Food is so basic. It’s everything. Transformative, meaningful, and malleable. A means of caring for each other and ourselves. An art and a necessity — and rich with possibility. Each year as I continue to research and experiment and learn more about food and cooking and baking, I only grow more inspired. More bold. My quest for trying new ingredients and recipes: it can’t be quenched. For a while now, I’ve wanted to learn more about canning and preserving. I’ve flipped through books and done some reading on the internet, whole-heartedly gobbled my good friend Erin’s homemade strawberry and raspberry preserves, and, finally, last weekend yielded my first-ever canning class at 18 Reasons in San Francisco. The class was a very awesome Christmas gift from this fellow I know (and love), and it did not disappoint.
The class was FUN, cured my worries about sterilizing jars, and the three hours absolutely flew by as we chopped, stirred, and simmered. Our team left with eight jars of Meyer Lemon Ginger Marmalade, three bottles of Blood Orange Vanilla syrup, and sachets of loose-leaf tea: a mix of dehydrated bergamot and blood orange, lavender, and vanilla.
I’m already eager to take another class come spring; our instructor noted that there will be another canning feature with strawberries and possibly cherries (yum!). The class fee is an incredible value considering the gorgeous fruit that was used and what we left with: marmalade, syrup, recipes and tea to take home, and during class we were treated to snacks (including the most luscious date I’ve ever had in my whole life) and an orange sorbet made with leftover satsuma mandarin juice.
Next on my to-do list: researching a similar community space in Oakland, or, heck, if it doesn’t exist — creating one with some friends.
Credit and huge thanks to Andrea Sprockett for sharing her photos with me!