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Canning 101 at Community Kitchens

Whistler Community Services offers food preserve lesson

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Canning fruit and vegetables can be fun. Really.

Carolyn Morris is going to teach a group of people the basics of water bath canning Jan. 24 through an interactive apple butter canning session at Whistler Community Services in Spring Creek.

Morris says she'll bring everything needed for the workshop and participants just need to arrive with an interest in learning. She promises that once the seminar is over everyone will leave with the knowledge and confidence to can food at home.

Morris has already done sessions like the one she has planned for Thursday, Jan. 24. People in Squamish and West Vancouver have also been given the opportunity to learn the basics of water bath canning.

Morris, who is a teacher, says she has fun leading the classes.

"My focus is in experiential education so this is a fantastic experience for me because I introduce the concepts and give the logical reasoning to it, the science, and then we hop into the kitchen," says Morris.

The interactivity of the workshops Morris puts on includes two-way dialogue.

"I love when they challenge me with questions," Morris says of the queries she gets from workshop participants. "I challenge them with questions so that there's really a solid understanding."

In addition to being a good way to ensure fruits and vegetables aren't wasted, Morris says canning can be a good excuse to get together and socialize with friends.

"It is a great opportunity for people to come together and share their resources from the garden or from the local farms and also their equipment because not everybody has all the tools," says Morris.

Canning food is a practice that goes way back to the days when fresh food couldn't be shipped half way around the world in a day or less.

"When we didn't have such an expansive food access we were forced to preserve the locally grown food to last throughout the year," says the canning enthusiast.

Despite the advances in technology that make it easy to let skills like canning slip into oblivion, Morris says some people have a great interest in preserving fresh foods grown locally for use out of season.

"A lot of people are reconnecting with so many skills that are on the cusp of being lost," she says. "There are so many skills our grandparents were just immersed in and now are just seen as a thing of the past."

For those who believe what is old can be new again, Whistler Community Services is taking registration for the water bath-canning workshop hosted by Morris. The cost is only $10 and registering is simply done by calling 604-935-7717 or sending an email to foodbank@mywcss.org.

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