May 14, 2014

Learn to can, make wine, cook summer meals, bake bread

A roundup of cooking classes offered by The Abundance Foundation, Whisk and La Farm Bakery in Cary, Durham Spirits Co., and even Chatham County Cooperative Extension.

Learn to can

Chatham County Cooperative Extension is offering basic canning classes in early June.

Students will learn the most up-to-date, research-based information for safely preserving food. The class will cover both pressure canning and water bath canning. Students can bring Presto pressure canners to the class for testing. They are offering four identical sessions: 6 p.m. June 3, 10 a.m. June 4, 6 p.m. June 10 and 10 a.m. June 11.

The class costs $10 per person, which includes the newest edition of “Ball Blue Book for Canning” and a CD of materials. Scholarships are available, considered individually. Class sizes will be limited to first-come, first-served.

Registration forms can found online: or call 919-542-8202.

Abundance Foundation classes

The Pittsboro-based Abundance Foundation, which tries to educate the public about sustainability, has two upcoming classes that might interest home cooks and gardeners.

• From 1-4:30 p.m. June 7, Put it Up! Pittsboro owner Rachel Hoff will be teaching a summer pickling class. This will be a hands-on canning class and Hoff will “explain the science behind why canning works and demonstrate the methodology.” The class costs $35 per student.
• From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 22, “Drink the Harvest” co-authors Nan Chase and DeNeice Guest will be teaching a hands-on class on making homegrown wines, meads and hard cider using flowers, herbs, fruits, vegetables, vines and edible root crops. The authors will introduce the principles of fermentation and then guide participants through all the techniques used to craft garden wines, including harvesting and preparation, equipment and sanitation, racking and bottling, labeling and troubleshooting.

The workshop is limited to 20 students, age 21 or older. It costs $40 and each participant will receive a complete winemaking kit.

The class is being taught at The Plant, 220 Lorax Lane, Pittsboro. Students are to bring their own bag lunch.

To register, go to and click on DIY workshops.

Be inspired with summer-themed classes

Durham Spirits Co. has a series of classes that might inspire home cooks this summer. Owner Katie Coleman teaches classes in a

• 1-3 p.m. June 8, Carribbean Picnic. The menu includes jerk chicken, Cuban black beans and rice, heart of palm and avocado salad, Haitian slaw, fried plantain slices with dipping sauces, and grilled pineapple with rum sauce. The claass.
• 6-8 p.m. June 20, Summer Southern Nights. The menu includes fried pimento cheese fritters, grilled sweet tea brined chicken with a bourbon peach sauce, summer grits, Vidalia onion tart tatin, grilled green tomato caprese and fruit cobbler with Chantilly cream.
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21, Summer Desserts. The menu includes cherry clafoutis, sour cream and blueberry pie, roasted peach and lavender ice cream sandwiches, and bourbon and berry bars. (Lunch will include a light salad.)

The classes cost $59 each. To register, go to

Cooking classes at Whisk

Whisk kitchen store has a series of upcoming cooking classes. Here are the ones that jumped out at me:

• Raleigh cookbook author Elizabeth Weigand will be teaching a a picnic at the beach class from 6:30-8:30 p.m. June 6. The class costs $59 per person.
• A parent and child cooking class on how to make frozen desserts from 2-4 p.m. June 7. The class costs $49.
• Learn better knife skills with instructor Dan Saklad from 10 a.m .-noon June 28. The class costs $69.
• Instructor Joan Baumer and Jennifer Seay will demonstrate how to cook up a Charleston lowcountry crab boil from 6:30-8:30 p.m. July 11.

To register for any of these classes, call 919-322-2458 or go online:

The store is located at Waverly Place Shopping Center, 316 Colonades Way, Suite 214, Cary.

La Farm cooking classes

La Farm Bakery and Cafe in Cary also has an extensive list of upcoming cooking classes. Here is the schedule:

• 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 16, Learn to cook grilled pizzas with chef Gary Wood at La Farm owner Lionel Vatinet’s home. Selected wines will be served with the pizzas served with such toppings as grilled chicken, grilled romaine Caesar salad and an eggless Caesar dressing. Cost: $125.
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 17, Learn how to make some the La Farm cafe menu favorites at home, including avocado0-cucumber soup, grilled steak and mango salad, shrimp toasts, and steak banh mi sandwich on challah bread. Cost: $85.
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 18, Lionel Vatinet will teach the basics of making French bread. Cost: $85.
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 19, Learn how to make pate a choux, the dough that is the base for eclairs and cream puffs. Cost: $85.
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 20, Learn how to make a rustic baguette, a rustic Italian batard and a melange boule. Once the breads are baked, learn how to pair them with a selection of charcuterie from Firsthand Foods. Cost: $85.
• 2-5 p.m. June 21, Lionel Vatinet will teach students in his Cary home how to make multiple breads featuring Yates Mill cornbread, including yeasted cornbread with chive and red onion and Asiago-Parmesan cornbread boule. Cost: $125.

To register for any of these classes, call 919-657-0657 or for more information, go to

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About Mouthful

This blog's focus is all things food in the Triangle: where to dine, where to shop, what to eat, what to cook. Food writer Andrea Weigl maintains this blog.

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