Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery / Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals

Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Steve Schulze
and PG Distributed Proofreaders











This volume, the fifth of the Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, deals with the varieties of fruits and the desserts that can be made from them, the canning and preserving of foods, the making of confections of every description, beverages and their place in the diet, and every phase of the planning of meals.

With fruits becoming less seasonal and more a daily food, an understanding of them is of great value to the housewife. In Fruit and Fruit Desserts, she first learns their place in the diet, their nature, composition, and food value. Then she proceeds with the preparation and serving of every variety of fruit. Included in this section also are fruit cocktails, those refreshing appetizers often used to introduce a special meal.

To understand how to preserve perishable foods in the seasons of plenty for the times when they are not obtainable is a valuable part of a housewife’s knowledge. Canning and Drying deals with two ways of preserving foodstuffs, treating carefully the equipment needed and all the methods that can be employed and showing by means of excellent illustrations, one of them in natural colors, every part of the procedure followed. The fruits and vegetables that permit of canning, as well as certain meats and fish, are taken up in a systematic manner.

Jelly Making, Preserving, and Pickling continues a discussion of the home preservation of foods, showing how they can be kept for long periods of time not by sterilization, but with the aid of preservatives. Each one of these methods is treated as to its principles, equipment, and the procedure to be followed. After trying the numerous recipes given, the housewife will be able to show with pride the results of her efforts, for nothing adds more to the attractiveness and palatability of a meal than a choice jelly, conserve, marmalade, or jam.

Confections deals with that very delightful and fascinating part of cookery–confection making. Not only are home-made confections cheaper than commercially made ones, but they usually contain more wholesome materials, so it is to the housewife’s advantage to familiarize herself with the making of this food. Recipes are given for all varieties of confections, including taffies, caramels, cream candies, and the confections related to them. Fondant making is treated in detail with illustrations showing every step and directions for making many unusual kinds.

Though beverages often receive only slight consideration, they are so necessary that the body cannot exist very long without them. In Beverages is discussed the relation of beverages to meals, the classes of beverages, and the preparation of those required by the human system, as well as the proper way to serve them. In addition to coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, and cereal beverages, fruit, soft, and nourishing drinks receive their share of attention.

To be a successful home maker, it is not enough for a housewife to know how to prepare food; she must also understand how to buy it, how to look after the household accounts, what constitutes correct diet for each member of her family, how to plan menus for her regular meals and for special occasions, and the essentials of good table service. All these things, and many more, she learns in The Planning of Meals, which completes this volume.



Fruit in the Diet
Composition of Fruits
Food Value of Fruits
Preparing and Serving Fruits
Miscellaneous Berries
Miscellaneous Citrus Fruits
Miscellaneous Tropical Fruits
Fruit Cocktails
Dried Apples, Apricots, and Peaches


Necessity for Preserving Foods
Principles of Canning
General Equipment for Canning
Open-Kettle Method
Cold-Pack Method
Procedure in the One-Period Cold-Pack Method
Procedure in the Fractional-Sterilization Method
Steam-Pressure Methods
Canning with Tin Cans
Oven Method
Preparation for Canning
Directions for Canning Vegetables
Directions for Canning Fruits
Sirups for Canning Fruits
Canning Meat and Fish
Storing and Serving Canned Foods
Scoring Canned Foods
Principles of Drying
Drying Methods
Directions for Drying Vegetables and Fruits
Storing and Cooking Dried Foods


Value of Jellies, Preserves, and Pickles
Principles of Jelly Making
Equipment for Jelly Making
Procedure in Jelly Making
Scoring Jelly
Recipes for Jelly
Principles of Preserving
Principles of Pickling
Recipes for Pickles
Recipes for Relishes


Nature of Confections
Composition of Confections
Foundation Materials in Confections
Food Materials
Equipment for Confection Making
Cooking the Mixture
Pouring and Cooling the Mixture
Finishing Candies
Taffies and Similar Candies
Fudge and Related Candies
Fondant and Related Creams
Miscellaneous Confections
Serving Candy


Nature and Classes of Beverages
Water in Beverages
Relation of Beverages to Meals
Alcoholic Beverages
Stimulating Beverages
History and Production of Coffee
Preparation of Coffee
Serving Coffee
History and Production of Tea
Preparation of Tea
Serving Tea
Nature and Selection of Cocoa and Chocolate
Preparation of Cocoa and Chocolate
Serving Cocoa and Chocolate
Cereal Beverages
Ingredients for Fruit Beverages
Preparation of Fruit Beverages
Soft Drinks
Nourishing Beverages


Necessity for Careful Meal Planning
Successful Marketing
Keeping Household Accounts
Factors Influencing Cost of Foods
Economical Buying
Suitability of Food
Composition of Food
Balancing the Diet
Diet for Infants and Children
Diet for the Family
Proportion of Food Substances
General Rules for Menu Making
Card-File System for Menu Making
Dinner Menus
Luncheon Menus
Breakfast Menus
Menus for Special Occasions
Table Service




1. FRUIT, as is generally understood, is the fleshy, juicy product of some plant or tree which, when ripe, is suitable for use as food. Although some fruits are seedless, they generally contain the seeds of the plants or trees that produce them. Many fruits require cooking to make them palatable, others are never cooked, and still others may be cooked or eaten raw, as desired.

