Sitka Kitch to host Seasonal Cooking class series in Winter and Spring 2018

Learn a variety of cooking techniques during the new Seasonal Cooking class series, which will be hosted by the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen in Winter and Spring 2018.

All classes in this series take place at the Sitka Kitch (505 Sawmill Creek Road, inside First Presbyterian Church). Two of the classes already have taken place, as we delayed the announcement of the complete series while waiting for some dates to finalize.

Here is the list of classes (click on the class title for a direct link to the online registration page, link will open when registration page is available).

  • Cooking With Hank Moore 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, make blackcod, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and brown rice.
  • Spice It Up With Lexie Smith 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 12, Make a Valentine’s Day dinner of baked coho salmon with an apricot glaze, curried butternut squash, couscous, and a marinaded salad with arugula, baby tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and watermelon, with pistachios, limes and Greek yogurt as a topping. Lexie is the NMS chef manager at the Island Skillet at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.
  • Pakistani Cooking With AFS Exchange Student Shanzila Ahmed 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, Learn how to make biryani (rice, chicken and a variety of spices).
  • National Nutrition Month Healthy Cooking Demonstration5:30-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, Prepare healthy, nutritious snacks with SEARHC health educator Heleena Van Veen, health educator Holly Marban, registered dietitian Jessica Holland and diabetes nurse Kelly Lakin. Students also will learn creative ways to use leftovers and how to store food so it doesn’t spoil. This is a free event.
  • Herring Appreciation With Renee Trafton (Beak Restaurant) 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 3 (alternate date is April 10 if herring running late), Celebrate the return of herring to Sitka by making herring egg salad and sushi.
  • Naturally Clean Home Products1-3 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Videoconference with Sarah Lewis of Juneau office of UAF Cooperative Extension Service. This class will teach you how to reduce your use of harsh, chemical cleaners but still be able to do deep cleaning. Students need to bring five 32-ounce spray bottles and a 20-ounce jar with lid (or six quart canning jars to store products to take home and then transfer to spray bottles). Class fee is $20, no supply fee.
  • Starting A Cottage Foods Business1-3 p.m., Saturday, April 14, Videoconference
    with Sarah Lewis of Juneau office of UAF Cooperative Extension Service. Learn about state laws regarding home food businesses, and get ideas for businesses you might take to the Sitka Farmers Market or local trade shows. Tours of the Sitka Kitch and rental information will be available. Class fee is $10, no supply fee.
  • Puerto Rican Cooking With Nina Vizcarrondo 6-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, Learn how to cook sofrito with recao, empanadas or pastelon, and arroz con gandules from Nina, a former U.S. Coast Guard chef and the current Sitka Farmers Market manager.

Class space is limited, so register early. Unless noted, all Seasonal Cooking classes cost $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline for Shanzila’s class is 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, and other registration deadlines are two nights before the class so instructors have time to buy supplies.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

Advertisements

Scenes from the second Seasonal Cooking class: Spice It Up With Lexie Smith at the Sitka Kitch

Students learned how to make a Valentine’s Day dinner during the Spice It Up With Lexie Smith class on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the second class of the Seasonal Cooking class series at the Sitka Kitch.

Lexie Smith, the NMS chef manager at the Island Skillet at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, taught students how to make baked coho salmon with an apricot glaze, curried butternut squash, couscous, a marinated salad with arugula, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon and cucumbers, with yogurt and limes for a garnish.

The next class in the Seasonal Cooking series is Pakistani Cooking with AFS exchange student Shanzila Ahmed, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Sitka Kitch. Shanzila will teach students how to make a very famous Pakistani dish called biryani, which features rice, chicken and a lot of different spices.

Shanzila and fellow AFS exchange students Ceren Gokpinar (Turkey), Haifa Alsafadi (Jordan), and Omar Ali (Egypt) to host a free “Meet and Greet a Muslim” event with the community from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the Sitka Kitch. They will share some desserts and drinks with the public from their countries. (NOTE: The time, date and venue for this event will change due to a scheduling conflict, so watch for updates.)

Other classes in the Seasonal Cooking class series will be announced soon, but topics include healthy cooking for National Nutrition Month, herring appreciation, and Puerto Rican food. There also will be videoconference classes on earth-friendly cleaning products and how to start a cottage foods business.

Class space is limited, so register early. Unless noted, the Seasonal Cooking classes cost $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline for Shanzila’s class is 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sitka Kitch to offer Seasonal Cooking: Spice It Up With Lexie Smith class on Feb. 12

NMS Chef Manager Lexie Smith holds deer hind quarters before preparing them for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital patients as part of the hospital’s new traditional food options

Lexie Smith, the NMS chef manager at the Island Skillet at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, will teach the second class in the Sitka Kitch‘s new class series, Seasonal Cooking, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. The class is called Spice It Up With Lexie Smith.

Lexie and her students will cook a Valentine’s Day dinner of baked salmon, curried butternut squash, cous cous, marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, with yogurt.

Other classes in the Seasonal Cooking class series will be announced soon, but topics include Pakistani cooking, healthy nutrition cooking, herring appreciation, canning beans and salsa, and Puerto Rican food. There also will be a class on earth-friendly cleaning products.

Class space is limited, so register early. This class costs $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline is 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

Check out the February 2018 edition of the Sitka Local Foods Network newsletter

The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the February 2018 edition of its monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This month’s newsletter has short articles about our new Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest, a request for volunteer gardening instructors this spring, a reminder about the Pick.Click.Give. donation program, information about our sponsorship program, and an invitation to join our board of directors. Each story has links to our website for more information.

