Preserving with friends

Have you ever taken over someone else’s kitchen while they were having a delayed Christmas get together with 6 of their friends? Well I had this exact pleasure this past Saturday when friends of mine decided to buy a Private Preserving class as their Christmas gift to their friends. I am sure it was almost more fun for me than it was for the attendees.

Photo credit: Peter Visima

How does a private preserving class work?

- We work together beforehand to determine what would be the most interesting topic (jam, pickles, marmalades, etc) for the group and settled on a recipe.

-  You provide me with a guest count (highly suggest capping it at 8 to ensure everyone gets the most out of the class)

-  I arrive approximately 30-45 minutes before you are ready for the class to start and begin set up. I bring all of the tools required; from the pots, to the cutting boards, knives, measuring cups and spoons, right down to the ingredients used and the jars everything will go in. If required I can also bring an additional burner to accommodate the water bath pot, which is rather large. And while I set up, you and your friends can visit, drink wine, eat, etc.

Photo credit: Peter Visima

-  We walk through the basics:

o   Basic implements required for canning/preserving and where to get them

o   Jars and how they work

o   Sterilization best practices and a quick review of some out dated techniques to be aware of

o   Tips and tricks; everything from how to quickly peel certain fruit, the role of sugar in preserving, how pectin works, etc

o   Break down the recipe into steps and get everyone involved in the preparation of ingredients

Photo credit: Peter Visima

-  We make one or two batches (depending on group size) to ensure that everyone leaves with at least one – 250ml jar of the product and everyone takes home the recipe so they can make it again and again at home

Photo credit: Peter Visima

-  We clean up, I pack up and leave your kitchen looking like I was never there except for the jars of deliciousness sitting and cooling down on your counter

 Now doesn't that look like fun?

Huge thanks to Peter Visima who very kindly came and photographed this class and allowed me to use the photos. His blog is filled with amazing photography and great food finds.