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Interview: Kevin West Talks about Blogging, Canning and Saving the Season

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By Willy Blackmore/Special to LAist

Looking for Mason jars at Target a few weeks ago in preparation for batches of preserved lemons, homemade yogurt, jam and pickled beets, a number of employees responded with blank looks when I asked where to find canning jars. This temporarily led me to believe that canning was a foreign concept in farmers’ market and Whole Foods-laden Los Angeles, work best done by Midwestern grandmothers still influenced by Depression-era frugality. But Angelino Kevin West’s blog Saving the Season makes it very clear that canning is still a relevant and if not strictly necessary than undoubtedly delicious means of preparing food.

Cataloging what he calls his “irrational enthusiasm” for jamming, pickling, preserving and other means of putting up fruits and vegetables (and maybe fish too, sometime soon), Saving the Season is not only packed with information and recipes, but interesting literary allusions, personal advice from Alice Waters and beautiful images. Kevin’s frequent and very well-written posts (he is the West Coast editor for W Magazine, after all) are a joy to read even if you don’t have plans to stuff fifteen pounds of produce into Mason jars and seal them shut in a bath of boiling water for safekeeping.

Kevin responded to our questions about blogging, canning and eating via email, meaning we unfortunately didn’t get the chance to taste of any of his wares. But after reading his answers, we’re ready to take his advice and grab some end-of-season tomatoes and peaches from the farmers’ market and give some of his recipes a try.