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CANCELLED: 5/16/10 - Hands-On Canning Tune up

CANCELLED: The Hands-On Canning Tune-up this Thursday, May 16, 2019, has been CANCELLED due to a change in venue.

More information on June's upcoming Public Class is coming soon.

Thank you, and our apologies for the cancellation--but make sure to attend June's class!

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 8:58 AM

A Short Missive on The Joys of Tea--

Tea in many forms; Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Did you miss the Tea for Two class earlier this year?--I was just thinking about it and how much I enjoy tea--

Ahhh, tea, true tea, Camellia Sinensis, my favorite hot drink. Mildly stimulating from the caffeine, but soothing from the ritual of making it. Boil the water, prep the tea or bag, pour, brew, season to taste, a calming little ritual.

When you have a friend or friends over, do you offer them tea? If you do, do you have a small snack with your cuppas? Or do you like a BIG snack or full meal with your tea, as with the British-style high tea? A little something, at minimum, with with your cuppa is nice. A small cookie or two, maybe a piece of chocolate, maybe some crackers. It is great if the snack is dip-able; some foods are enhanced by a tea-soak, and some teas go especially well with something dipped in them. And of course if you are making tea for two, the company is most excellent as well.

Brewing in a pot is the way to go for me. A small pot, one that holds just 16 ounces or so is best. The small pot means that I can have more than one type of tea if I wish. Many wonderful teas are found on the net and my taste runs to those that are strong and dark, with some aroma; many are very delicious. Teas that stand up to milk and sugar are what I really enjoy, and there are teas out there that do this just as well as coffee. Brew that tea strong!

Just me and thee, two for tea. Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
At times I want a little lighter cuppa. There are teas that are much more delicate, aromatic, lighter in taste than the strong teas I usually enjoy. White tea, Oolong tea, black tea, and all of their variations; it is good to have variety to give a break to the taste buds. Lighter teas are wonderful taken straight for their delicate aromas and flavors. Lighter teas are fantastic brewed for iced tea, so flavorful and sweet but not sugary!

For something special for some tea for two, try making a bit of home-made butter for a fresh biscuit or scone; absolutely heavenly! If you want to get extra fancy, make some scones or crumpets (crumpets are very easy, and so are scones). You can freeze these and just bring out as many as you would like and briefly reheat or toast them. Eat them with your home-made butter and you may well think you are in heaven.  And don't forget that home-made jam of yours!

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Tags: camellia sinensis (1), jam (6), tea (3), teapot (1)

The Life of a Daffodil

Daffodils in Lake Arrowhead

They're everywhere in Spring, and they're beautiful: Daffodils (genus narcissus). There are countless species, and thousands of hybrids. These perennials multiply in two ways: by bulb division (asexual cloning), where the resulting flower is an exact...

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 12:01 PM
  • Author: Susan Campbell & Michele Martinez
Tags: Bulbs (1), Daffodils (1), Flower Gardens (1)
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Recipes for that Kimchi!

If were inspired by our Fermentation class and you have made some Kimchi, try some of the following recipes. If you have not made your kimchi, well what are you waiting for?:

Kimchi Fried Rice

2 cups cold cooked rice
2 teaspoons oil
1 egg, beaten
green onions, thinly sliced (whites and greens), as many as you wish
Kimchi, diced coarsely, as much as you wish (I suggest 1/2 cup diced)
salt and pepper to taste

Have all of your ingredients at the ready.

Heat a medium heavy steel or cast iron frying pan till it is HOT. Pour in 2 teaspoons oil, swirl to coat pan, toss in the rice. Cook, tossing the rice constantly until it is hot. Make a well in the middle of the rice and pour in the egg; cook, stirring the egg into the rice gradually until egg is cooked. Stir in the green onions and stir fry briefly until they turn a brighter green. Toss in the Kimchi and stir fry just until it is warmed--do not overcook. Serve immediately.


How about using some chopped kimchi in a grilled cheese sandwich to spice it up?
(Thank you Serious

2 tablespoons butter, cut into three even pieces
2 slices hearty white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm or Arnold [some sourdough perhaps?--L. Watts]
2 slices American, Cheddar, or Jack cheese [and a good, melty Muenster would be good! -L. Watts]
1/2 cup kimchi, drained and roughly chopped
Kosher salt if desired

Melt one third of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until foaming subsides. Add both bread slices and cook, swirling occasionally, until pale golden brown on bottom side, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board toasted-side-up. Place one cheese slice on top of one slice of bread. Top with kimchi and second cheese slice. Close sandwich, with both toasted sides facing inwards.

Melt one more piece of butter in the skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Add sandwich and cook, swirling occasionally, until deep, even golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove sandwich using a flexible metal spatula. Add the remaining butter. Return sandwich to skillet cooked-side up. Season with salt. Cook, swirling occasionally, until second side is deep, even golden brown and cheese is thoroughly melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


And last but not least, Kimchi and Avocado Quesadillas!
(Thank you My

8 flour tortillas, 7 to 8 in. in diameter
1 jar (14 oz.) kimchi, drained and chopped
2 cups shredded jack cheese
2 avocados, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro leaves

Top 4 tortillas evenly with kimchi, then with cheese, avocados, and remaining tortillas.

Mix oil, vinegar, and sesame seeds in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat a 12-in. frying pan over medium-high heat. Toast each quesadilla until lightly browned and cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Slice each quesadilla into wedges, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Kimchee in Jars (by Marcbarrington [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons)


Border images on right courtesy of:

Bayartai [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons


푹푹이 [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 3:23 PM
Tags: cabbage (3), fermentation (4), hands on (1), Kim Chee (1), Kim Chi (1), Kimchee (1), Kimchi (1), napa (1), recipe (4)

Try Some Freezing To Preserve What You Grow--Or Buy

If you attended our Grow and Preserve Class it is hoped that you will be growing some stuff. Are you wondering about  a quick way to preserve extra produce? Freezing is a quick way to save produce and you can do a little or a lot.

Many veggies (including Farmers' Market finds) freeze best after they are given a quick boiling-water dip called blanching. This preserves color and keeps vitamins and texture from deteriorating in the freezer; it is required by many vegetables. BUT there are some that can be frozen with just a little preparation and you can skip the blanch.

You can freeze onions, Avocados as a puree, Bell (sweet peppers), hot peppers. and even raw tomatoes. These are common veggies that are found at farmers' markets in southern California

Other vegetables need just short blanch, some cooling, then into the freezer, quick-quick.

You might also wish to think about freezing already-made dishes made from your farmers' market finds. See here for a nice discussion of freezing soups and stews--and this is good not only to do in the winter time. Make a double batch and throw the second in the freezer for another meal:

And with all the veggie freezing that you might consider, make sure to remember fruits. Many fruits are wonderful frozen with just a little sugar, then pulled out to be eaten for a good taste of summer in winter.

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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