Peek inside a UC Master Food Preserver kitchen

Nov 15, 2011

I brought my camera with me to a Master Food Preservers class Saturday at UC Cooperative Extension Sacramento County on pressure canning. In case you’ve been thinking about participating in a Master Food Preservers class, here’s a peek inside the Sacramento demonstration kitchen:

Three photos of a man speaking around kitchen equipment.
Volunteer Dennis Prendergast teaches a Master Food Preservers class about pressure canning.

“Cooking is a whole different ball game from canning — a whole different science,” Prendergast said. He's been a UC Master Food Preserver since 1995, and regularly teaches the monthly Saturday morning classes in Sacramento county. Next month's Saturday morning class will be on dehydrating, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Dec. 10.

Close-up of a pressure gauge and an empty pot near a stovetop.
A pressure canner

Man ladles water, pots steam on a stove.
Prendergast ladles hot water into a canning jar filled with carrots, while water in the pressure canners warms up on the stovetop.
Man with book in front of class.
Prendergast recommended several reference books to the 30 class participants, while waiting for the pressure to build in the canners.
Photo of pot with pressure gauge and steam coming out.
Teacher with pots steaming on stove, and class behind him.

Man adjusts the lid on a jar of carrots, close-up on jar of carrots.
Final product

UC Master Food Preservers is a volunteer organization structured in a way similar to UC Master Gardeners. Master Food Preserver candidates complete training to become knowledgeable in food preservation and then are required to volunteer time sharing their knowledge with the public by teaching classes and answering questions.

UC Cooperative Extension currently has Master Food Preservers in four counties:

In Sacramento County, the Master Food Preservers offer a monthly class on Saturday mornings that focuses on techniques of a specific preservation process – either water-bath canning, pressure canning or dehydrating. Once a month on Wednesday evenings, the group offers classes that focus on preserving specific fruits or vegetables.

This Wednesday’s class is on “Fall Fruits and Winter Squash” which will include quince and pomegranates among others. The class is  6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the UC Cooperative Extension office, 4145 Branch Center Road in Sacramento; registration to attend is $3.