Bright and early Friday morning , Aaron and I loaded up the Grow Appalachia van and headed for our second site at White Oak. Where we had arranged to meet with Carol Brandon from the Claiborne County, UT Extension Office. Carol had agreed to teach a class on Freezing, and Canning foods.
Carol began the class with,
Freezing Quality Foods
- The foods you freeze should be top quality, free from blemishes and suitable for freezing. The fresher the product, the more satisfactory the product will be. Carol stressed the importance of washing fresh fruits and vegetables before freezing to remove garden soil, which is a source of bacteria. She recommended washing the fruits and vegetables in cool water. Then freeze food quickly at the lowest temperature possible
- . The UT Extension Office recommends, To encourage more rapid freezing set your freezer temperature to 10 F or lower about 24 hours in advance of freezing a large quantity of food.
- Freeze foods as soon as they are packaged and sealed.
- Don’t freeze more than two pounds of food per cubic foot of freezer capacity per day. Overloading can slow down the freezing rate and causes excessive softening of thawed fruits and vegetables.
Carol showed the participants several different types of packaging for freezing foods,
She then discussed the importance of “Head Space” explaining that as foods freeze they expand, so you should leave room in the top of your package to allow for this.
Thawing Food Safely
The recommended ways to thaw foods are:
- placing package in the refrigerator (in a container to avoid dripping on other foods).
- putting package in cold water in a waterproof wrapping(Change water often to keep it cold).
- using microwave oven (on defrost cycle).
Vegetables and fruits can be cooked without thawing.
Do not thaw food at room temperature. Bacteria will begin to multiply on the surface of the food while the interior is thawing.
More information about Freezing Foods, can be found in the UT Extension Office publication PB1483.
During the second part of the class, Carol discussed using a Water-bath Canner and Pressure Canner. She brought Apples for the participants to can in the Water-Bath and Green beans to Can in the Pressure Cooker. The participants helped clean and peel the apples and brake-up the Green Beans for canning. Each person was given the opportunity for a lot of hands on experience and a chance to ask questions about the different methods of preserving foods.