Learn the art of Jewish food preservation at Tucson Jewish Community Center

February 26, 2018
By Tucson Foodie
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On Sunday, April 15, dive into the world of pickling, preserving, and canning with DIY kitchen expert and cookbook author Emily Paster at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (The J).

Paster will share her knowledge about pickling and preserving techniques as well as lead several cooking demonstrations. Each participant will have an opportunity to create their own preserves to take home and enjoy.

Pickling is integral to Ashkenazi Jewish food culture as it provided a flavorful respite from the bland winter foods in Eastern Europe. This preservation food practice was imported to the United States with the influx of Jewish immigrants in the 1800s and early 1900s. Inspired by this Jewish food diaspora, Paster will showcase the best ways to enhance your pantry.

Originally an East Coast native, Paster moved to Chicago to pursue a legal career. When life intervened while starting her family, she became interested in learning food preservation techniques and about Jewish food culture. In celebration of her second cookbook, “The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes With Traditional Roots, For Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, & More—For Holidays & Every Day,” Paster will share her knowledge with a hands-on cooking lesson, book signing, and brunch.

Paster’s cookbooks have been celebrated by Jewish culinary legend Joan Nathan as “a jewel of a book.” Paster tells the tales of pickles and preserves, both sweet and savory, from pomegranate paste to prune lekvah. Leah Koenig, author of Modern Jewish Cooking, described the book as an integral authority: “Paster’s book taps into the bright, briny, and full-flavored potential of old-world food preservation, while expanding our understanding of what it means to ‘eat Jewish.’”

Paster will host “Bagels, Books, & Brunch: Jewish Preserving Techniques” from 10 am. to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 15 in The J’s state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen. Kosher bagels from Zabars in New York City will be served and participants will be able to try innovative pickles and chat about all things preserving. Tickets for the event includes a signed copy of The Joys of Jewish Preserving.

“The bagel brunch will feature lots of delicious food as well as a lively discussion of the role of preservation in Jewish cuisine, says Paster. “I will demonstrate safe canning techniques right on the spot.”

The J will also host “The Joys of Jewish Preserving,”  a cooking class with Paster from 1 – 3:30 p.m., as part of The J’s cooking class series. articipants will learn how to preserve the best of the local harvest. The J has teamed up with Pivot Produce, Tucson’s farm-to-table produce distributor, to showcase the best produce of the season. Paster will teach methods for preserving the season’s bounty in this hands-on cooking class, which will enable participants to be creative at the farmers’ market, prevent food waste, and capture nature at its best.

Both events will be held at The Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 East River Road. To register, please visit tucsonjcc.org or call 520-299-3000.

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