This is Marty, the sensei of canning. She is also the town's main supplier of goat's milk. She really wrestled up quite an experience, especially considering there were 20 of us and we were scheduled to can 7 items plus make goat cheese. This is her starting the Moroccan preserved lemons. We prepared and canned tomato sauce, kimchi, fermented daikon, the lemons, beet-orange chutney, Tunisian pumpkin soup and pickled cantaloupe. Everyone in this area is really into preserving and fermenting food, especially the people who are truly devoted to local seasonal eating. I like too that this group was not a bunch of snot nose foodies, just real people eating real food.
In the forefront, you can see the goat cheese pot wrapped in a blanket. This is the stage when we waited for the milk to curd.
I chose to start at the tomato sauce station. Across from me in the red and black stripes is the Luana, from Hawaii. She goes by Lu, which I told her is also what my mom calls me. She chuckled and said that her mom used to call her Lana. We had a little moment...
It was basically a gathering of witches, the good kind. I learned a tremendous amount and am beginning to also understand how important these skills are to farming, as one must be able to preserve the fresh food for the winter in many instances. Luckily, in many parts of California we can grow all year round (and we've invented the freezer).The modern canner is also incorporating many international flavors in their arsenal of preserved foods. Marty was asked why she was attracted to such exotic flavors as in the Tunisian soup and Moroccan lemons. She actually had a very interesting story about how she learned to cook. She spent a few years of her childhood in India. Her mom would let her just sort of roam around during the daytime. What she didn't tell her mother was that her favorite people to visit were lepers and she learned to cook from the Indian women cooking for them.