My kitchen is a monument to gadgetry. Although deceptively quaint at first glance, the old-world charm of Café Day is full of hidden whirring, buzzing contraptions with lots of nice buttons eagerly awaiting the intrepid fingers of culinary genius. And by “culinary genius” we are referring to Mr. Day  exclusively. Mrs. Day makes good toast. The somewhat cramped and confined space of our kitchen is regularly treated to adventurous, delicious and downright devilish potions of old-fashioned, whole food cooking thanks to the remarkable skill and creativity of my professionally-trained better half. He makes the kitchen – and all its happy, little buttons – sing.
With the sun blazing a fiery tattoo and local summer produce round and ripe, recent weeks have found numerous jars of homemade marinara and cilantro salsa huddled together in the fridge. Fresh, tasty and 100% Grade A Day. This is pretty much the norm for the way we do business with food. We’re very pretentious. But filling the pantry with your own private reserves certainly doesn’t require an erect pinky and an accredited diploma, especially with the advice of fellow foodie Jeneen Wiche. Under the banner “Preserving Food the Old-Fashioned Way”, local writer and food-conscious fiend, Jeneen Wiche will bring her own brand of food-saving tips and techniques to the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch this Saturday, August 4th at 1pm.
A feature columnist for the publications Back Home in Kentucky and Edible Louisville, Jeneen Wiche has been serving up food savvy writing for years. A gardener since she could hold a spade, Wiche is best known to readers for showcasing her experience in the soil with the well-read column Weekend Gardener, began by her late father, Fred Wiche. With this and other articles appearing in community newspapers across Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Wiche has established a solid stomping ground for giving home gardeners and food enthusiasts old-fashioned tips for a modern kitchen table.
With the presentation “Preserving Food the Old-Fashioned Way”, Wiche brings her love of traditional techniques front and center to teach 21st century humans the same time and energy-saving skills that stocked the pantries of their grandparents – skills for a modern culture in need of healthy eating and a fuller piggy bank. While resolutely dissolving the self-preserved intimidation factor that daunts many contemporary mindsets, Wiche will demonstrate food-saving methods such as pressure-cooker canning, salting and drying, and poaching and preserving-in-oil as efficient, flavor-saving practices that keep a shelf full and an ego satisfied. In addition to her tips, Wiche will also share a personal list of recommended reads , including Empires of Food by Evan D.G. Fraser and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, stocked with plenty extra wisdom and food-for-thought.
Assemble your spices, command your colander and get ready to expand your produce prowess. Skip cutting the grass this weekend and join Jeneen Wiche for this free food-saving event. You’d better hurry too, it won’t be long before my husband buys up all the good tomatoes.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street. For more information about Jeneen Wiche, visit the event page . This presentation is free but please call (502) 574-1644 for tickets.
Image: Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library website www.lfpl.org