Canning accreditation


When I teach canning classes I warn my students they may become infected with the canning bug during class without knowing it. It's not until they get home and start uncharacteristically contemplating mason jar sizes and canning pot racks that they realize they've got the fever. By then it's too late. That's the way it works. There's no vaccine, people, and the only cure for the canning bug is more canning! Pickles. Then some jam. The bug never fully goes away. For some it goes dormant in winter then rears its harvest-hungry head in early summer. For others, like myself, it's a year-round affliction that involves experimental pickling and regularly asking, "What else can I make jam from?"

Of course, those who read this blog regularly know how much I love canning. I'm practically certifiable. But in a good way. In fact, I'm currently studying for my certificate in home food preservation through the University of Georgia and the National Centre for Home Food Preservation. Although canning has long been a home cook's skill, finding an opportunity to achieve some form of accreditation has been a challenge. So I couldn't have been more thrilled when this opportunity came along.

Family Feedbag recipes from top left: Calamondin and white rum marmalade, rhubarb raisin chutney, sweet daikon relish, and cherry, peach and vanilla jam 
While much of what I'm learning is valuable review in terms of technique and safety, the history of food preservation is largely new to me and I find myself fascinated by the course material. For example, the man who pioneered canning in the 1790s was French confectioner, Nicolas Appert. Although he successfully developed a system of bottling and boiling food that would later prove useful to feeding Napoleon's army, he never fully understood the science of his preservation method. It wasn't until decades later that fellow Frenchman, microbiologist Louis Pasteur, was able to explain the science behind canning through his understanding of heating food to a temperature high enough to kill harmful microorganisms. Sadly, Appert would have never heard Pasteur's explanation as he died years before.

I have a lot more studying to do and several more tests to write, but I'll finish the course over the coming weeks. Hopefully at the end I'll have my home preserving certificate as proof that I am officially certifiable.

Are you studying anything new? What fascinating things are you learning about? Leave a comment and tell me what makes you certifiable!

6 comments:

  1. My Nana was an awesome canner but I never learned how to do it. I would love to attend a class, what a brilliant idea! I will have to check out if there are any around here. By the way, not sure if I have ever mentioned it as I am a reasonably recent follower but your blog name cracks me up. It is absolutely perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I have wondered at times if I should have picked a more sophisticated/arty/foodie blog title. But that's not really me at heart. I'm a gal who likes a good chuckle :)

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  2. I was inspired to start canning last year... Definitely have the bug... Where do you teach classes?
    For new skills.. I am taking a sewing course this month.

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    1. Hi Madeline,
      Currently I'm teaching at The London Chef on Fort Street and the Victoria West Community Centre on Craigflower. Keep an eye on my Classes page for upcoming canning classes and let's put food in jars together!

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  3. Hi Amy,
    I just started my canning project this week! First, was Crab-apple sauce and next Strawberry jam. Like you have said, I have the canning bug! I just found your blog and absolutely love following. I already have a lengthy list of your recipes I want to try. :)
    Glad I found you!
    Happy Cooking!
    Meghan

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    1. Thanks for reading, Meg! And good luck with the strawberry jam :)

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