Land of Fruits & Nuts – Day 7 – Taking a Canning Class and More

bigstock-Funny-goat-s-portrait-on-a-gre-41216992Before I get too far along in my adventure here at the Land of Fruits and Nuts, I wanted to share information about a class I took at the Institute of Domestic Technology, rediscovering the future of home economics. I took Foodcrafting 101. We learned a Twenty-One Hour boule recipe (delicious), how to make fresh chevre, handcrafted coarse mustard, and a jam recipe.

The class was held at the historic Zane Grey Estate in Altadena, California. We started by gathering on a lovely screened in porch, munching on handcrafted scones with fresh.

Our leader was Joseph Shuldiner, the Institute Director, LA County Master Food Preserver and author of Pure Vegan.  Every student introduced herself (this particular class was all women) and the groups was quite remarkable. A County Living magazine editor, a modern pioneer woman, 2 professors of physics (one at CalTech, the other at UCLA) and a well known LA food blogger, among other very interesting students.

Then we moved to the kitchen to begin our series of classes, taught by experts. For example, Gloria Putnam taught the cheese module. She has been raising goats and making cheese in Altadena with Mariposa Creamery since 2009. Plus, we got to hear the goats bleating throughout the afternoon and enjoyed their antics through the windows of the kitchen.

We spent the day learning – first doing our bread, then the jam, then the mustard and finally the goat cheese. Along the way we discussed sourcing ingredients and reference books. In between, we had a delicious lunch, made with fresh and local ingredients.

Each crafted item was absolutely delicious. At the end, we nibbled on fresh bread lathered with the leftover fresh goat cheese and the preserves (strawberry rhubarb) at the bottom of the jam pot. I don’t think I have ever had anything more delicious. We were sent home with our bread dough, a jar of our preserves, a take home container of the chevre and a container of mustard.

The Institute has a number of classes, and I plan on taking more. I’ll keep you posted.