Tag Archives: preserving fruit

The Women Folk are Canning Fruit: 1908

canning jars in pantry 1907

THE OUTCAST

You ask me why I weep and moan

Like some lost spirit in despair,

And why I wander off alone,

And paw the ground and tear my hair?

You ask me why I pack this gun,

All loaded up, prepared to shoot?

Alas, my troubles have begun—

The women folk are canning fruit!

There Is no place for me to eat,

Unless I eat upon the floor;

And peelings get beneath my feet

And make me fall a block or more;

The odors from the boiling jam

All day assail my weary snoot;

You find me, then, the wreck I am—

The women folks are canning fruit!

Oh, they have peaches on the chairs,

And moldy apples on the floor,

And wormy plums upon the stairs,

And piles of pears outside the door;

And they are boiling pulp and juice;

And you may hear them yell and hoot;

A man’s existence is the deuce—

The women folk are canning fruit!

The Emporia [KS] Gazette 20 August 1908: p. 1

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Even without the citation, Mrs Daffodil would know that this is an American poem because, in England, the correct, and vastly more accurate term, is “bottling fruit.”  It is jarring to hear the Americanism “canning,” when the container is glass.

To judge by the range of articles on “scientific canning,” and the perils of scalding fruit and exploding canning jars found in the vintage papers of the States, the subject was no joking matter.

Mrs Daffodil is indignant to report that she has found only one joke on the subject that meets her exacting standards of humour:

The Vermont housewife who read that English nobles have lots of hares in their preserves, says she tried it to the extent of putting a whole chignon into some blackberry jam, and the jam didn’t seem a bit better for it.

Kalamazoo [MI] Gazette 2 August 1881: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.