coast. It took many years for them to become available and affordable to the average household.   FROM EARLY 1900s COOKBOOKS: Do not try to hurry the ripening process as bananas are better when ripened slowly. Keep them in the dark, in a not too cold […]

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rhubarb

Ways to Use Rhubarb

  Rhubarb is usually considered a vegetable. But in 1947, a New York court in the United States ruled that since it was used in the U.S. as a fruit, it counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. (Tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits). NOTE:  Only use the stalks. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. RHUBARB RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS STEWED RHUBARB When rhubarb first comes into season it is small, tender and of […]

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green gooseberries

Have You Ever Eaten Gooseberries?

When I was in grade school, we visited our grandparents every summer and they grew gooseberries. We picked and ate green gooseberries right off the bushes. They were certainly sour, but that was the attraction.  We had contests to see how many we could eat before having to spit them out. We never did get to see them as red berries. They must have ripened in late summer or early fall after we went back […]

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apples on tree

Ways to Use Apples

Recipes below from the Dr. Allinson’s Cookery Book by Thomas R. Allinson 1915 APPLE FOOL Two pounds of apples, one half pound of dates, three fourths pint of milk, one fourth pint of cream, six cloves tied in muslin, and a little sugar. Pare, core, and cut up the apples, stone the dates, and gently stew the fruit and the cloves with a teacupful of water until quite tender.  When sufficiently cooked, remove the cloves, […]

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