Monday, March 12, 2012

Canning Lesson at The Farmers Kitchen Hollywood

When you think of Hollywood...steeping orange peel, cabbage cheerfully fermenting in curious containers and racks of hand preserved tomatoes do not come to mind. That's why one glance in The Farmers Market Kitchen, has you thinking rural town instead of a film town.

Location is the not only surprising thing about this cafe, it is an extension of the great Hollywood Farmers’ Market. When the market is silent the fresh food continues through a unique commitment to the community. Good for farmers, good for urban dwellers.

 Farmers Market Kitchen supports the community with healthy farm to table meals prepared by caring chefs and apprentices. This joint effort between farmer and chef brings affordable food, nutrition and education programs including job training to the neighborhood.  

 This fresh looking cafe is a showcase for traditional old school preserves (in all the fun flavors grandma used to make). It also is new school too, as the facility is used to teach canning, drying and fermenting, many of the products lining the restaurant walls.

This is all part of an  extension of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and the Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles  (SEE-LA) I'm in awe of the jewel toned jars... mixed berry, pepper, quince and plum (imagine what they would do if they had room for a hen house and cows?) 

The Orange County Master Preservers (I'm a trainee) were treated to a pressure canning class last week. I can't say enough about our hosts at  Farmers Market Kitchen and the Master Preservers LA County. The hospitality, time and education these volunteers gave was priceless!
The UCC Master Preservers are a volunteer organization who learn food safety and preserving techniques to help others properly prepare wholesome, economical and safe food. Master Preservers not only to help others with food safety, but to keep the tradition of home canning and preservation alive.

Master Preserver Chef Ernie Miller delivers an informative lesson on the history and function of a pressure canner. His overview includes history, safety and the economy of home canning. Chef Miller's experience and knowledge helps take the fear out of handling an intimidating piece of equipment. 

The class is part hands on and Master Preservers LA Chef Karen and Chef Jake take us through the intricate details of preserving under pressure. Other very kind MFPLA (who missed my photos) were graciously on hand to help prepare samples, clean up and expertly host our OC Preserving group.

We learned to can chicken and split pea soup. The process takes several hours but is actually simple as long as you follow the rules to the letter. Jars are filled to proper head space, lids are fixed, they are loaded into the pressure canner and processed for the time the recipe states. Once pressure canning is complete, seals are checked and jars rest.

 Follow the link for more information on the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, and visit Farmers Market Kitchen for great dine in or food to go. Great gifts line the sunny room including preserving kits, jams, jellies and pickled products, stock up!


Karen Hobert said...

What a wonderful write up on the Farmer's Kitchen and the pressure canning class!

It was such a pleasure to meet some of my MFP colleagues from OC!

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

Thank you Karen! You and your team did an excellent job...I really appreciate your time in teaching us to pressure can.

Norma Yarbrough said...

Thanks for writing about our wonderful experience Renee! I am thrilled to have had this opportunity!
Norma Yarbrough

Joanne Kennedy said...

Are there any plans to teach a class in pressure canning here in Orange County? I've been looking for a class and can not find one.

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

Joanne, The OC Master Preservers group is just getting started. We have about 15 people at this point and will start the program again as soon as this fall. They will have an information booth in the OC Fair this year on July 14, July 25, & August 5 in the Culinary area. We have just started a facebook page that will have class offering updates. That is UCCE Master Food Preservers OC. You may contact me directly for more information, I'm the Culinary Coordinator at the OC Fair