Preserving Classes - Why take one?

For some reason, people don't very often give me preserves. I guess they think that because I have shelves filled with preserves in my basement that there is no point. But on Thursday of last week I received a lovely bag of preserves from my friend Cheryl. In fact, I never would have met Cheryl if it hadn't been for preserves. She came up to my table at my very first farmer's market last summer and then she attended a couple of my preserving classes last summer. The rest is history.

Last Thursday, Cheryl joined me on a little trip to Tap Phong so that I could ogle expensive kitchen equipment I hope to one day own. On our little adventure together, Cheryl shared 4 lovely jars of jam with me that she had made. An organic strawberry jam that I sampled this morning on toast for breakfast. It was jam packed full of organic strawberries and tasted fresh and not overly sweet. Amazing. I am savouring the ramaining 3 jams; strawberry basil, rhubarb vanilla and strawberry rhubarb.

But the other gift that Cheryl gave me was one I don't even think she realized she gave me. We were winding our way up and down the aisles at Tap Phong and casually, over her shoulder she said 'You know, until I took your classes, preserving wasn't really that interesting to me. You changed all that' and then she proceeded to tell me how she has a pickle recipe she is dying to try out.

'Yes, yes, yes', I screamed inside my mind. That is EXACTLY why I love teaching my classes. My goal is to convert as many people into canners and preservers as possible. To show them how much fun it can be, how wonderful it is to have a pantry full of summer awaiting you all year round and to make jams, jellies or pickles that taste of the fruit or vegetable inside the jar and not of preservatives.

And check this out...Cheryl got busy once again today. Wonder if she will share?