Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Slightly Controlled Chaos

Last night was my canning class at the culinary school. As you can see from the title, there are things I could have done better! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

There were six students, my assistant and me. I had planned that each student would make a savory/vegetable thing, either a pickle or a chutney, and each would make a sweet thing. My assistant also made applesauce for us to can as a demo. However, it wasn't ready in time and one student's pickle was ready first so we sort of demo'd on that.

What we discovered was that while four canning pots was likely enough, there were not enough burners left for everyone to cook at a reasonable pace. The class ran way over time, by about an hour! One person had to leave early because her ride couldn't wait any longer. I felt bad, as she didn't even get to take home the jam she made. She did get a nice collection of other things to bring home. Certain recipes worked great in that time frame, like dilled carrots and dill pickles, but the bread and butter pickles took way too long. If I were to do this again, I'd get the cucumbers and onions set up ahead of time.

So, lessons for next time: cap the class at six students and do fewer recipes but spend more time talking about them. Also, demonstrating the food mill is unnecessary. If the school wants me to teach it again, I'd be more than happy to!

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