Fruits, because they are wholesome, appetizing, and attractive, occupy a valuable place in the diet. In fact, it is these qualities rather than their food value that accounts for the popularity of fruits among all people. In addition to causing fruits to appeal to the esthetic sense, their attractiveness serves another important purpose. It is said that Nature made them attractive in color, odor, and flavor in order that birds might be allured to attack them for food and, by spreading the seeds, assist in their propagation.

2. Fruits are gradually growing to be less seasonal and more a daily food, and are thus constantly becoming more prevalent in the diet. This condition may be attributed to the present rapid means of transportation and the excellent methods of cold storage that exist. Through these agencies it is possible to ship more or less perishable fruits long distances from their native localities and at times of the year other than the particular season in which they are at their best in the places where they are grown. Thus, fruits that were formerly considered a luxury may now be served regularly, even on the tables of persons having only moderate means.

The fact that fruits are being more extensively used every day is as it should be, for this food is entitled to an important place in the diet of all persons. So important is fruit in the diet that it must be looked on not as one of the things that may be taken or omitted as a person wishes without making any difference either way, but as a food to include in one form or another in nearly every meal. The child who is so young that it cannot take any solid food may have fruit juices included in its diet to decided advantage; but children who are slightly older and adults may take the fruits cooked or raw instead of in the form of juices.

3. As far as the composition of fruits is concerned, it is such that most fresh fruits are not particularly high in food value. However, they are characterized by other qualities that make up for what they lack in this respect; then, too, what they contain in the way of heat-producing or tissue-building material is easily digestible. Most fruits contain considerable acid, and this food substance makes them stimulating to the appetite. Advantage of this fact is taken when fruits are served at the beginning of a breakfast or when several of them are combined in a fruit cocktail and served before luncheon or dinner. This acid produces real stimulation in the stomach, resulting in a flow of gastric juice from the glands of the stomach walls. In addition, the delightful color, the fragrant odor, or the pleasant taste of fruit, although a mental effect, is just as real and just as valuable as the actual stimulation of the acids.

4. Many fruits are eaten raw, while others are cooked either because they require cooking to make them appetizing or because it is desired not to use them in their raw state. The cooking of fruits has a variety of effects on them, being sometimes advantageous and other times detrimental. The flavor is always changed by the application of heat, and in some cases the acid that fruit contains becomes stronger. On the other hand, the fibrous material, or cellulose, of fruits is softened by cooking and thus becomes more digestible. Then, too, the sugar that is usually added to fruits in their cooking increases their food value. Because of these facts, cooked fruits have considerable value and, like raw fruits, should have an important place in the diet. Those fruits which are dried and usually eaten raw, such as figs and dates, supply much nourishment in an easily digestible form.

5. The medicinal value of fruit has long been considered to be of importance, but this may be almost entirely disregarded, for, with the exception of the fact that most fruits are valuable as a laxative, there is nothing to consider. However, several fruits, such as blackberries and bananas, have an anti-laxative effect, and large quantities of these should for the most part be avoided, especially in the feeding of children.

6. In general, fruits are divided into two classes, namely, food fruits and flavor fruits. As their names imply, food fruits are valuable as food, whereas flavor fruits are those distinguished by a characteristic flavor. It should be remembered that the flavors, as well as the odors, of fruits, are due chiefly to what is known as their volatile, or ethereal, oils. Fruits in which these oils are very strong are often irritating to certain persons and cause distress of some sort after eating.

7. In this Section, it is the purpose to acquaint the housewife with the relative value and uses of the various kinds of fruit, to teach her the best methods of preparation, and to supply her with recipes that will encourage her to make greater use of this valuable food in her family’s diet. In this discussion, however, the general classification of fruits is not followed. Instead, the various fruits are arranged alphabetically under the headings Berries, Non-Tropical Fruits, Citrus Fruits, Tropical Fruits, Melons, and Dried Fruits, in order to simplify matters. While it is hardly possible to use fruits too extensively, they must not be allowed to take the place of other more nourishing foods that are required by the body. Therefore, in order to make proper use of them, their value in the diet should not be overlooked.



8. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between vegetables and fruits. For instance, the tomato is in reality a fruit, but it is commonly used as a vegetable, and rhubarb is more of a vegetable than a fruit, but it is always used as a fruit. It can therefore be seen that the line between vegetables and fruits is not clearly drawn. It is well to remember that fruit is usually the edible pulpy mass covering the seeds of various plants and trees, and that it is generally cooked or eaten raw with sugar, whereas vegetables are seldom sweetened in cooking.

9. Great strides have been made in the cultivation of fruit. Many varieties that formerly grew wild are now commonly cultivated. Most of the cultivated fruits are superior to the same kind in the wild state, at least in size and appearance, but often there seems to be a loss of flavor. Through cultivation, some fruits that were almost inedible in their wild state on account of containing so many seeds have been made seedless. Also, through cross-cultivation, varieties of fruit different from what formerly existed have been obtained. An example of such fruit is the loganberry which is a cross between a red raspberry and a blackberry and retains many of the qualities of each. However, some small fruits, such as blueberries, or huckleberries, are still grown wild and marketed only from their wild source.

10. While fruit is usually improved by cultivation, there has been a tendency through this means to produce fruits that will stand up for long periods of time, so that they may be marketed at great distances from the place where they are grown. For instance, apples, especially those found in the market in the spring, and other fruits, which look very fine, will many times be found to have a tough skin and to be almost tasteless.

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