Ora Emmerich

Master Food Preservers: Canning crab

Nothing beats the sweet taste of fresh crab and many markets offer this tasty treat at lower prices this time of year. Take advantage of this and enjoy as much crab as can be eaten and then consider canning some for later. Of course, pressure canning is the only safe method for canning seafood of […]

Master Food Preservers: Brown bag safety

The new year brings with it the desire for change and improvement in many hearts. In a lot of cases, the change improves the heart. Many people choose to commit to a regular exercise routine or promise to eat more fruits and vegetables. Saving money by sticking to a budget seems to be a favorite […]

Master Food Preservers: Brrr, freezing

Sometimes it seems a waste to use the home freezer. Must be cold enough outside, right? Well, read on for the low down on the use of low temperatures to preserve food. The easiest way to preserve food at home, freezing requires little skill and a few tools. Most family kitchens contain a refrigerator/freezer unit […]

Master Food Preservers: Concentrate on lemons

A quick glance out the window to the backyard reveals the fruit laden branches of the neighbor’s lemon tree draping over the fence, ready to be picked. The bright yellow fruit contrasts very prettily with the brilliant green of the leaves, both hiding the dangerous thorns that seem more like spikes when encountered with a […]

Master Food Preservers: Canning safety

Home food preservation is on the rise. Many university extensions report high attendance at free public classes on safe home preservation techniques and Websites with canning advice seem to be springing up like weeds. Modern science has helped make preserving food at home safe with recipes and times for processing that ensure the elimination of […]

Master Food Preservers: Tips for newbies

Because food nourishes and sustains life, it often takes center stage at family gatherings, business meetings and other occasions where people congregate to interact. Many cooks take pride in presenting favorite recipes of delectable dishes, especially during the holiday season. In fact, at some family parties there may actually be a bit of a competition […]

Master Food Preservers: Healthy food

Evidence indicating that fruits, vegetables, nuts and other foods which may be grown in the home garden contribute to a healthier lifestyle continues to grow. The CDC sponsors an entire Website geared toward getting people to eat more fruits and veggies, which can be found at Bill Clinton, past-president of the United States, decided […]

Master Food Preserver: Almonds

Almonds bring a wonderful taste to many diverse recipes. From salads to smoothies and fish to fowl, this versatile nut complements the taste of almost any type of food. Anyone with access to an almond tree or two can enjoy home processing of these delicious nuts. Harvested from August to late September, almonds usually need […]

Master Food Preservers: Pumpkin primer

Indigenous to North America, on Wednesday, Oct. 31 the pumpkin will be found on almost every porch in town. Most people follow good practices for picking out a pumpkin. One looks for a pumpkin that is firm, not soft and squishy, and most look for a pumpkin that seems heavy for its size. Good start. […]

Master Food Preservers: Cold nights, warm dinners

The chill of autumn nights seeps into empty houses waiting for the families to return home for the evening. After a long day of work, school or errands, many people feel too tired to cook, although a hot meal sounds heavenly. Home-preserved food to the rescue. Jars of soup or spaghetti sauce stand ready to […]

Master Food Preservers: MFP classes wind up for the year

Cooler days and longer nights mark the turn of the season and the end of the El Dorado County Master Food Preservers public class schedule for 2012. From water bath canning to preserving game, from jams and jellies to cranberries and squash, the Master Food Preservers volunteer hundreds of hours to the community through their […]

Master Food Preservers: Utilizing olives

Walk into many of today’s grocery stores and right in front of the deli counter find a display of several different types of olives. Why do the stores give so much space to olives? Because people love to try many different types of these delicious fruits, and markets realize the potential profits in a salad […]

Master Food Preservers: Apple butter

As the evenings cool down and the mornings retain a bit of a chill, foothill residents begin to think about all those apples ripening on the apple trees. The local climate encourages apple growers and provides the ideal conditions for great harvests. In fact, visitors flock to the foothills year after year to visit Apple […]

Master Food Preservers: Vinegars, condiments and chutneys

The whole family used to be terrified of the word “chutney.” Chutney, what is that? Sounds spicy, do not eat it. Actually, the National Center for Home Food Preservation says, “The term ‘chutney’ includes several different varieties of sauce-type foods, drawn from traditional East Indian cuisine. The main ingredient may be an herb such as […]

Master Food Preservers: Deli meats and sausage making

So, how funny is this …  a vegan writing about meats and sausages? Actually, a former meat and sausage fan writing about meats and sausages, so things will work out fine. Better than fine, because when meats and sausages come from the market, the average home food preserver has no control over the ingredients that […]

