Master Food Preserver Certificate Program: Kona, Hawaii – WEEK 2

I traveled to Kona, Hawaii with my family to take a Master Preserver Course put on by the University of Hilo. Click here to read about my first week of classes.

Through the 50+ hour course, we are taught about food safety and food preservation methods including canning (water bath and pressure canning), fermenting, pickling, dehydration, freezing and charcuterie. In the second week of classes we pressure canned whole chickens, broken down to fit into 8oz jars, pressure canned salmon from Alaska that my classmate caught, and green beans in water. We pickled beets, bread and butter pickles and dill pickles and we made salmon gravlax with dill. We also dehydrated bananas (sliced and fruit leather), mangos (sliced and fruit leather), pears, grapes and pineapple. We also made delicious chicken shen and used it as stuffing for dumplings and we made Italian sausage that we stuffed into casings. At the end of our second week of classes, we got to taste much of what we had made and that was really fun – everything tasted great!

The chicken we pressure canned (without any liquid) had created a natural broth within the jar and I will definitely do this again at home. But when I make it at home, I’ll add onions, carrots and celery so that the broth has more flavor. The Gravlax was amazing, in case you aren’t familiar with it, gravlax is the Nordic process of curing raw salmon with salt, sugar and fresh dill. After about 48 hours, when cured, it’s thinly sliced and enjoyed! Of all the things we dehydrated I enjoyed the dehydrated pear the very best, though it was all good.

Here are some pics from our second week of classes:

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Master Food Preserver Certificate Program: Kona, Hawaii – WEEK 1

For the last 10 days, I have made the Big Island my new home. I traveled here to attend the Master Food Preserver Certificate Program that the University of Hilo offered this month. I have been wanting this certification for years, but it is not currently offered in Minnesota (though it used to be, and hopefully will be again in the future). My family and I visited the Big Island 4 years ago and have been eager to get back, so when this course opened up, we bought tickets the next day. It was a bit impulsive, but I’m certain it was the right decision to make.

In the course, we are taught about food preservation methods including canning (waterbath and pressure canning), fermenting, pickling, dehydration and charcuterie. Last week in our first 24 hours of classes, we started a 15L batch of sauerkraut, and a batch of kimchi, made with Hawaiian peppers. We canned lilikoi (passion fruit) jelly, POG jelly (passion fruit, orange and guava), strawberry, orange, tangerine and guava jelly, strawberry jam, marinara sauce and mango chutney. Much of the ingredient’s were harvested from my classmates’ home gardens/farms, which makes it all that much more special. I’d never tasted lilikoi or guava before, or even freshly harvested mango – mmmmmm they are all so delicious.

There are 12 students in the class, with 2 instructors. The age range varies vastly and everyone is from a different walk of life. We all get along great and have one main interest in common: food preservation.

Here are some photos from the first week 🙂

 

Dreams Do Come True: I’m Writing a Book!

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Next summer, in July or August of 2017, you’ll be able to buy my book! I’m writing a book! I cannot believe it. I wrote my first 4,000 words over the weekend and although it feels good, I have a lot ahead of me. It’s an awesome feeling but also so, so scary. It’s easy to let my insecurities creep into my mind but I will continue to be positive and keep my eyes on the prize, THIS BOOK IS GOING TO ROCK.

I began canning about ten years ago and it quickly became an obsession, I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. After a lifelong love affair with kimchi, I decided it was time to start fermenting as well (I finally mastered my recipe two years ago). As the years go by, I’ve come to realize that most people stick to one hobby or the other, not enough of you can and ferment food. That’s when the idea came to me and I decided that I needed to write a book with both canning AND fermentation recipes, for the same produce item. Now you will be able to easily reference recipes for both canning and fermenting for the same fruit or vegetable in one amazingly resourceful book, my book!

I’m going to be laser focused over the next 9 months and do my best to produce the most delicious recipes I can come up with.

Thanks for all the love and support over the years on this blog, twitter and instagram. ❤

2015 Canning/Fermenting Season Yield

This year has been my top producing year for canning and fermenting! I made two batches of strawberry rhubarb jam, three huge batches of garlic dill pickles, 35 jars of pickled jalapenos (possibly more), cinnamon and nutmeg spiced pear jam (from MN grown pears!), one batch of pickled beets and I even tried something new – Cowboy Candy! I’ll be canning some cranberry-apple jam this weekend as well. I also made spicy garlic pickled eggs!

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Spicy pickled eggs! These are the perfect snack to have around!

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Cinnamon and nutmeg spiced pear jam! This was A LOT of work since the pears are tiny and had to be peeled. I also had to cook it down for 3 hours!

Strawberry Rhubarb jam sealing in the waterbath

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, taking a dip in the hot tub to get all sealed up!

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Pickled beets, which I have not made since my very first year canning 8 years ago (HARD TO BELIEVE), pickled jalapeno slices and pickles!

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It’s so nice to have a little helper… so glad she likes to cook!

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Cowboy Candy which is basically jalapenos in a sweet syrup.

I fermented garlicky carrots and garlicky rattlesnake pole beans from the garden, which of both were amazing.  Every  3 weeks or so I make a large batch of kimchi – I’m totally obsessed and have been since childhood. I’m working on fermenting green tomatoes from the garden today.

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Fermented garlicky rattle snake bean poles and carrots. All of the purple color came off of the beans as well as my cosmic carrots during fermentation, leaving the brine pinkish. And then more pickles… I love a good relish platter, especially when it’s all homemade!

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We had to pick all of the green tomatoes and peppers due to the deep freeze we got the other day, so spicy fermented green tomatoes it is!

Tell me about your yield! What did you preserve this year and which method did you use? Which turned out to be your favorite?

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