–Deb Vensel and Brandon Richardson, High Rocks AmeriCorps Members, Hillsboro, WV

This month we combined our cooking and canning workshops to see if that would be more convenient to our participants.  The combination worked well but in changing the hours of our workshops to accommodate both sessions we may have made the workshops less accessible.  We have several people who were unable to come at the earlier time and we will be offering repeat sessions.

During our workshop, we explored a very simple but tasty way to cook leafy greens of all kinds and maturities.  It was a lot of fun and participants shared that they had not had greens prepared that way.  Essentially, Brandon Richardson (AmeriCorps member) showed the group how to sauté kale, swiss chard and spinach grown by local grower Steve Saffle.  The greens were great and several people shared that they will want to try the recipe at home.   We selected greens because we knew that at this point in the season greens will be ready to eat if planted early enough.  They were delicious.

We also covered the basics of hot water bath canning and both discussed and provided written handouts/resources for those who attended.  We made a couple batches of pickles, asking those with the least canning experience to actually cut the cucumbers and practice the canning.

Those participants who had canning experience shared stories and techniques and we all learned together.

We also ate our greens and sampled pickles along with pot luck items brought by our participants.

Here is the recipe:

1 Bunch of Greens (Kale, Collards, Chard, spinach)
2-3 Tbs oil
2-4 Cloves Garlic, depending on size and potency
Apple Cider Vinegar, no exceptions.
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large sauce pan
2. Add a pinch of garlic to the pan.
3. Add greens to the pan.
4. Add more garlic to the pan.
5. Sautee until desired tenderness, never let them get overcooked.
6. Add ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.