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Topic Title: MEMBER NEWS FEATURE: Liz Holm
Topic Summary: Find out how Liz Holm creates kitchen chemistry
Created On: 11/2/2009 12:15 PM

 11/2/2009 12:15 PM

Francine Garrone

Posts: 31
Joined: 9/24/2008

Standing in front of her kitchen stove, Liz Holm reminisces of her days spent in the laboratory. A computational materials scientist, her work is done using the virtual world leaving the hands on experiments nothing more than a pleasant memory. However, she has found canning jams, jellies, and preserves to be a way to gain those laboratory experiences back.

A distinguished member of the Technical Staff in the Computational Materials Science and Engineering Department at Sandia National Laboratories, Holm brings her materials science background into the kitchen when making preserves and canning harvest from her vegetable garden and fruit trees. "Food preservation has a lot in common with materials science," she said. "In both cases, we manipulate composition and processing to create optimal properties. But in materials science, it is unusual to eat the product."

Referred to by Holm as kitchen chemistry, she began her canning experience with the easiest method, freezer jams and jellies, before advancing to high-acid, high-sugar preserves canned in boiling water, and later pressure canning low acid foods.

Holm's garden consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, green chile peppers, and green beans. She also has peach, pear, sour cherry, apple apricot, and plum trees. In addition, she uses local apples, pumpkins, berries, sweet cherries, watermelon, and cactus too. Holm preserves some of her produce in light syrup and others have an added touch. She entered her preserves in the New Mexico State Fair this year for the first time. It was her watermelon rind pickles that received a first place ribbon and her cherry preserves and blueberry jam that received second place ribbons.

Below is a link to Holm's Meet a Member feature in the November issue of JOM. In addition, a photo of Holm and her preserves at the state fair is attached below.

November Meet a Member

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