Ripening raspberries in my backyard never make it into the house, let alone into a canning jar.
But since I’ve eaten myself silly on Yakima cherries from the farmers markets in the last few weeks, I’ve been pondering a few canning projects. Pie filling is a given, and a recipe for plum cherry vanilla freezer jam would be an easy addition.
A few years back I took a training class through Washington State University Extension, along with several others, to learn the ins and outs of canning safely.
The Spokane County Master Food Preservers didn’t last long, however.
Budget cuts forced WSU-Spokane County Extension to end the 2-year-old program this year because there was no local staff member to oversee the trained volunteers. Sadly, the toll-free number extension provided for those with canning problems and questions was another casualty of the cuts.
Thankfully, there are a number of upcoming classes for those who want to learn how to preserve foods safely:
• Sheila Domon, a longtime canner who was trained in the Master Food Preserver program, is teaching classes at The Kitchen Engine starting at 6 p.m. next Wednesday with jams and jellies.
She’ll cover pickling on Aug. 11, canning vegetables on Aug. 25 and tomatoes on Aug. 31.
The presentation-style classes are $25 each. Sign up online at www.thekitchenengine.com or call the store at (509) 328-3335.
• The Moscow Food Co-op also has a series of food preservation workshops planned, starting Saturday at noon. The first class will cover jams, berries, greens and cherries.
On July 31, green beans and peaches will be put into jars. Pickles and sweet corn are on the menu on Aug. 14 and chutneys and relishes on Aug. 28.
Classes are $15 each. Space is limited; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carol Spurling at (208) 669-0763.
The Co-op is located at 121 E. Fifth Street in downtown Moscow.
• The Spokane City Parks and Recreation department has been offering ongoing classes on water-bath canning and pressure canning.
The last pressure canning class in the current catalog is planned for July 26. Look for more classes in the upcoming fall catalog.
There is information online at www.spokaneparks.org or call (509) 624-6200.