Food for Thought: Train to become a master preserver

By Loretto Hulse, Herald staff writerApril 3, 2013 

Consider becoming a master food preserver, and you never will get into a jam when canning. These are volunteers who study every aspect of food safety and how to store it, then share their knowledge with the community.

If you enjoy working with people and sharing your skills -- whether it's answering questions from perplexed picklers or demonstrating food drying -- the Washington State University Extension needs you.

Training for master food preservers starts April 16 and runs for 14 weeks. Classes meet weekly on Tuesdays from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each class covers a different aspect of food preservation, including what causes foods to spoil, how to prevent foodborne illness, and ways of putting food by for the winter.

For new volunteers only, there will be three hands-on training sessions Thursdays. One will be May 16, covering water bath and pressure canning. The second, May 30, will be on pickles and drying. The third, June 13, will be on reduced- and low-sugar fruit spreads, sauerkraut and salsa.

All training is done under the direction of Washington State University Extension home economists. Classes are at the Kennewick Extension office, 5600-E W. Canal Drive.

There is a $50 fee to cover the cost of training materials.

To be certified as a master food preserver, volunteers need to attend all training sessions and pass an open-book test.

In return for the training, master food preservers are asked to spend 50 hours during the course of the season -- June through October -- to help spread the word on safe food practices.

The deadline to apply is April 12.

For more information, call Lizann Powers-Hammond, 735-3551, or email powers@wsu.edu.

10th anniversary party

Dumas Station Winery will hold an anniversary celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday in its new tasting room at 36229 Highway 12, Dayton.

The winery also is launching a new line of labels this year featuring a variety of antique trains. It's located next to the original Dumas apple packing shed and train stop, built in 1908.

During the anniversary celebration, the winery, not normally open to the public, will offer tours and samples of two newly released vintages -- 2010 Cow Catcher Red and 2010 Estate Merlot. There also will be cheeses from Monteillet Fromagerie and food from Weinhard Cafe, both in Dayton.

New read

The book: Flavors of My World: a Culinary Tour Through 25 Countries by Maneet Chauhan and Doug Singer.

Cost: $30

Best for: The authors have paired recipes with anecdotes gathered on their travels from Argentina to Vietnam and everywhere in between. Each recipe uses ordinary ingredients easily found in your favorite grocery store.

*Loretto J. Hulse: lhulse@tricityherald.com.

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