Earlier this year, I became a Master Food Preserver.
What’s a Master Food Preserver? Well, it’s a person who has gone through intense training on all the various ways to can and preserve food safely. The class is only offered once a year and is open to just 16 people! After I applied and was accepted (Yay me!!) I spent 12 weeks learning all about food safety, how to make jams,jellies and marmalade, how to do high-acid canning, low-acid canning, pickling – both fruits and veggies, fermenting, proper ways to freeze foods, how to dehydrate food and everything in-between! This is just a small sample of what we did in class each week!
I learned a lot in those 12 weeks! I also got to know some very cool people. (Hi MFP friends!!) Our class consisted of Master Gardeners, Chefs, Food Editors, lots of great people interested in learning how to preserve things from their garden and one little food blogger. Hmmm… I wonder who that was? ;-)
When the 12 weeks was over, we had to do two different demonstrations in front of a panel of experts. One demonstration was as a team, on how to pressure can safely. Our team was assigned chicken soup! It was great! We also had to do one individual demo. That one could have been on any topic of our choosing, from any section of our class. I did red onion two different ways! I pickled them and made them into a sweet marmalade.
We took a lengthy written final (and had to pass it!), put in 10 hours of volunteer time (and commit to 30 more) before being awarded our blue “Master Food Preserver” apron. They don’t just give you those things. You have to earn it!
It’s kinda cool, being a Master Food Preserver though. In our county, there are public classes once a month and all kinds of demonstrations about canning and preserving. I have to admit, I love being on-stage sharing food knowledge with people! You’re surprised, right? ;-)
As summer progresses and “canning season” goes into full swing, you’ll be seeing more canning recipes from me, along with ideas on how to preserve your gardens bounty (and do it safely)! My favorites are pickles and jams, but I am excited about putting up some tomato sauce too!
If this class sounds like something you’d like to do (and you are local to Southern California and San Bernardino County) applications are available HERE for the class of 2015! There are other MFP programs in different counties in California. Just google the name of your country and the term Master Food Preservers. Good luck! If you have any questions, drop me an Email or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help you!
I’m looking forward to canning and jamming with you all year long!