Friday, June 10, 2011

Canning with the Detroit Zymology Guild

Canning with the

Last weekend, I went to the Detroit Zymology Guild to learn more about canning with some hands on experience. Every other Sunday, it meets at Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market, to can and preserve the season's fruits and vegetables. At other times, they work in the North Cass Community Garden, growing some of the produce that they preserve. The idea is really unusual:

"The Guild operates on a time banking system where participants "deposit" labor and materials and "withdraw" finished preserved goods made in the kitchen sessions...

"Deposits" to the bank are accepted in:
1. Labor
2. Produce and (or pitching in $)
3. Canning Jars in good, usable condition"

Remember my first canning efforts last year? Well, as soon as I heard about the Guild from a friend who attended this year's first session, I was eager to learn more from people who have real experience. Last Sunday, I helped can and pickle asparagus and radishes. I came home with a sample jar of each of the previous week's produce: rhubarb jam and pickled asparagus, pictured above, which I am looking forward to trying. The rhubarb jam was made with honey and rosemary, and it's supposed to be ideal with goat cheese. I still have a little over half of my time still banked, and I will probably bring supplies to contribute next time. As much as I enjoyed learning a little more about canning and pickling, the thing that I enjoyed most was meeting the people. They are all interested in bringing more thought and care to the food they eat, and they're interesting people in themselves, with all kinds of backgrounds and professions, from a veterinary pathologist to a cryptolinguist. We were also being filmed by Detroit News columnist Donna Terek, and I'll be looking to see if I can share the video with you soon. By the end to the growing season, I hope to see my pantry stocked with shining, jewel hued jars to keep us though the winter months, as I continue my efforts to eat seasonally.

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