You can sign up for future editions of our newsletter by clicking on the newsletter image in the right column of our website and filling in the information. If you received a copy but didn’t want one, there is a link at the bottom of the newsletter so you can unsubscribe. Our intention is to get the word out about upcoming events and not to spam people. We will protect your privacy by not sharing our email list with others. Don’t forget to like us on Facebooklike our new Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SitkaLocalFoods).

Sitka Local Foods Network seeks volunteer instructors for spring garden education classes

Are you an experienced Sitka gardener who wants to share your knowledge with the community? The Sitka Local Foods Network is looking for a few volunteer instructors to teach garden education classes this spring.

Classes typically last about 1 1/2 to two hours, and they can cover a variety of Sitka garden topics. In past years we’ve had people teach classes such as Sitka Gardening 101, How to Extend Your Garden Season, How to Grow Potatoes, How to Grow Rhubarb, How to Grow Fruit Trees, How to Grow Garlic (this class was in the fall), How to Raise Chickens, How to Container Garden, How to Compost, and more. Last year we even had a class on Cottage Food Business Basics (with the help of the Juneau office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service) to help vendors prepare for the Sitka Farmers Markets.

Most of the classes tend to be low-key, and the class sizes have ranged from 2-35 depending on the topic. Some classes have been hands-on (with students planting starts in trays), while others have been lectures or group conversations. It depends on the instructor and class. A few classes have been taught at people’s home gardens, but we also have hosted others at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (Thursday nights work best for this venue). Most of our classes are offered for free, except for a couple that had a small supply fee. If you need help preparing a lesson plan, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service provides a variety of free and low-cost publications on Alaska gardening topics that can be downloaded from the Publications part of its website.

If you are available to teach a course or two, please contact Charles Bingham at 623-7660 or charleswbingham3@gmail.com so we can build a schedule.

Sitka UAF student Trevor Schoening earns award to study statewide food production in Alaska

Trevor Schoening (Photo courtesy of Trevor Schoening)

University of Alaska Fairbanks natural resources management student Trevor Schoening of Sitka, a junior, recently received a 2018 Spring Project Award from URSA, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity program.

The program awards up to $2,500 to students planning to conduct research or pursue creative projects during the spring semester. Twenty UAF students will receive awards this spring.

Schoening said he’s still developing his project and doesn’t want to build up too many expectations, especially since he’s unsure of his outcomes. But he plans to present his findings on April 10 at the UAF Research Day.

According to a UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension (SNRE) press release, Schoening said he hopes to get a better understanding of where food production is taking place around Alaska. He plans to use the directory provided on the Alaska Grown website to find farmers markets and will ask for a list of vendors to contact for production information.

“In short, my principal goal for this project is to gain a deeper spatial understanding of where food is being grown around Alaska, particularly with regard to distribution through farmers markets,” Schoening wrote in an email. “I hope to contact as many producers around the state as possible in order to obtain a sample representative of the state’s food production, and gather information on the physical location in Alaska where the food is produced, what type(s) of food the producer grows, and roughly how much food is grown by the producer annually. Ultimately the goal for the final project is to develop spatial maps (specific maps for different regions of the state) through GIS that display the geographic locations around Alaska where food is being produced for commercial sale at some scale.”

Food producers wanting to contact Schoening about how much food they grew and distributed can contact him by email at tschoening2@alaska.edu.

Like what we do? Please join our board of directors or volunteer with us

The 2017 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors and St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener. Back row, from left, Tiffany Justice (treasurer), Ben Timby (secretary), Sam Pointer (director) and Charles Bingham (president/communications director). Front row, from left, Nina Vizcarrondo (co-secretary/farmers market manager), Laura Schmidt (lead gardener), Jennifer Carter (vice president).

Are you enjoying the fresh local veggies at the Sitka Farmers Market this summer? Did you take any of our garden education classes this spring? Are you concerned about increasing access to local food for all Sitka residents?

Please consider joining the board of directors for the Sitka Local Foods Network to help us pursue our mission to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. We need more board members in order to keep running our programs.

Board members help direct the Sitka Local Foods Network, a non-profit that promotes the harvest and use of local food in Sitka. In addition to setting the focus of the group during our monthly meetings, board members also serve on at least one committee supporting at our three main projects of the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, and garden education and mentoring. We also hope to help with the Sitka Community Gardens project as we look for a new location now that Blatchley Community Garden has been closed. In addition, some board members have supported other local foods projects in Sitka, such as the Sitka Kitch, Let’s Grow Sitka, the Sick-A-Waste compost project, the Sitka Community Food Assessment project, Sitka Fish-To-Schools, other school education projects and more.

To apply for a spot on the board, please fill out the application linked below and submit it to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org. For more information, please email us. Please note this is a working board, and our group is evolving and maturing as we try to raise funds to hire staff. Board terms are for three years, with three seats up for reapplication each winter.

We also are looking to increase our pool of volunteers who will help out during the various projects hosted by the network each year (no formal application needed, just send us your name/contact info and what types of projects you enjoy). We need volunteers to help with the upcoming Sitka Farmers Market, helping our lead gardener at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, and helping us teach gardening classes or working with our garden mentor program families.

The next regular Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting is from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) office, 504 Lake Street, Suite C (note, this is a meeting date change from what was previously announced). The board usually meets once a month. Please note, we will sometimes move our meetings to avoid conflicts with board member schedules, venue schedules and to insure a quorum. All of our board meetings are open to the public.

Click here for a copy of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors job description. Click here for a copy of the board application.