Pebbles or Pearls 3

Recently, I attended a Summer Canning and Preserving class demonstration at The Chopping Block. My thought behind taking the class was, if I’m canning and preserving my own foods than I can control what goes in my family members’ bodies. I could make sure that the freshest and best ingredients are used.

I learned about the class through a friend who had taken the class before and was willing to attend again with me. A bonus to taking the class is taking it with someone whose company I enjoy. We arrived to the quaint shop in about ten minutes early and was offered a full size cup of either tea or coffee.  I’m so use to free coffee and tea coming in mini paper cups that the full size cups were a pleasant surprised. Yes, it’s the small things.

Our instructor’s, Chef Rochelle Taylor, lively personality kept me either smiling or laughing through the entire demonstration. The menu:

  • Bread and Butter Pickles (Initial thought: Not my favorite but I’ll give it a go)
  • Dilly Green Beans (Initial thought: Hmmm, dill and green beans?)
  • Chicago-Style Giardiniera (Initial thought: Now we are talking.)
  • Peach Chutney (Initial thought: Sounds interesting)
  • Strawberry Jam (Initial thought: Woot, Woot)

Through the demonstration the following skills were covered:

  • Understanding canning and pickling
  • Selecting produce for canning
  • Preparing pickling brines
  • Balancing flavors
  • Working with pectin
  • Using herbs, spices and aromatic ingredients

We were given a taste of everything on the menu, and let me tell you everything was a thousand times better than the stuff I buy in the grocery stores. My favorites where the peach chutney, strawberry jam and the Chicago-style giardiniera. I also now have a place in my stomach for Dilly Green Beans which they chopped up and used in a recipe for devil’s eggs before serving to us. Yum, is all I can say.

Bread and Butter Pickles are still not my favorites, but the ones prepared were the best I’d eaten. While I won’t be one to eat them right out the jar, I can find a number of uses for them in some of my recipes.

I have some supplies to buy and I’m eying the following:

Ball Mason Jars

Ball Mason Jars

Granite Ware Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5 – Quart, Black

canner pot

Back to Basic Utensil Set

Utensil set

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Quarter pressure canner and cooker

If you are into canning please comment and share your favorite, tools, tips or recipes. I would love to hear them.

After the demonstration I’m looking forward to attending more classes/demonstrations and upping my game in the kitchen. It’s time to bring my family back to the kitchen table and fill their bellies with some delicious, healthy food.

Here is to our best Health, Home and Self

 

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