Can It!

Aug 25, 2014

Food Forward_Can It ClassesDrying, smoking, pickling.

Canning, bottling, jellying, and jugging.

Have you guessed where we’re headed?

Salt, sugar, lye, subterranean burial.

Yes, we’re talking about ways to preserve food.

Lye? Isn’t that used to unclog drains and used by criminals to make bodies disappear (literally dissolving them; 300 degrees for 3 hours)?

Historically, lye has been used to make soap; famously, lye is used to make lutefisk, which is air-dried whitefish and lye, and is “gelatinous in texture”; and illegally, lye has been used to remove ink from $10 bills in order to change them into $100 bills.

Besides lutefisk, lye is used to cure olives, pretzels, hominy, and century eggs.

Lye aside, Chef Ernest Miller will be teaching food preservation at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena beginning September 9th. The 12-class series is part of the Food Preservation and Cottage Arts Certificate Program. “Can It!” covers jams and jellies, pressure canning, charcuterie, bread, beer, pickling, dehydration, freezing, cheese, as well as the “nitty-gritty on the newly-enacted California Cottage Food Law (AB1616).



Chef Miller has been a certified Master Food Preserver since 2009, and he is a Master Gardener. He was the executive chef at Farmer’s Kitchen in Hollywood and is co-executive chef at Larchmont Charter School, “producing farm-fresh, from-scratch meals for 310 students…as part of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project.” Miller is also founder of Rancho La Merced Provisions, a producer of preserved foods and preservation equipment.


Chef Ernest Miller; photo L.A. Times

Chef Ernest Miller; photo L.A. Times


Can It! is presented by Food Forward, a “volunteer-powered” nonprofit organization in Southern California that “rescues fresh, local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.” One hundred percent of the net proceeds will support Food Forward’s programs to harvest food, fight hunger, and build community (


Can It!
Tuesday, Sept. 9th-Tuesday, Dec. 2nd, 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Le Cordon Bleu, 530 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 91101
Cost: $1,495 (includes books, tools & materials)
For details, please visit
Or email


Photo courtesy of Food Forward

Photo courtesy of Food Forward


In case you were to curious to the point of distraction—this is what lutefisk looks like…

"ForkLutefisk" by Jonathunder - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

ForkLutefisk” by Jonathunder – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –




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