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 thoughts on “Do Canning on a Cool Day

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

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