Master Food Preservers: Make your own cheese

Most major supermarkets today proudly offer a wide array of cheeses from around the world, and some of these cheeses result from many months of processing by experienced cheesemakers. Making cheese at home, however, can be relatively simple. The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County offer a cheese making class on August 25th, to […]

Master Food Preservers: Pressure canning at home

It really is all about the chemistry. Safe home food preservation boils down (ha ha) to the correct technique for the acidity level of the food. For instance, foods with a high acidity level present an unfriendly environment to most pathogens, and these foods may be safely canned at the temperatures reached by a water […]

Master Food Preservers: Tomatoes, basic and fancy

Look out into the garden and what can be seen? Tomatoes gone wild. Every summer, just about now, those innocent looking tomato plants become “TomatoZilla” and begin producing more tomatoes than ever imagined. Neighbors wake up to find bags full of tomatoes propped against the front door. The family begins to turn a peculiar shade […]

Master Food Preservers: Pickling time

Pickles — sweet, sour, crunchy, chopped, whole, brine, vinegar, fruit, vegetable, meat — whoa, meat? Yes, any fruit, vegetable or meat preserved in vinegar or brine qualifies as a pickle. Learn more about pickling at the next free public education class being offered by the Master Food Preservers in El Dorado County. The class, “Pickles, […]

Master Food Preservers: Christmas in July MFP style

No matter how clever Santa seems to be, those famous volunteers, the El Dorado County Master Food Preservers, take Christmas to a whole new level with the legendary “Christmas in July” free public education class. Come to the Marshall Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, on Tuesday, July 24 […]

Master Food Preservers: Start with a bang

The first class offered this year by the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County went well. Everyone attending learned about safe food handling and how to correctly use a water bath canner. This will be handy for the next class, Jams and Jellies. If you missed the first class, don’t worry — on Thursday, […]

Master Food Preservers: Start with a bang

Start the summer with a big bang, and plan to attend the free public education classes offered by the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County. These great folks have prepared all year to be ready for these classes and the trained volunteers hope to share all the tips, tricks and knowledge they have accumulated […]

Master Food Preservers: Summer snacks

“The kitchen is closed” sounds great, but never really works out when the kids, on summer vacation, seem to be hungry all day long. Home food preservers turn to healthy alternatives to chips and soda by using the stocks of dehydrated and canned goodies that have been put up during the year. Even those who […]

Master Food Preservers: Amazing avocados

Mexico claims the distinction as the birthplace of the avocado but California jumped right in around 1871 with the first imported avocado trees planted in Santa Barbara. Since then, this luscious fruit, usually used as a vegetable, has made its way onto many menus throughout the state. The University of Florida IFSA Extension provides information […]

Master Food Preservers: Bug free barbecue

Bugs love a barbecue. Ant, yellow-jackets and mosquitoes enjoy sharing an evening with food and friendship. These bugs, however irritating, succumb easily to swatting and sprays. Not so with the bugs found in the food, the bugs that can cause stomach pains, illness and even death. Prevent these deadly food-borne bugs from attending the next […]

Master Food Preservers: Salt and salt

There is salt, and then, there is salt. Basic chemistry explains that salt, or NaCl, combines sodium and chloride. Scientists, engineers, consumers and many others find uses for salt ranging from making roads to dyeing clothes, from drilling for oil to bleaching paper stock, and from softening water to extinguishing fires. The home food preserver, […]

Master Food Preservers: MFP on the Web

The University of California Cooperative Extension Website for the Central Sierra region contains invaluable information for the community. The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County invite everyone to investigate the Website, and to delve into the MFP section to learn more about safe home food preservation. To begin, go to When the Website […]

Master Food Preservers: Kale chips

Sneak a peek down the natural foods aisle at the grocery store and find out what the “in” crowd snacks on instead of boring old chips. Right there, beside the bean dip, stands a bag of kale chips. Yes, kale chips have arrived, so move over, pretzels, and let the newest craze unfold. Loaded with […]

Master Food Preservers: Love tips

As the month of love and heart health ends, harvest time for the first shoots of asparagus begins. “Love tips,” or asparagus, flourishes in many foothill gardens. This perennial plant sends out tender shoots which appear from March to June in Northern California, to the delight of many people who enjoy this delicious harbinger of […]

Master Food Preservers: Preserve for health

Today, more Americans than ever fall prey to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. These food related conditions stem from overconsumption of fats, sugars and calories. Additives such as antibiotics and hormones affect everyone, from children to adults. Many people turn to homegrown fruits and vegetables, organic foods and grass-fed meat animals to get back control […]

