The Necessity of Canning and Preserving Food-Grandma Dollaway's Recipes

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Francis (Denny) Dollaway's Canning and Preserving Recipe Book Cover Page

There has been a recent resurgence of canning and preserving food in America.  Francis Dollaway knew canning and preserving as a way of life.  It was a necessary skill to have if you wanted food to be available and to prevent spoilage.

Francis lived from 1866-1955 in rural Michigan.  She was married in 1885.  I am sure she did an enormous amount of canning for her family of seven because refrigeration as we know it wasn't available until the 1920's, and then not everyone had it.

Refrigeration using ice was around by the 1900's.  Other methods of keeping food cold was the use of cellars.  Some were dug in the ground and other's would be in the basement of the home.  I imagine in Michigan a few were packed with snow during the winter months.  Many women of this generation used canning and preserving instead.

Francis Dollaway was one of them and I have copies of her recipes.  I wrote about the origins of Grandma Dollaway's cookbooks here.  The first cookbook was a general book of recipes.  The second one is all on canning and preserving.  This book of recipes includes recipes for pickles, relishes, hash, pickled fruit, jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves and canned potatoes.

Here is one for Elderberry Jelly.  I wonder if Grandma Dollaway had elderberries on her property along the river in Lowell, Michigan.  Check out the directions on how to boil it!

Elderberry Jelly
3 c. fresh elderberry Juice
       (about 4 lbs. ripe berries)
7 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c lemon juice
1 bottle pectin

Remove large stems from berries, place in a kettle & crush.  Heat gently until juice starts to flow, cover & simmer 15 minutes.  Strain out the juice.  Mix sugar, juice & lemon juice & bring to a boil over hottish fire.  As soon as it boils add the pectin, stirring constantly.  Bring to a rolling boil and boil hard 1/2 minute.  Remove from fire, skim and pour into hot sterilized glasses.  Cover with parafin at once.


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