Best Summer Gift: Food Wisdom


Traveling over 35 hours in the car, down to LA over to Lake Havasu up to Las Vegas and back to Bend, all in three days, needless to say, my dad and I talked a lot. One of my obvious main interests as of late is canning and preserving, and my parents are canning gurus. So, I was filling the tiny, hot cab of the car (it was 109 in Lake Havasu at 830pm!) with many questions, “But what about botulism?” “How much water should there be” “When did you do…” And with my father’s answers, along with a book on preserving, I was beginning to feel better prepared to start this summer of preserving. But one thing was missing, the right (expensive) tools.  When we returned to Bend, my dad, being the saint he is, pulled out an old dusty silver pot. Immediately I knew what it was; his mother’s pressure canner, complete with canning racks. He told me I could have it, or at least use it for as long as a wanted. And voila… my canning adventures have begun!

Though I did not can this kimchi, I finished it a couple of days ago and it should be ready to eat by tomorrow or the next. Extracting the whey from the yogurt was a simple as leaving yogurt in cheese cloth in the fridge while I drove down to cali, and coming back to about 4 cups of whey and 4 cups of potential cream cheese (just need to stir in some salt or spices for flavor) from a big Nancy’s Organic Plain Yogurt container. The recipe only called for about a quarter cup of whey, so I put the rest in the freezer to use again later. I thought the kimchi process was going to be a stinky, unpleasant one, but it was quite the opposite. My house smelled of ginger and garlic for the next few hours and even the fermented cabbage now smells just as a good as when I first placed it in the jar. I recommend!

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Oh, forgot to mention, my california trip also resulted in “smuggling” back 75 pounds of no spray oranges for a  mere 18 dollars. Only 25lbs are mine, but it still looks like I will be making some juice to freeze, marmalade, orange syrup, and candied orange peel soon. Christmas gifts? :)

Last thing… had my first solo baking shift last night, everything turned out great. A little large, but hey, guess the customers are getting a little more bang for their buck.

I am so grateful for the gifts of food knowledge everyone is bestowing on me this summer. This is truly the kind of stuff that the UO should be teaching me. Thank you to the Urban Farm, but we students, youth, children, generation x,  need more life and self-sustainability knowledge. What can I do? How do I spread the information and help get the future generation interested?


About Megan French

I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful soul that thinks one day we could come together to support each other in a community; support one another's services, hard-work, products, and knowledge. I hope that one day we can be global and local thinkers; supporting each other economically through local interactions and supporting the world globally by respecting other cultures and learning from them. Through local thought and community relationships we can clean up our world environments, power figures, and idea about what is most important in our lives. It all begins with knowledge and understand about how to get back to the basics: cooking, sewing, foraging, preserving, scouting... DIY for life and for the future of our society.

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