Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:00 am
Anna Kestell is a certified Food Safety/Preservation Information Specialist for WSU Spokane County Extension. Anna has been involved with food preservation since childhood and is eager to share her expertise and knowledge. Most importantly, sharing current, research-backed information on food preservation styles to assure that your food preservation experience is both happy and healthy. We are excited to have Anna sharing her expertise with us this spring.
Gwendolyn Haley: What do you love about food-preservation?
Anna Kestell: My fondest memories of all time involve gardening and food preservation with my grandmother. Being able to open a jar of tasty peaches in the middle of January; being able to remember the harvest; the lovely weather during canning time is so wonderful. All of this is what makes both growing your own food and preserving your excess harvest delightful!
GH: What would you list as the top 10 local foods to preserve?
AK: Difficult to say because we are most fortunate in eastern Washington to have some of the best local, seasonal and sustainable produce, fruit, and meat. If I had to pick: cherries, apricots, apples, plums, peaches, strawberries, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, cabbage, and grapes.
GH: What does a typical day look like for you?
AK: I am most fortunate to go into the WSU Spokane County Extension Office most every morning because I know that my day will be filled with interesting things. Speaking with clients and colleagues about their gardens – how to grow, what might be wrong, how to improve – is really not work it is pure enjoyment. Also, making sure that clients have the most up-to-date, research based information on food safety and preservation is so important that I have been known to give a spontaneous mini-class in the food preservation aisles of many local stores!
GH: How did you become interested in food safety and preservation?
AK: I have always ‘put up’ food and was thrilled to step up when WSU wanted Food Preservation/Safety Information in each county.
Link to WSU Extension: http://spokane-county.wsu.edu/
Preserve your produce with Anna Kestell as she walks you through the basics of canning, freezing, and drying your bounty, and help you determine which method is the best fit for you. Anna’s session is part of Hope in Hard Times.
Visit the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center for more great information on food preservation.