How to Preserve Food: Jamming, Canning, Pickling, and "Fermentation Fun" -- Classes With Ms. Jessica

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs are great. Community and home gardens are even better. The feelings of accomplishment for limiting your carbon footprint through supporting local farms or growing your own crops are amazing. The only drawback: sometimes it's just way too much food.

That's where food preservation comes in. If you're looking to learn to can and preserve food--without contracting botulism--Master Preserver Jessica McLeary wants to help. She's teaching a series of classes at the Miramar Cultural Center.

See also:
- When Canning Goes Wrong
- Growing Green Communities
- The Urban Farmer in Pompano: Local Food in Broward County

McLeary will be teaching a series of four classes on the art and science of preserving foods. Each two hour class will provide a lecture and demonstration on different methods of preserving foods with a strong emphasis on food safety. (Food-borne illness would kind of defeat the purpose.)

We're Jammin' is the first class of the series. Taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on February 19, the class teaches students the basics of making all-natural freezer jams. The class, which will be the basis for all other canning classes in the series, will cover all aspects of freezer jam production: most importantly, food safety. Handouts, taste testing, and recipes will be provided.

Doing the Can-Can is offered on March 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. This session covers the basics of boiling-water-bath canning. Jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades, and butters will be explored through demonstrations, hand outs, and recipes.

The Magic of Freezing and Dehydrating Foods will teach students techniques for preparing fruits, vegetables, and herbs for freezing and drying. This hands-on class, in the kitchen, is scheduled for April 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Getting Into a Pickle and Fermentation Fun explores the one of the oldest means of food preservation: natural fermentation. Happening on May 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., McLeary will teach students the science behind fermentation. During the class students will prepare a jar of kraut to ferment at home. The class includes taste tests, directions, and recipes.

The series of classes is being offered for $80, which include materials. Individual classes are available for $22 each. For students missing the first class, food safety reviews will be discussed at each subsequent meeting. Advanced registration and prepayment is required. Call 954-602-3270, or mail payment indicating desired classes to:

attn. Jessica McLeary
c/o Elsi Rose City of Miramar
2300 Civic Center Place
Miramar, FL 33025

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