PCK Open House 7/25

From freeportnewsnetwork.com:

Pretzel City Kitchens (PCK), a community kitchen open to the public, is now open at 1 E Spring St in Freeport.

PCK is a certified, shared-use commercial kitchen that provides commercial-grade kitchen equipment, processing space, and support services. It is available for both emerging and established food-based ventures/businesses, caterers, individuals, and other organizations that may require a large kitchen for food preparation projects. Other potential uses for the kitchen include serving as a location for cooking classes offered by businesses and educational organizations as well as a space for those desiring a large kitchen for parties or other private events.

PCK occupies a large, separately secure space on the first floor of Wagner House at 1 E Spring St. and is accessible for its customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Equipment includes two 10-burner gas stoves, commercial ovens, bakery-grade mixers, and all necessary cookware needed for many large-scale kitchen projects. “We’re very happy to be able to offer a kitchen of this caliber to the public,” says Margaret Larson, PCK Board President and County Director, University of Illinois Extension, for Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. “Students from CareerTec have been using the space already, and we’ve hosted several smaller events. We’re planning an open house for the public on July 25th, and a number of informational sessions for potential commercial users will also be held soon.” All information and dates can be found on the PCK website at www.pretzelcitykitchens.org or call Pretzel City Kitchens at 815-908-0224.

Mastering the Art of Making Salsa Class at PCK


Mastering the Art of Making Salsa

Tomatoes are one of the top planted garden vegetables, and for good reason! They’re incredibly delicious with many culinary uses, as well as being relatively easy to grow for most gardeners.

Making salsa is a great way to preserve and enjoy tomatoes throughout the year. However, to safely preserve your salsa, you need to understand the science behind the process. Most salsa recipes are a mixture of both low-acid and acidic foods. Because of this, it is important to follow scientifically tested recipes to ensure the recipe contains enough acid to be processed safely in a boiling water canner.

Join University of Illinois Extension’s Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Diane Reinhold, for “Yes! You CAN: Preserving Practice –Mastering the Art of Making Salsa”. This hands-on workshop will begin in the classroom and then head to the kitchen where participants can make their own jar of salsa.  During the first half of the class we will review the very basics of water bath canning, explain the various varieties of tomatoes ideal for canning, and why tomato products need to be acidified. The second half will be spent in the kitchen, making salsa. Participants will not only learn about tomatoes and canning, they will also learn a fun new skill, and get to take a jar of salsa home.

“Yes! You CAN: Preserving Practice –Mastering the Art of Making Salsa” will be held on Tuesday, August 7, from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Pretzel City Kitchens, 1 East Spring Street, Freeport.  To register call University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125 or visit us online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw. Workshop size is limited. Registration deadline is Friday, August 3, and the registration fee is $25.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please call (815) 858-2273.

Diane Reinhold is a University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian. For more about upcoming programming on nutrition and wellness, visithttp://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw  or call 815-235-4125.

Certified Food Protection Manager Course offered in Freeport

Certified Food Protection Manager Course offered in Freeport


The University of Illinois Extension will offer the Illinois Certified Food Protection Manager Course, formally known as the Food Service Sanitation Manager Course (FSSMC). This two-part course will meet the 8-hour coursework and examination required by the State of Illinois for both the initial CFPM, and the recertification.

Effective January 1, 2018, the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC) was eliminated. However, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Food Service Sanitation Code still requires food establishments to be under the operational supervision of a certified food service sanitation manager during hours of operation.

Now food establishments must have an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certification. This requirement helps to ensure the safety of consumers when eating away from home. Those receiving this certification have specialized training, by an ANSI approved instructor, regarding the safe handling, preparation and storage of food to help prevent foodborne related illnesses. The certificate is valid for five years from the exam date and then is repeated once a certificate expires. One of the positive aspects of this change comes in the form of students no longer having to apply for the additional Illinois FSSMC certificate, which will save them money.

During the two-day Certified Food Protection Manager Course, participants will gain knowledge about food safety and contamination, employee health and hygiene, safe food handling practices, cleaning and sanitizing, and HACCP.

The Certified Food Protection Manager Course will take place on August 14, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and August 17, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm, at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau, 210 W Spring Street, Freeport. Participants should bring a valid photo ID and arrive 15 minutes early to register, as class will begin promptly at 9:00 am. Participants must attend the full training to be eligible to take the exam.

There is a $100 fee for the Certified Food Protection Manager Course. This fee is for the purchase of the book, educational materials, examination, and lunch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please contact the University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125 or visit us online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125.

Diane Reinhold is a University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian. For more about upcoming programming on nutrition and wellness, visithttp://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw or call (815) 235-4125.

PCK Awarded Confluence Award

Pretzel City Kitchens was recognized with twenty other successful community collaborations during an evening reception at Rockford Art Museum as the Rockford Chamber of Commerce presents the first Confluence Honors on 12/7/17. Per the Rockford Chamber, the award recognizes “organizations and people who have thrived on collaborating or partnering with other organizations and people to achieve success for their business, organization, initiative, or community. A partnership can be defined as any working relationship between a company, companies or persons for a period of time that have worked together to build strong business successes, positive community outcomes and initiatives – just good people working together to achieve great things that they could not do on their own.” People recognized for their work with PCK for this award include: Margaret Larson-University of IL Extension, Jen Newendyke and Steve Konefes-CareerTEC, Evan Talbert-HCC, Marilyn Smit-M45, Carole Dickerson-Community Member, Chrissy Hatlak-Christina’s Bakery, Nancy McDonald-City of Freeport, and Bill Green-Wagner House.

CareerTEC classes have begun at PCK!

CareerTEC’s high school Culinary Occupations class is now being held at Pretzel City Kitchens. Juniors and seniors enrolled in the program are excited about the new location. It’s rare for a high school class to have access to a commercial grade professional kitchen, so we count ourselves lucky!

FHN Gala at Wagner House on 11/17/2017

The annual FHN Communi-sino Gala and Festival of Trees will take place on Friday, 11/17 from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm at the Wagner House. Pretzel City Kitchens (also located within the Wagner House) will be highlighted at the event and will be able to be toured by attendees.

Tickets for the Gala are available at the door for $50.

PCK Info Meetings draw potential users

On March 8th and March 10th of 2017, Pretzel City Kitchens held informational meetings for potential users. In attendance were representatives from PCK, the Small Business Collaborative, and the Stephenson County Health Department. Potential users were informed of the process for getting started with PCK, abiding by health department regulations, and developing a small business. Thank you to all who attended!

FHN Fall Gala

FHN held their Festival of Trees Gala Casino on 11/19/2016 with over 300 guests in attendance. Pretzel City Kitchens was proud to be represented by CareerTEC’s Culinary Occupations students, who prepared caramel fudge, peach cobbler, and oatmeal cookies from locally sourced ingredients.

Freeport Art Museum Fall Gala

Pretzel City Kitchens was promoted at the Freeport Art Museum Fall Gala on 10/29/2016 by the presence of CareerTEC’s Culinary Occupations class, which prepared a variety of hors d’oeuvres, including pumpkin hummus with homemade pita chips, caramelized onion cranberry crostinis, caprese skewers, and teriyaki meatballs.

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