Thursday, December 10, 2009

Season's Greenings: DIY Food & Drink

And for the foodie on your list (or anyone who loves good food), there is a plethora of local products perfect for them. Adapted from an article I wrote for the Nov.-Dec. '09 issue of NW Palate magazine, this is the last in the five-part series. I hope you've enjoyed them all!

Eric Pateman, President of Edible BC at Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market, was impressed when he heard that a local creamery, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks on Vancouver Island, started a program to purchase a share of a cow for the milk it produces. Check with your local cheesemakers to see if they have something similar, or ask your local cheesemonger about a cheese-of-the-month club.

He’s also quick to recommend BC chef and local food activist Mara Jernigan’s (photo, top) hands-on cooking classes at Fairburn Farm, where you can choose from five-day intensive boot camps to basic and advanced skills classes.

Pateman adds, “Of course, Edible BC itself has cooking classes, and our market tours offer people an insight into local cooking and eating. The 800-plus locally produced products in our retail store make great gifts as well." For more information, visit their website.

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DIY Cheese Kits from Urban Cheesecraft allow you to make fresh mozzarella, chèvre, queso blanco, paneer and other cheeses in your own kitchen. Created by Portlander Claudia Lucero, you supply the milk and the kits have everything else you need. Available from the website and at many area stores. $17-$26.

A Water Bath Canning Kit includes an aluminum canning pot and rack, a jar lifter, a lid wand, and a wide-mouth funnel. Glass jars are not included but can be ordered separately. Available at most local kitchen supply stores. Approx. $69.

A Home Brewing Starter Kit includes everything you need to make five gallons of your choice of six beers. $99.

The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Homeby Janet Chadwick. Simple step-by-step instructions give you the confidence and know-how to freeze, dry, can, root cellar and brine the abundance of our region’s produce. $10.

Read Part One: Gifts That Grow, Part Two: Farm to Table, Part Three: Good for the Environment and Part Four: Helping Others.

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