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Pickles and Preserves


To pickle the fruit, it must be pickled before commencing to ripen, and be sound; the same for vegetables. When the fruit or vegetable is clean, and cut in pieces, if necessary, such as cabbage, have water on the fire, and drop it in at the first boil. If the fruit or vegetable is desired white, add to the water lemon or unripe grape juice. It is necessary to be very careful in blanching, for, if too much blanched or cooked, it will be soft and tasteless; if not enough, it will ferment. As a general rule, it is cooked as soon as it floats, but it can be ascertained by running a skewer or a small knife through it. By putting some fresh spinach-leaves or fresh grape-vine-leaves on the top of the fruit or vegetable, it will keep it more green than without. When blanched, take from the fire and drain. Drop it immediately in cold water, and drain again. When dry, put the fruit or vegetable in jars, cover it with boiling vinegar; season with peppers, pepper-corns, cloves, and tarragon, also some rock-salt. When perfectly cold, seal the jars air-tight, and keep in a dark, cool, and dry closet. Every kind of fruit or vegetables can be pickled in the same way; the only difference is in the time of blanching or cooking, which is according to the nature of the fruit: apples, string-beans, beets, cabbages, cauliflowers, cherries, cucumbers, lemons, melons, mushrooms, onions, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, quinces, radishes, walnuts, etc., may also be preserved in salt and water, and in the following way: When cooked as above, put them in jars and cover them with very salt water. Seal when cool, and then put the jars in a boiler full of cold water, with straw or rags to prevent breaking them; set on the fire, boil from twenty to thirty minutes, take from the fire, let cool; then take the jars from the water and put away as the above.

Peas and mushrooms are almost always preserved in water and salt.

Asparagus is also preserved, but it is so difficult to succeed, that even manufacturers of preserves have given it up.


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Hand-Book of Practical Cookery (1884).

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