Do Canning on a Cool Day

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 17, 1914:  Am having a hot time of it.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is probably a stretch—but could the Muffly’s be canning fruits or vegetables? . . . maybe cherries? . . . or green beans? Canning is a very hot job.

According to the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Canning is the process of putting up fruits or vegetables in air-tight jars either with or without sugar. Preserving is the preparation of fruits with sufficient sugar to keep without fermentation whether air-tight or not. If possible do the canning on cool days. . .

Maybe the produce was at its peak . . . and they just couldn’t wait for a cool day like the magazine recommended.

14 Responses

  1. I think that is a very good guess for the time of year and that the garden would be in full production.

  2. Wonderful expression, I think. Could mean so many things and sounds very Irish

  3. A good idea not to do canning on a hot day. And, today, because it was very cold, I baked cookies. ;)

  4. You just may be right about the canning. Everyone worked harder then…just to survive!

  5. I am so grateful for the freezer. I haven’t canned in many many years.

  6. Can you imagine how hot the farmhouse was in the summer?! No AC, maybe no fans–we have it so much easier!

  7. Long time ago, I did a bit of canning myself!
    Diana xo

  8. I find cooking in general to be incompatible with these hot days. And Helena wouldn’t have had fans or air conditioners to turn to! Jane

  9. Only Helena knows what she meant by “having a hot time of it.” But your guess is a good one.

  10. I learned to can mostly fruit from our backyard trees. I still do a bit every year. It is a great feeling of accomplishment. Everyone enjoys receiving something canned earlier in the year.

  11. I could not imagine canning on a hot day – especially with no air conditioning!

  12. It always seemed that with both my wife and I working, the only days we had to can was a very hot one. We canned many things. We would start on a Friday night and be done Sunday. It would always take 2 / 3 weekends to get it all done. Those were the days!

  13. That does sound like a hot job! And it could be such a messy job, too.

  14. I see people starting to purchase canning supplies in the stores now, so it is possible. I always think of my grandmother when I read about Helena, their lives were so different. I often wonder what she was doing 100 yrs ago. She would have been around 16 and living in Georgia on what was left of her families plantation. She had servants to do her bidding and never worked in the fields and only took on “ladies” jobs when she had to after she divorced my grandfather such as housekeeping, a cook and nursing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,110 other followers

%d bloggers like this: