* canning class

Posted on October 23rd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

Mark got me a canning class from Seattle Can Can with a half price deal on Living Social.  There were three classes available, and I chose Canning 005: Wicked Quick Pickles & Homemade Hot Sauce.  It was supposed to be a 90 minute class covering Cucumber & Zucchini Pickles; Spicy or Not Pickled Beans, Asparagus and other garden veggies; and Salsa & Hot Sauce.  Instead it was a 45 minute class that just covered pickled asparagus and hot sauce.  Coverage of the other pickles was essentially, “You can do the same thing for whatever veggies you have,” and salsa wasn’t mentioned at all.  The description also promised 2 e-books to accompany the class, plus a booklet by the instructor.  The e-books were just the USDA guides, and the pamphlet was a xeroxed hodgepodge of random stuff, including frequent instructions to look things up on the internet.  Call me crazy, but the whole idea of taking a class is to learn from an expert instead of the internet.

The class was super super basic.  Apparently the idea is to make it seem so easy that people will not be intimidated, but I had hoped for a little more than that.  Maybe show the most basic cold pack pickles first, and then show an additional recipe that’s more complicated.  I thought the instructor played fast and loose with some of the safety guidelines, too.  At one point, she claimed that nothing that could grow in acidic food could be dangerous because the human body is not acidic, QED.  She also said you don’t have to wash and sterilize jars if they’re new.  There were enough parts that I was iffy about that I felt no confidence in her other advice.  Like, she said you don’t have to warm up the lids any more and that the companies just never bothered to update their instructions.  Also, that you can process cucumber and zucchini pickles below boiling temperature and that will make them crisper.  It was nice to see the demonstration so I feel like I’m not doing anything horribly wrong, though.

I would have asked for my money back if I’d paid full price ($20).  And lest you think I’m being too hard on it, apparently a couple reviewers on Yelp agree, though Fresh Picked Seattle had a better experience.

The class comes with 10% off all canning supplies from Goods for the Planet, the store where the class is held.  I got a pizza screen they recommended using as a canning rack.  It seemed to work great when I made some pickles last week, and it is very low profile.  So +1 for that idea, at least!

2 Responses to “canning class”

  1. Becky Says:

    I’ve taught canning for years and I don’t agree with anything they say. I admit, I am overly cautious about canning, but I’ve had things go bad, so I don’t take any chances. I sterilize EVERYTHING in a hot water bath for 10 minutes before packing. Better safe than sorry.

    Pickles are actually quite easy. It’s jam that I have a hard time with…I have never gotten a batch to set correctly. I think I’ve realized I don’t use enough lemon juice. I might try again next year. Good luck!

  2. Becket Says:

    What a racket. Frankly, I’m really tired of Living Social, Amazon Offers, et al. I get barraged by daily emails and I’ve just unsubscribed from everything. Sorry that the class was so useless. That sucks.


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