Intro to Canning classes return at Cooperative Extension

Posted 1 April 2022 at 9:09 am

Provided photos: Master Food Preserver volunteer Karen DesJardin shows participants different jars used in home canning during last year’s at-capacity Intro to Canning Class.

Press Release, Horticulture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County

KNOWLESVILLE – The Master Food Preservers of Orleans County CCE will be offering a free “Review and Intro to Canning” class again this year on Wednesday, April 20, at 6 p.m.

The volunteers of the Master Food Preserver program offered a similar class last spring and ended up having to open up a second class date later in the year because of overwhelming demand from participants.

The class this year will be a review of the information covered in the Intro to Canning class in 2021, as well as an introduction of canning concepts for new participants. Experienced MFP Volunteer Karen DesJardin will show participants everything needed to get started preserving food at home, from basic equipment and handy tools to simple recipes and reputable sources of information.

“There’s been an increase in interest in how to preserve food to help keep within our food budgets, to be more sustainable within our food supply, and to keep our families healthy,” DesJardin explained. “But it can be hard to know where to start! Offering this free Intro to Canning class enables everyone in our community to have access to safe, research-based information regarding home food preservation. This intro session is appropriate for beginners and will provide a review for experienced food preservers. We will go over basics like water bath and steam canning, as well as freezing and dehydrating.”

During the Pressure Canning class, participants will learn the difference between a weighted pressure canner and a gauge pressure canner, as well as how to use both types safely and with confidence.

The Master Food Preserver program at Orleans County CCE is one of the only organizations in the county offering home food preservation education to the public. The classes have shifted from distanced/demo style teaching at the height of the pandemic to full in-person/hands-on style workshops this season.

Participants will be able to learn from trained and experienced volunteers the safety and techniques of various forms of food preservation styles, then they will have an opportunity to implement those skills themselves following approved recipes and using the demonstrated preservation methods.

“I think the MFP program is an asset to our community because we offer economical classes that refresh and train students in food safety, proper food preparation, and self-sufficiency of food preservation,” said Kevin Bedard, long-time Master Food Preserver volunteer and Orleans County CCE board member.

The “Review and Intro to Canning” class will be the kickoff to the workshop series for the Master Food Preserver program at Orleans CCE. The volunteers have put together a great lineup of classes based on inquiries from the public as well as personal interests of the volunteers themselves.

The lineup of classes this year includes:

  • Pressure Canning on Wednesday, May 25 – this always popular class teaches participants how to safely preserve low-acid foods such as vegetables and meats using pressure canners.
  • Hors d’oeuvres on Wednesday, June 22 – this class will showcase how to create delicious small-bite dishes, perfect for summer parties!
  • Breadmaking on Wednesday, August 24 – participants will learn to make a variety of different breads, from quick breads to yeasted loaves.
  • Applesauce on Wednesday, September 28 – MFP volunteer instructors will show participants the best way to make homemade applesauce, various ways of preserving it, and different treats you can make with the finished product!
  • Loveable Leftovers on Wednesday, October 5 – learn how to upcycle leftovers by adding a few extra ingredients to make a tasty new meal, keeping nutrition and cost savings in mind.

All classes will be held at 6 p.m. in the Trolley Building of the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Participants will either be sampling or taking home a variety of products created during the classes. Class fees vary between $5-10 per class. Pre-registration with payment is required.  Call 585-798-4265 or email to register.

MFP volunteer Kevin Bedard will show participants how to create Hors D’oeuvres in his workshop this year.