Perfect for preserving
Keeping fresh foods on hand year-round
By Rick Field
Some people have the idea that preserving is
difficult, or expensive, or unsafe, or requires lots of
patience and space. These are all misperceptions.
Trust me—I know. armed with little more than
enthusiasm and nostalgia, I started a pickle company in the galley kitchen of my tiny apartment in
Brooklyn, New York. all you need are a couple of
pots, a few inexpensive and easy-to-find tools and
fresh produce. It’s that simple to start home canning.
my love for pickles, both eating and making
them, was kindled by a family tradition. When I was
a child, my folks and I spent many a sultry summer
night canning together at our house in vermont. We
made New england classics such as sliced dill pickles
and pickled green beans, which we called dilly beans
(see recipe on next page). We’d listen to the Red Sox
game on the radio as we sterilized the jars, washed
our garden-grown vegetables and measured spices.
my memories of the entire experience—the fragrant
evenings, the shared family activity, the delicious
results—stayed with me as I grew up.
Now, as Ceo of Rick’s picks, I have learned
some practical know-how about the art of preserving, whether it be pickles, other vegetables or fruits.
First, it is a straightforward and safe process. Some
people are nervous to give it a try due to worries
Mixed Berry Jam
4 cups raspberries
4 cups blackberries
4 cups blueberries
3 cups sugar
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids. Insert a
rack into a canner pot. Fill the pot about two-thirds
full with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
In a large nonreactive saucepan, gently toss together
the berries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and
cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the jam has
thickened, about 15 minutes. It will continue to thicken
as it cools.
Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving ¼ inch of space
at the top (known as headspace). Run a thin nonmetallic spatula or a chopstick around the inside edge of
each jar to release any air bubbles trapped inside, and
then adjust the headspace if necessary. Wipe the rims
clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Follow the processing and cooling procedures listed
in the Dilly Beans recipe, processing the jars for 10
minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark
place for up to one year. If a seal has failed, store the
jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Makes six half-pint jars.
50 The Costco Connection AUGUST 2010
about spoilage and botulism. Instructions for sterilizing jars, lids and equipment, and for making
adjustments when working at higher altitudes, are
always included with the box that the jars come in
and in books on the subject. Follow the guidelines
and you’ll create products that are safe to eat.
Next, there is no such thing as a bad experi-
ment. I’ve tried plenty of flavor combinations that
didn’t work out, but so what? Be creative and dis-
cover what you like.
most important, there is simply no better way
than canning to capture the fresh taste of a favorite
vegetable or fruit long after its growing season. The
sight (and flat-out beauty) of the finished jars of
pickles, with the spices, herbs and vegetables resting
in brine inside a mason jar, is as meaningful today
as it was for previous generations.
This hands-on culinary craft feels more important and rewarding than ever. here are some recipes
for you to try, featured in Williams-Sonoma The Art
of Preserving. C
Rick Field is CEO of Rick’s Picks and co-author of
Williams-Sonoma The art of preserving. For more
information about Rick’s Picks, visit www.rickspicks
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