Canning supplies bought locally from
The Hardware Inc., Hueysville

The St Vincent Mission program had their Food Preservation class recently at the David School right down the road from the Mission. The David School focuses on teens who for one reason or another may not graduate high school. They have small classes and are able to work with the students one on one to better meet their needs. They also have a big kitchen so it was a great place for our class.
Stringing, snapping and
We started out the day with cleaning, stringing and snapping a half bushel of white half runner beans donated by Todd Howard. Emily Shepherd, one of our participants, led the class and it was a great time of visiting and sharing-just like in the olden days. One story Emily told was about how when she and her husband Roger moved back to the homeplace they would do all their canning in a wash tub outside over a fire. I can’t even imagine tending a fire all day in mid-August putting up canned goods.
After we got the beans ready, I did a short presentation on dehydrating and freezing and we had lunch-chicken tenders from Sharon’s, the local and only restaurant in David, KY along with veggies from the Mission’s community garden. (What part of the chicken is a tender anyway?) The David School teachers joined us for lunch where I passed around samples of fermented tomatoes. Todd had put up five gallons of them a few days earlier and I asked him if we could try them out at the class. The best part was watching people’s expressions when they tasted the tomatoes. The first thing you saw was the reaction to the aroma, which is stronger than expected, then the facial expressions. I did warn them that Todd and Gary thought they had enough tomatoes for a 10 gallon crock but ended up with 5 gallons of tomatoes instead. Lesson learned: measure the tomatoes before putting in the salt.
Bobby, Marilyn, Carol and Mike
listen to Emily 
After lunch it was time to pressure can our beans. Emily took us to the kitchen and showed us all the safety measures built into the pressure canner before filling it up and setting it on the stove to do its thing. Only it didn’t. After an hour and twenty minutes of trying to build up pressure we decided to throw in the towel and call it a day. I took the canner home with me and following Emily’s steps successfully canned my first batch of beans. We aren’t sure but the general consensus is that the draft hood over the stove created too much draft for the canner. The instructions did say, “Keep canner out of drafts”.
“I just don’t understand why it won’t
build up pressure.”

All in all it was a fun time with friends which is what usually happens at most of our Grow Appalachia classes and gatherings. Next up, Healthy Cooking.