I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the generosity of the Toronto food community is something I am grateful for every single day. When I launched my guest chef programme with my Petits Chefs cooking club a few years ago, I never imagined they’d be working with some of Toronto’s top chefs, both in our
kitchen lab and in the actual restaurants, never mind that these chefs donate their time (and sometimes ingredients) to us. It seems I am not alone in believing the next generation absolutely needs to learn how to cook and the spark I have seen in some of my boys as they work alongside these chefs is the beginning of that interest that will hopefully set them on the road to taking a keen interest in food and cooking.
This term’s agenda of chefs and field trips was more or less set a few weeks ago and we’re looking forward to a wonderful few months of fabulous, unique experiences. But life can sometimes get in the way so when my guest chef this week couldn’t make it due to a family emergency, I put out the question to my fellow Food Revolution Ambassador, assistant with the mostest at my St Lawrence Market Kitchen classes, Freelance Recipe Developer/ Chef Instructor and Culinary Arts Education Assistant at the TDSB, Mary Catherine Anderson – could she come and show the boys how to can/ preserve? I’d barely hit “send” when the answer came back YES. Honestly, I am so lucky. (had she not been available, of course, I would have just come up with something myself but I love to showcase different kinds of foods, food prep techniques etc… and I am not always the expert!).
For something seasonal, I chose Amy Bronee‘s cranberry-orange sauce – perfect for the upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving (Amy’s is the canning book I fell head over heels for this summer). And because one needs to keep little hands busy, I chose Jamie Oliver’s rye soda bread rolls (from his latest book Everyday Super Food) as our second item.
Making the cranberry sauce is pretty easy – cranberries, orange juice, orange zest and sugar that needs to bubble away for about 10 minutes. The boys were fascinated to watch the cranberries collapse through the cooking process.
She taught them how to carefully pour the hot sauce into the funnel into the jars, then measure for “headspace” at the top of the jar to ensure a tight seal. We used her “magic wands” to lift up the lids and carefully place them on the jars. Everyone was eager to help!
Thank you so much MC for stepping in at the last minute (and now you know – an hour really does go by super fast!!). I know the boys enjoyed learning about canning from you and learning how to use all your magic bits and pieces of equipment. We may well have some future canners amongst the group!
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