An August Letter from the Editor: Everyone (Yes, You!) Should Preserve Something This Month

published Aug 5, 2019
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Good morning, readers! It’s August already, and while the slow, hot, days are still with us, I can feel the energy about to shift. Some of us are taking late-summer vacations, and others are preparing to send children (and teachers!) back to school. Did you know that the next two weeks are the biggest weeks for back-to-school shopping and preparation? We’re here to help this August with a month crammed with back to school ideas, inspiration, and recipes.

But if you’re still enjoying summer, never fear: we’re not all bento boxes and lunch advice. The hottest, laziest days are still ahead, and with them, the best days of garden harvest. To that end, let me introduce our feature this week: Weeknight Preserving and our guest editor, Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars.

Credit: Peter Colin Murray/Kitchn

Weeknight Preserving: Preserving for real life

Marisa is a long-time friend and contributor at Kitchn, and she specializes in small batches and making food preservation accessible and approachable (even for those who’ve never so much as picked up a mason jar). 

We asked Marisa for a true beginner’s guide to preserving. What does preserving look like for people like you and me who don’t have the time or space to put up dozens of jars of tomatoes, grandma-style? You may still long to be one of the people who preserves some of your farmers market bounty for the coming year. But you’re intimidated. Or perhaps, you don’t think you possibly have time. Or, quite honestly, you don’t know where to start.

Credit: Peter Colin Murray
Marisa McClellan, our Preserving Week guest editor.

Marisa is quite simply the ultimate expert in small-batch, small-space, short-time preserving. She’s the author of four cookbooks on the topic of canning, preserving, and cooking with homemade preserves. She’ll give you a friendly introduction to just how easy it can be to whip up a jar or two of pickles or preserves (no canning required). And yes, she’ll show you how to actually process food in a boiling water bath canner, and finally, how to take all those end of summer vegetables and turn them into easy batches of bright relish. Look for Preserving Week posts to start later today and look for them every afternoon through this Saturday. Each one will have a mini lesson and a recipe to go along.

I know that I find such pleasure and satisfaction in packing away at least a little of summer’s bounty for myself and my kids. I plan on making some jam with my preschooler this month and showing her how short the path can be from farm to jar to PB&J. And if that isn’t the best back-to-school lesson I don’t know what is.

So whether you’re focused on getting your cupboards in order for sending kids (or yourself, hi teachers!) back to school, or upping your own skills in preserving, we hope you love what we have cooked up for you this month.

As always, have questions? Things you want to see at Kitchn? Leave a comment here or shoot us an email at

May your August life be full of tomatoes,
Faith, Kitchn Editor-in-Chief

P.S. Our first of two recipe showdowns this month is brownies and it’s all happening this week!