For local cooks looking to relearn old tricks, a group called Preserving Traditions is reviving an earlier concept of community: starting this month, it will be using the kitchen at the Pittsfield Grange to teach food preparation and preservation. “Many of us are trying to learn these skills, or to remember what our moms taught us,” explains founder Emily Springfield. Springfield, who writes on sustainable food for the Sierra Club, says members want “to make sure the farmers can make a living wage, the customers have venues to purchase the food, and that we know how to cook and preserve the local cornucopia once we’ve got it in our kitchens.”
They’re starting with homemade pasta on February 8 (sign-up is through preservingtraditions.wordpress.com).
Grange official Helen Welford says the classes fit well with “the path we are going down” to preserve rural culture and support local farmers. Down the road, Preserving Traditions may start buying in bulk from local farmers—or, as their website calls it, “cowpooling.”