Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pantry Royale

Amys Jams

A few weeks ago, Meg and I took a Pantry Royale class from Amy Pennington at Cupcake Royale. It was amazing. In a short hour and a half, Amy entertained us with stories of her first canning experiences, tales of gardening and taught us how to small batch preserve. Amy recently wrote a delightful book, Urban Pantry which is full of great urban pantry tips and recipes. I highly recommend it. My copy is dog-eared with many a successful recipe tried out and loved.

Amy Cherries

I come from a long line of canners on my father's side. In fact, my Grandfather cans with the best of them and his wife is a Master Canner. So I've always thought about canning as being a BIG DEAL! First you must pick so many tons of fruit for many, many hours (sometimes over an entire weekend) that you can barely get it home. Then you must can for days and days before storing your 300 jars of jam in a cool, dark basement.

Amy Straining Fruit

Well I don't have a basement, nor do I think that Scott and I could ever consume 300 jars of jam in a year so when Amy said that she puts up 4-5 jars at a time, I was HOOKED! I mean, I'm seriously HOOKED but that tale is for a future post. Let's just concentrate on Amy's class in this one.

Amy Canning Setup

Amy, like me, does not have a large kitchen so she showed us how to small batch preserve with a small set-up. You just need a heavy-bottomed dutch oven (I prefer Le Creuset, but I'm biased), a stock pot, a set of jar lifters (tongs won't do as they slip and could drop your precious jars), jars and 2-part lids.

Amy Cupcakes

Amy made Raspberry Orange-Flower Jelly for our class. It looked so simple that the next weekend, I made simple Raspberry preserves. If you live in Seattle and are interested in learning from Amy, take a class at Cupcake Royale. Not only do you learn a lot, you also get Amy's book, cupcakes and a goodie bag. Not bad for $38.

Goodie Bags
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