Picking and Canning Fruit on the Vineyard Part 2
Barber Allen Mederios was born in 1903. She grew up on Martha’s Vineyard on a family farm. In her oral history she talked about helping her mother prepare fruit for canning. She used to help pick and wash pears, peaches, and quince. Simply sealed glass jars became available for home canning about the turn of the century. Home canning of fruits became much easier and more reliable with the invention of the pressure cooker which made it possible to apply much more heat to the materials which killed bacteria and prevented spoiling. As a result, food canned in home flourished among farm families on the Vineyard because of increased ease, safety, and it proved more affordable than purchasing commercially produced canned goods at stores such as pears, peaches, and quince. For would-be entrepreneurs, people will pay a premium for local artisan produced preserves. It's a product that you can do at your own pace out of your home little startup cost. The Mason jars necessary for canning I see all the time at yard and tag sales that can be purchased for very little.
TO CAN QUINCES.
Cut the quinces into thin slices like apples for pies. To one quart jarful of quince, take a coffee saucer and a half of sugar and a coffee cupful of water; put the sugar and water on the fire, and when boiling put in the quinces; have ready the jars with their fastenings, stand the jars in a pan of boiling water on the stove, and when the quince is clear and tender put rapidly into the jars, fruit and syrup together. The jars must be filled so that the syrup overflows, and fastened up tight as quickly as possible.
F.L. Gillette, The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887)