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Kevin West can guide you through jam making

Kevin West can guide you through jam making
Kevin West on the patio of his Hollywood Hills home, is a blogger, magazine editor and author of "Saving the Season." (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Have you caught the jam-making bug? You're in luck. Local cooking teacher and blogger Kevin West has just written "Saving the Season," a terrific guide to home canning and preserving that is pretty close to a must-read for both beginning and more advanced jammers.

The recipes range from the basic, such as a strawberry jam annotated with detailed notes to help the beginner along, to the fairly exotic, such as pickled purslane.

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Happily for home cooks, West is a small-batch kind of guy. He rarely calls for more than 3 pounds of any fruit or vegetable, so if an experiment goes awry (as preserving experiments will, especially in the early stages), the damage isn't too severe. Not that that's so much of a concern. West's instructions are clear and precise, and his explanations of what is going on are thorough.

—Russ Parsons

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