Master Food Preservers: Spice it up

A low-fat diet sure sounded like a good idea on Jan. 1, but now that a couple of weeks have passed, many with the best of intentions find this resolution to be getting tougher to stick with. Do not despair. Spices and herbs invigorate foods left bland by the elimination of oils and fats and […]

Master Food Preservers: Peas for luck

Snow peas, southern peas, field peas or black-eyed peas; whatever name these go by, good luck is sure to follow whoever eats some after the start of the new year. Almost all cultures throughout the world follow acquired rituals to ring in the new year, and Americans developed the tradition of eating black-eyed peas to […]

Master Food Preservers: Recipe check time

Recently, a friend mentioned an old family recipe for blackberry jam. This jam retains the title of the “best in the world” according to “anyone who has ever tried it.” Maybe it is. Many families treasure recipes of all kinds, handing these down to children and grandchildren like precious heirlooms. The key to continuing the […]

Master Food Preservers: Christmas list for home food preservers

What to get, what to get. Dad needs a tie. Check. Daughter needs a new bike. Check. Son needs some skates. Check. How about a new car for Mom? Check. But what should be on the list for the home food preserver? Well, for those who do not know the difference between a thermometer and […]

Master Food Preservers: Up, up and stay food safe

Winter weather brings snow to the Sierra and many families take advantage of the opportunity for a fun-filled vacation. Everyone remembers to pack warm clothes, sports equipment and water-proof boots, but who remembers to pack the food thermometer? Those living or vacationing above 3,000 feet must remember that when cooking this far above sea level, […]

Master Food Preservers: Healthy chips for smart snacking

It is all about the crunch. Yes, everyone enjoys snacking, and the crunch of chips satisfies much better than, say, a plate of steamed vegetables. Yet we all agree that most crunchy snacks come loaded with unhealthy oils, sugars and other additives. The time has come to break out the dehydrator and take charge of […]

Master Food Preservers: Olives

Fish-eye, foaming, softening and gas pockets … what do all of these have in common? These terms, used for various problems occurring during the preservation of olives, strike fear into the hearts of most home olive preservers. Not, however, that of Bernie Ritscher, Master Food Preserver for the University of Davis Extension in El Dorado […]

Master Food Preservers: Raw milk warning

Thinking about raw milk brings to mind bucolic images of happy cows in the meadow, fresh warm milk squirting straight into open mouths and vigorous health resulting from the unprocessed, natural liquid. Well, think again. According to the FDA, “While the perceived nutritional and health benefits of raw milk consumption have not been scientifically substantiated, […]

November 21, 2011 | Posted in Prospecting | Tagged | 13 Replies

Master Food Preservers: Cool cleaning

When was the last time anyone cleaned out the household refrigerator? No one remembers? Then, it is time to get busy and get this neglected chore done. Refrigeration slows down the organisms that can bring poisoning and spoilage to food, but it will not kill the nasty things outright. As the recent outbreaks of Listeria […]

Master Food Preservers: Preserving pumpkins

In October, many people in the United States purchase at least 10 pounds of a vegetable that no one in the house intends to eat. What vegetable could that be? Why, the pumpkin, of course. That round, orange squash decorates homes across the country after being carved into various scary, funny and fantastic shapes. Is […]

Master Food Preservers: Nuts!

Nuts, nuts and more nuts! Nuts in bags on the counters, nuts on shelves in the pantry, nuts in the corner waiting for someone to come to the rescue. The neighbors have been very generous in sharing the bounty from the trees this year, so something must be done with all the nuts, before someone […]

Master Food Preservers: Thanksgiving treats

Many tastes of fall have become Thanksgiving classics. Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and a moist, golden turkey seem to make the perfect combination meal for a Thursday in November. The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County offer a free public education class titled “Cranberries, Pumpkin and Turkey” on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m., […]

Master Food Preservers: A perfect pear

This beautiful fall morning could not get any better. First, the dreaded yard work turned out to be easy and quickly finished. Then, the hair salon had exactly the right time open for an hour of beauty. Finally, a call from a friend resulted in plans for an excursion to a pear orchard for an […]

Master Food Preservers: Conserves, butters and marmalade

If plain old jams and jellies on the morning toast just seem boring, take things up a notch and try some conserves, butters or marmalade. These combination products mix the flavors of various fruits with interesting textures and unusual spices, sometimes adding nuts, to produce a tasty treat. Though all of these products wake up […]

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