Thursday, March 17, 2011

Master Food Preserver Program Returns to LA - Upcoming Classes - Weekly Email


It has been awhile, too long, since I've sent out one of my preserving emails. I hope that everyone is well, and I do intend to send emails more frequently.

However, I do have a fairly good excuse: I've been doing a lot of food preservation and (although many of you have already heard) ...

Brenda Roche (UC Cooperative Extension Nutrition Family & Consumer Sciences Advisor), Dr. Rachel Surls (Director, UC Cooperative Extension Los Angeles) and I are re-launching the Master Food Preserver program in Los Angeles County.

Yep, after more than a 10-year absence, the Master Food Preserver program is returning to Los Angeles.

We were very excited to have received so many applications. Unfortunately, we could not take everyone who applied. We could have easily filled three or four classes with highly qualified individuals.

We have accepted 18 fantastic and enthusiastic volunteers for our first class. I look forward to introducing them to you down the road. And, perhaps, some of them will help with these newsletters.

I will be teaching the majority of the classes, but will also get some assistance from Master Food Preservers Delilah Snell and Kevin West.

Soon, there will be many more people qualified to provide information on food preservation in Los Angeles. And, hopefully, some of you on this list will also join the ranks of the Master Food Preservers through a future class.

For those of you not familiar with the Master Food Preserver program, it is similar to the Master Gardener program, in which volunteers are trained by the UC Extension to teach and train others in proper and safe food preservation techniques.

Here are a couple of posts on the relaunch of the program:

Additionally, I've been doing a lot of preserving as chef for the Farmer's Kitchen in Hollywood. I encourage everyone to stop by my restaurant, where you can see dozens and dozens of different preserved foods, both sweet and savory. Every week we are making new and interesting canned goods using farmers' market produce. For example, I'm doing a pickled carrot series using Weiser Farms carrots. Red heirloom carrots in a spicy brine, yellow heirloom carrots in a dill brine, and, next week, "Purple Haze" heirloom carrots in a fennel brine. Or, you can check my series of herbal jellies, such as mint, dill, and apple/sage (more to follow). If we're not too busy, I'm also happy to discuss food preservation and answer questions.

You can keep up with what I'm doing at the Farmer's Kitchen via our twitter:

I'm particularly enthused by the response of our customers to preserved foods on the menu. Our fried egg reuben (with house made sauerkraut) is our most popular sandwich, while our "pickled egg" egg salad sandwich is also getting very good reviews and our Sunday fried sauerkraut and eggs is our second most popular egg dish.

We're also lining up classes on food preservation. A week from Saturday on March 26th, I'll be teaching a class on fermentation: how to make yogurt, sauerkraut and vinegar. Participants will taste a variety of preparations and take mother cultures home with them.

You can sign up here:

You'll also see some of the other classes we're doing, such as a class on mushrooms.

The next preservation class isn't posted yet, but in April I will be doing classes on pressure canning and a separate class on basic knife skills. I'm also scheduled to do a couple of demos in April, including on Earth Day in South LA and traditional food preservation for Ranchero Days at the Workman-Temple Homestead in the City of Industry. More information on these events in a future email.

That's it for this email - I look forward to seeing some of you at my classes and at the Farmer's Kitchen.

As usual, if you have any questions about canning, pressure canning, fermentation, dehydration, freezing, pickling, curing, smoking or brewing, feel free to email me at ernest.miller @

Be sure to check out the blog, which hasn't been updated in awhile, but I plan to do some updating (probably):

And/or join the Facebook group: