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Snail in the Park, Fall 2009
A Slow Food Minnesota Potluck and Lecture Series

Preserving the Bounty with Dan and Emily Hoisington

Sunday, October 18, 4 – 7 p.m.
Local DíLish, 208 N First Street, Minneapolis

Dan and Emily Hoisington made the case for home canning, drying and root-cellar storage at the final Snail in the Park of the 2009 season. The event took place after hours at Local DíLish, a local-food grocery store in the Minneapolis warehouse district. A summary of the talk and a list of recommended books is found below.

After the talk it was time for dinner with an Oktoberfest theme. Fred Stenborg and students from Le Cordon Bleu College grilled bratwurst and garlic sausage and served smoked pork with sauerkraut. There was red cabbage and a vegetable mix that featured winter squash. Participants brought salads of tomatoes and vegetables and desserts including a chocolate cake made with green tomatoes, an apple cake, gingerbread, cookies and pie.

Here is a sampling of what attendees learned:
• Preserve only things you love to eat.
• Start with one vegetable.
• Different vegetables are best stored at different temperatures and humidities. A thermometer and hygrometer can help you find good places in your house. The book Root Cellaring, below, gives guidelines.
• Itís possible to store vegetables in an apartment. Find a cool cupboard or closet against an outside wall.
• Root vegetables keep best buried in a bucket of damp sand in a cool place. This mimics their overwintering conditions. As biennials, they naturally go dormant in the winter and then produce seed in the spring of their second year.
• Drying works well for tomato slices and kale. You can make a delicious Caprese salad using reconstituted dried tomatoes.
• Potatoes and apples release enzymes that cause other foods to ripen and eventually rot, so store them away from one another and other fruits and vegetables.

For a jump start on keeping food for the winter, the Hoisingtons recommend these books:
Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel
The Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor
Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning by The Gardeners and Farmers of Terra Vivante

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