Residents can attend workshops, get free testing
INWOOD – Anyone interested in learning the basics of safe home canning can sign up for hands-on workshops later this month being offered through the West Virginia University Extension Service.
Sue Flanagan, who works as a family and health extension agent in Martinsburg, in late June will teach three classes at the Knights of Columbus building at St. Leo Catholic Church on Sulphur Springs Road in Inwood.
Two of the classes center on using a pressure canner to preserve low-acid foods such as vegetables. The first happens from 9 a.m. to noon June 21 and another is set for 4 to 7 p.m. June 24.
Flanagan also will teach a jelly and jam workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. June 21. That class will focus on using the boiling water method to safely preserve high-acid foods.
The $10 fee covers the cost of materials. Participants must pre-register and class size is limited. To reserve a spot, call the WVU Berkeley County Extension office at 304-264-1936.
Canner gauge testing
Flanagan – along with Judy Matlick. her counterpart at the Jefferson County Extension Service – offers help in determining the safety of pressure canners.
“It’s time to inspect your pressure canner for the new season of home food preservation,” Flanagan said. “Check the condition of the handles, gasket, safety plug and canner itself. Make sure everything is in proper working order before you start processing the first batch.”
Before each canning season, the home cook should have the dial gauge of the pressure canner tested for accuracy, Flanagan said. The gauge should also be tested if it has been submerged in water or has been dropped or if its glass is broken, cracked or has fallen out.
Flanagan said the canner also should be tested if any parts are rusty or if the pointer is not in the “0” block.
Another option: Residents can call the Extension Service to schedule a free testing of a Presto pressure dial gauge and Pressure Tru indicator. The number in Jefferson is 304-728-7413; Berkeley’s is 304-264-1936.