By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post
Emma Tapley-Stafford, a retired U.T. Extension Agent, thinks seniors from Market Street Church of Christ can help younger folks eat better and stay healthier during the current financial crunch.
“With our economy as it is more people need to prepare foods at home,” Stafford said. “Even in single households, people can enjoy packaging foods for only one or two by canning or freezing.”
Canning and freezing food is truly an art, but it can be learned, she added. So Stafford asked Bernice White, Mary Wharton, Carolyn Meek, Johanna Hellum, Josephine Ferrell and Felicia Wharton from the Market Street church to share the skills they have learned.
These six women have been canning and freezing their own food for many years and will be demonstrating their skills during the workshop.
The workshop, planned for Saturday July 25, from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., will allow the women to demonstrate basic canning and freezing skills, including jelly making.
Tips for selecting produce to can will also be given. For example, Stafford said produce should either be selected early on the day you intend to preserve it or if you have a garden you can pick the evening before.
This means you are preserving the food at its freshest and it will taste great. Also, buying local produce can save money on the grocery bill, since you buy what is in season and abundant, she pointed out.
Stafford also pointed out that safe practices are vital and it does require setting aside enough time to do a good job.
Safety measures include dressing safely, and because hot foods can scald, the cook needs to wear clothes that protect the skin. And an apron is a good idea to protect your clothes, too.
“You will experience the joys of canning when you finish a product to carry home for yourself,” she said. “Canning can be a real joy if it’s well planned.”
Attendees will need to bring a notebook and a pen as well as their own apron, a towel and a small sharp knife to the workshop.
Each participant will actually prepare a small amount of food either for freezing or will can a jar of food to take home.
Stafford said the workshop will use the U.T. Extension Canning Handbook for a guide, and she will have handouts for those attending. She added that anyone who wants a copy of the book can buy one at the extension office.
If your church or organization would like to schedule and food preservation workshop, or if you need more information, call Stafford at 453-1402 or email her at mygrandbaby@hotmail .com.
Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.