Ora Emmerich

Master Food Preservers: Try some chutney

This week, why not go wild and try some new foods? California cuisine incorporates many ethnic tastes, and chutney, popular in India, may just be the new food that becomes an old favorite. Chutneys can be made from herbs, spices and fruits. Recipes for this sauce-like condiment vary according to regions in India, and according […]

Master Food Preservers: Meat and sausage

So, what is so hard about preserving meat? Just wrap it well and throw it in the freezer, right? Wrong. Well, sort of wrong. Meat can be preserved by freezing, of course, but the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County stand ready to assist by offering a free public education class on deli meats […]

Master Food Preservers: Safe food from the garden

After a slow start, most home gardens seem to be making up for lost time. Tomatoes that refused to ripen for so long have decided to come calling in beautiful jackets of red, yellow, purple and orange. Green peppers, heck, red, orange and violet peppers, too, seem to be reproducing at record rates. Hidden zucchini […]

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Master Food Preservers: Basic cheese making

Knowing that most people love the taste of cheese, many supermarket owners have installed “cheese bars” for their customers. Cheeses vary from soft to hard, from sweet to tangy and all flavors in between. Some cheeses require weeks or months to age, while others will be ready to eat just hours after being made. Picking […]

Master Food Preservers: Save the strawberries

Plump, juicy, red, ripe strawberries pop up at every roadside intersection to tempt passersby with tasty spring goodness. Who can resist stopping to buy a basket or three? With such an abundance of the delicious fruit available at this time of the year, smart consumers will find many ways to preserve the scrumptious berries. Keep […]

Master Food Preservers: Low sugar canning

Most novice home food preservationists react with surprise to the amount of sugar usually called for in a recipe for jams or jellies. Sugar helps to keep the color, shape and texture of fruit and acts to help preserve fruit spreads. Most recipes call for sugar because of the improved taste imparted by the sweetener, […]

Master Food Preservers: Tomatoes — basic and fancy

Just in time for the beginnings of the tomato harvest, the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County present the next free public education class for this year, “Tomatoes-Basic and Fancy.” This class includes demonstrations and instructions for the safe home food preservation of tomatoes and tomato-based products, such as salsa, bruchetta and sun-dried tomatoes. […]

Master Food Preservers: Pickles, relishes and sauerkraut

What is a pickle? The answer to the question, according to the Master Food Preserver handout, is that a “… pickle is any fruit, vegetable or meat preserved in vinegar or brine. Brine pickles are products fermented in salt brine. Relishes are prepared using chopped products and cooked in a spicy vinegar solution. Fruit pickles […]

Master Food Preservers: Jams and jellies

Have a lot of fruit and do not know what to do with it? Can it! The Master Food Preservers free public education class, “Jams and Jellies,” offers great recipes, tested techniques and the safest methods of home food preservation for many types of fruits. Presented on July 16 and again on July 19, from […]

Master Food Preservers: Using basil

Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures stimulate all of the garden plants, but the basil plant seems to enjoy the summer weather better than all the other herbs. Perhaps the plant knows how much people yearn for the fresh taste of basil in spaghetti sauces, pesto and lasagna. Perhaps it knows that its distinctive taste […]

Master Food Preservers: Label literacy

Food labels might not make the best-sellers list, but careful reading of care and handling instructions may prevent food borne illness. With the overwhelming choices of food available, from fresh to frozen, dried, canned and ready to eat, consumers must follow manufacturers’ guidelines when preparing, serving and storing food. If food becomes contaminated, serious illness, […]

Master Food Preservers: What is a pluot?

Sometimes trying to add variety and interest to wholesome food leads to new food discoveries. The government Website,, encourages families to try a vast variety of fruits and vegetables, and provides information about the food as well as recipes that taste great. The fruit of the month for June is actually two fruits; pluots […]

Master Food Preservers: Farmers market fun

Farmers markets open soon, filled with fresh produce, herbs, flowers and unique home-made foods. A stroll through the typical Farmers market reveals seasonal favorites and local bounty galore. In fact, sometimes a beguiled shopper ends up with more fresh food than she can use. What to do? Preserve it, of course! Most fruits and vegetables […]

Master Food Preservers: Food safety recall

What do cars, children’s cribs, peanut butter, dog food, toys, and bike helmets have in common? These types of products show up on the list of items recalled due to concerns that something about all or part of the product may cause harm to the consumer who purchased the item. When it comes to food […]

Master Food Preservers: A perfect picnic

What could be more fun on a beautiful spring day than a picnic in the park?  As the weather turns warmer, the green grass and the shady spots under the trees beckon everyone to relax and enjoy an outdoor meal. Packing a delicious picnic lunch for any age group can be simple, and following a […]

Master Food Preservers: Food safety recall

What do cars, children’s cribs, peanut butter, dog food, toys, and bike helmets have in common? These types of products show up on the list of items recalled due to concerns that something about all or part of the product may cause harm to the consumer who purchased the item. When it comes to food […]

Master Food Preservers: Delicious soup from the freezer

Winter brings blustery winds, rain and snow, chilly days and freezing nights. Winter also brings out the old family cookbook for that just right soup recipe to warm the body and soul. Favorite family recipes can not be beat for comfort, but some recipes seem to make enough to feed the neighborhood. Freezing the leftovers […]

Master Food Preserver: How corny

Just how did corned beef and cabbage, that delightful combination, become the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner for Irish Americans and “wannabe” Irish Americans? Actually, Ireland in the 1600s exported corned, or salted beef to England and the rest of Europe. Most Irish could not afford this delicacy as both beef and salt cost quite […]

Master Food Preservers: Perfectly preserved potatoes

Tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, excites the little bit of Irish in everyone, and wearing green keeps one pinch-free. The color green, reminiscent of the Irish Flag, shamrocks and leprechauns, looks fine on clothing, but may be frightening if found on a traditional Irish staple, the potato. Actually, the green found in stored potatoes […]

Master food preservers: Serving the community with food safety information

The El Dorado County Master Food Preservers stand ready to serve the community with information about proper food safety and home food preservation. The Cooperative Extension service organization includes members from all segments of the community, including those from many different age groups, professions and backgrounds. The common thread between the volunteers, food preservation, extends […]

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