Private Preserving Classes

When I tell people about the place that I grew up, some of them laugh and tell me that I make it sound like Genoa City or Salem, like a made up place that doesn’t even exist except perhaps in my imagination. Yes, I went to high school with a girl named Missy Lee, the bar in town was called The Old Hole and we used to party at the swimming hole.

I grew up in Drayton Valley, Alberta. It’s a small town that had a population of around 5,500 people when I lived there. The town had one movie theatre and a drive-in, until one day in a wind storm the drive-in blew over and that was the end of the that. I remember the day that we got an A&W – we felt so ‘big time’. Now don’t misread this – I am not talking trash about Drayton, the exact opposite. I have many fond memories of the place and the childhood growing up in a small town like DV afforded me.

I had several different jobs during high school – I was a janitor at Dome Petroleum, I babysat, worked at the local drugstore and I taught gymnastics. I forgot until very recently how much I loved teaching. I took all of the courses required to be a certified teacher and I took my role as coach very seriously.

What got me thinking about my days as a gymnastics coach? Well over the past couple of months I have been teaching preserving classes with The Depanneur and Withrow Market and I have been absolutely loving it. Every single class has been filled with people who are genuinely interested in learning how to preserve. They come with great questions – and have forced me to really sit down and put on paper everything I have learned about preserving over the years from my Nona, my mom and through the large amount of reading I have done on the subject.

When the series of classes end, I want to keep sharing the knowledge that I have in a more active way than just sharing recipes through my blog or tweeting about it. I believe everyone should have at least a basic understanding of how to preserve food or at a minimum shouldn’t be afraid of the idea.

Starting in December, Manning Canning will be offering Private Preserving lessons. If you are having a girl’s night, a party weekend, a wedding shower or just want to learn to preserve witha glass of wine in one hand I will come over to your house with all the required ingredients, the tools and the know-how. All you need to do is decide if you want to make jam, pickles or something else. If this sounds interesting, shoot me an email at and let's get preserving!