Friday, July 31, 2009

conserverie 101

Jessica Dally, master canner/food preserver and founder of Seattle Free School, taught an AMAZING and memorable class (by donation) mostly dedicated to SAFETY. Loved it. She's a great instructor, and sure got her point across. (She teaches cheese-making classes also!)

Let's see...the biggest lesson here was how to not kill your loved ones. VERY IMPORTANT! This is not a time to be 'experimental' or an adventurous cook. You don't want to improvise, you don't want to KILL YOUR FAMILY. Here are the key points:
  • Follow a recipe that is backed by good science and rigorous testing. There are only 2 books that are approved and these are: So Easy to Preserve put out by the University of Georgia Extension Program, and Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, which can be found in most hardware stores.
It's also risky to rely on an index card Grandma used in 1954 or even a publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture dated before 1994, says Luke LaBorde, associate professor of food science at Penn State University. Some techniques have changed, he says, to keep up with science.

The consequences for improper canning techniques can be serious, especially if consumers mishandle foods with low acid content, such as green beans and asparagus. Spores from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum may grow in such foods, creating toxins that can cause paralysis and death. In one recent case, reported in Spokane, Wash., a woman was put on a ventilator and two children were more mildly sickened after eating improperly canned green beans, Chapman says.
  • Follow recipes to a TEE!
  • Glass jars and the metal rims can be reused, but be sure that there are no cracks or imperfections. The lids CANNOT be reused, under any circumstance.
  • Cool old jars from the days of yore might seem like a cute idea, but oh so not.
  • What do you do if someone brings you a nice little gift of say...canned carrots, or canned tomatoes? Jessica's advice "throw it out." If you don't know whether or not your friend/family member followed the rules of canning, don't chance it. Don't ask make them feel bad by throwing it out in front of their faces, do it at your own discretion.
You can consult these helpful websites:

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do ya think?