Monday, January 23, 2017

Apples & Preserving

In 1874 Haydn's dictionary of dates was printed. It is filled with all kinds of interesting tidbits. Below is what it had to say about apples.

APPLES. The Romans knew of 22 varieties of apples, according to Pliny. Ray reckons 78 kinds in his day, in England (1688). In the U. S. 200 varieties exist Apple-trees of finest quality last 80 years. Some reach the age of 200 years. Throughout the U. S. the following appear to be the favorites: For summer apples, the Early Harrett, Sveet Bough and Red Astrackim ; for autumn, the Fall Pippin, Porter andGravenslein; for winter, the Baldvin and 'Rhode Island Greening. The demand for the fruit is greatly in advance of the supply, and in London the American apple commands fabulous prices. In 1860, the yield of orchard fruit amounted to $19,000,000, the greater part of which was derived from the apple product. In 1865, the orchards in the State of New York yielded 16,275,505 bushels of apples.

In 1872 the publication "A Dictionary of Every day wants:" came out and gives two methods of storing apples for later use.

APPLES, To Dry.—The most general method adopted in drying apples is, after they are pared, to cut them in slices, and spread them on cloths, tables, or boards, and dry them out-doors. In clear and dry weather this is, perhaps, the most expeditious and best way; but in cloudy and stormy weather this way is attended with much inconvenience, and sometimes loss, in consequence of the apples rotting before they dry. To some extent they may be dried in this way in the house, though this is attended with much inconvenience. The best method that I have ever ased to dry apples is to use frames. These combine the most advantages with the least inconvenience o( any way, and can be used with equal advantage either in drying in the house or out in
the sun. In pleasant weather the frames can be set out-doors against the side of the building, or any other support, and nights, or cloudy and stormy days, they can be brought into the house, and set against the side of the room near the stove or fire-place. Frames are made in the following manner: Two strips of board, 7 feet long, 2 or 2 1/2 inches wide—two strips 3 feet long, 1 1/2 inches wide, the whole 3/4 of an inch thick—nail the short strips across the ends of the long ones, and it makes a frame 7 by 3 feet, which is a convenient sire for all purposes. On one of the long strips nails are driven 3 inches apart, extending from the top to the bottom. After the apples are pared, they are quartered and cored, and with a needle and twine, or stout thread strung into lengths long enough to reach twice across the frame; the ends of the twine are then tied together, and the strings hung on the nails across the frame. The apples will soon dry so that the strings can be doubled on the nails, and fresh ones put on or the whole of them removed, and others put in their place. As fast as the apples become sufficiently dry they can be taken from the strings, and the same strings used to dry more on. If large apples are used to dry, they can be cut in smaller pieces. Pears and quinces, and other fruits that can be strung, may be dried in this way.

APPLES, Preserving. —l. By selecting the best of fruit, and carefully enveloping each specimen separately in paper so that the air cannot pass through, the time of keeping in a sound and eatable condition can be greatly prolonged. After covering each apple with paper, select a light wooden box and cover it on the inside, or outside, with paper either before, or after putting in the fruit, as the case may be. Those persons who are desirous of preserving a small quantity of apples will be amply repaid for their trouble by trying the above experiment. The fruit should not be disturbed after packing until the box is opened at the time the fruit is to be eaten.—2. A layer of dry sawdust was sprinkled at the bottom of the box, and then a layer of apples placed in it so that they did not touch each other. Upon these were placed a little layer of sawdust, and so on until the box was filled. The boxes, after being packed in this way, were placed on the wall in the cellar, up from the ground, where they kept, perfectly retaining their freshness and flavor, until brought out.—3. Apples for keeping should be laid out on a dry floor (or three weeks. They then may be packed away in layers, with dry straw between them. Each apple should be rubbed with a dry cloth as it is
Put away. They should be kept in a cool place, ut should be sufficiently covered with straw to protect them from frost. They should be plucked on a dry day. They also keep if packed in dry sand.—4. An excellent method for preserving apples through the winter is to put them in barrels or boxes, surrounding each apple with some dry mould or gypsum (plaster of Paris)— not the calcined used for casts, models, etc.— and kept in a dry, cool outhouse.

Another method I've come across but can't find the source right now, was using the husks of the corn, wrapping the apples in the husks and put them away in a similar method as above.

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