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Lanesboro Local launches a day-long series of food skills classes


Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

On Saturday, March 29 Lanesboro Local is offering three 2-hour food-making classes that can promise better eating in your household. The three hands-on classes will be taught by skilled food artisans from the area and hosted at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. The classes will teach special skills that were once common ways to preserve food but that have become lost arts: cheese making, fermentation, and food drying.

Cheese Making for Novices at 9 a.m. will be taught by Teresa Cerling of Hazel Hill Farm. This is an opportunity to make and take home samples of two fresh soft cheeses, mozzarella and ricotta. Those in the class will learn differences among cheese varieties and methods of cheese making. Instructor Cerling will discuss important attributes of good cheese-making milk and the effect on the quality and taste of the cheese. Class handouts will send you away with the best sources for cheese making supplies.

Teresa Cerling lives in rural Fillmore County with her husband and daughter. She began making cheese about 20 years ago after learning that her daughter had an allergy to cow’s milk. The Cerlings got a few goats as a source of fresh milk and made cheese to use up the excess.

Fermentation 101 at 11:30 a.m. will offer an overview complete with samples of gourmet creations you can easily ferment at home. Team-taught with a generous helping of humor by Peggy Hanson and Frank Wright, the class will introduce a wide range of nutritious fermented foods: vegetable, fruit, bean, dairy, grain and meat. Those in the class will learn about the microbial partners that transform and preserve foods and will make their own vegetable ferment (sauerkraut or Kimchi) and a dairy ferment (Yoghurt or crème fraîche). Tools and techniques for prepping and fermenting foods will be demonstrated and practiced. Bring an apron and an appetite for adventure. Peggy Hanson and Frank Wright will provide the rest.

Frank is the gardener of Oz, a one-acre plot off the bike trail just north of Lanesboro. Peggy’s blogs for Featherstone CSA are a virtual encyclopedia of eating local foods in season. Visit her yogurt-making entry: http://cookoutofthebox.blogspot.com/search?q=yogurt

Food Drying with an Attitude at 2 p.m. will teach a fun, important component of sustainable living. In this class, food drying specialist Mary Bell will demonstrate traditional and innovative ways to dry fruits and vegetables – from apples to watermelon, from asparagus to zucchini. Those attending will learn how to make jerky, a low-fat, high-protein, fast food; how to cook and bake with dried food; how to dry herbs and flowers; make pet treats; enrich dried foods with extra flavor; and will leave with recipes to try out at home.

This class is an opportunity to see, touch and taste a wide variety of dried foods, engaging your senses and demystifying the food drying process. Food drying is the most energy-efficient method of preserving food and creating compact, nutritious, shelf-stable food. Drying food when it is plentiful in season saves money, minimizes waste and makes it easy to eat locally grown food throughout the year. Mary Bell and her husband live at Eagle Bluff Environmental Center in rural Lanesboro. Her books include; Dehydration Made Simple, Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook, Just Jerky, Jerky People and the latest, Food Drying with an Attitude.

Cost of each class: $25. Sign up for all three for $ 60.

For more information, contact Mary Bell at 507.467.2928. To reserve a place in class, please email info@eagle-bluff.org or call 888.800.9558.

Location of all classes will be in the kitchen of the Schroeder Building at Eagle Bluff. For directions please visit the Eagle Bluff website: http://www.eagle-bluff.org/top/about-us/visit-us/directions/

Lanesboro Local is partnering with Eagle Bluff to present this educational event. This food preservation series is an educational initiative of Lanesboro Local, a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect local producers with buyers to strengthen our rural communities. The goal of the series is to empower us all to improve the quality of our food supply and to make it easier to eat foods grown in our own area all year round.

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Fillmore County Pork Producers
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