WellPreserved in Lucky Peach? Almost.

It’s the one that got away.

On December 27th our friends Reena Newman and her husband Zac came to our house for a secret photo shoot.  Reena is an amazing professional and we’d called in a favor a few days before the holiday and the couple came through as only close friends (and consummate professionals do).

Here is Reena’s shot of our ‘Great Wall of Preserves’ – a shot that was being taken for our favorite food magazine, Lucky Peach:

WellPreserved in Lucky Peach? Almost. Magazine Lucky Peach

W had received an email a few days before the Holidays – an offer to be part of a an article in Lucky Peach dedicated to people with homemade larders/pantries (the issue was a tongue-in-cheek nod to the apocalypse).  They accepted our rough photo and, though they didn’t ask for anything more, we were committed to putting our best foot forward.

Our family left the morning of the 27th (the start of the 5th year of WellPreserved) and we set up for a day of shooting.  Reena got 3 shots in total including the one above of our shelf.

We were on pins and needles waiting for the issue.  We knew the deadline was insane and both had an unexplainable feeling that the article wouldn’t make it – unfortunately it didn’t.

We don’t know what happened and despite a tinge of disappointment there are no hard feelings.  It was an exciting opportunity and one that would have really been awesome to have seen!  We’ve both been around publishing long enough to know that deadlines can force some tough decisions and I know the team working on the article was racing a tough deadline (one of our interviews was completed by answering a set of questions sent just before the interviewer boarded a trans-Atlantic flight and we answered it before they landed!)

Alas, we received a consolation prize yesterday – our house appeared as an online article on the Lucky Peach website today!  They featured 5 pantries; including Langdon Cook’s (who is an author and another inspiration of mine) and ours.  Warning: the first photo is a meat locker from a hunting camp featuring sides of game; if it’s not you’re thing you may not want to check out the link).  You can see our interview on their site here.

A giant thanks to Reena and Zac for their help, skill and friendship.

We’ll see you in their pages in the future!


  1. all them beautiful goodies in the full light.?

    • Hi Doris,

      They aren’t in direct sunlight – the wall behind them keeps them 100% out of direct sunlight. Our house has 1 closet – so it is to store like this or not at all; 5 years in, we haven’t had a problem with them. :) J

  2. That’s great! I enjoyed reading their piece.

  3. Great almost feature! Your pantry is beautiful! I have dreams of re-purposing an old dresser to display and organize my preserves instead of hiding them away in a closet as they are now.

    • Thanks Rachel!

      We used to store them in boxes piled on top of each other – when they were so hidden it made it tough to remember to use them! :)

  4. Michele says:

    It’s so beautiful and organized but I’ve been taught two things that are contrary to this picture. One is that you should remove the rings after the jar seals and two, that you should never stack jars on top of each other. Thoughts??

    • Hi Michele,

      I’ve read the same and know that I’m not a safety specialist or food scientist so this is just opinion/ experience and yours may be different.

      I stack them because I have no other storage space. Having said that, many stack cases of preserved and the cardboard often puts pressure on the lids below. In other words, stacking them in cardboard boxes and stacking them on top of each other is very similar in many cases (less so if using brand new cardboard boxes).

      The rings are loose. This would still allow a seal to blow if the jar is contaminated. I leave them on for storage and, frankly, because it helps the stacking.

      It may not be ideal – I’ve lost one jar in the last 5 years but that could be isolated? We store like this as it’s the only alternative we have. :)


  5. Aah you guys!!! This is awesome! Makes me so proud of the both of you. A Well Deserved spotlight on all the hardwork that creates your pantry ;-)

  6. Awesome how you two are getting around :) I think it’s great that you adapted and found a way to get preserving done. Nothing’s perfect, you have to make the best of what you’ve got and as your actual experience proves – things don’t have to be textbook perfect to be effective. Don’t analize things; start where you are and just get started!

    Plus, it jazzes me up looking at all those pretty jars…

  7. every time i see your Great Wall i’m jealous!!

  8. Yes!! This makes me so happy!! Print or not, we still made it into Lucky Peach! Congrats Joel & Dana :)

  9. Loved reading the story online, though I really do wish it were in print too! So cool to get the behind-the-scene look.

  10. Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt says:

    Joel, YOUR picture was the best one on the page! LOVED it! Totally reminds me of my Wall of Food ™ here at my house. Just curious… What’s the red square on the bottom? I can’t figure out what I’m looking at. Thank you again for the inspiration!

    • Hi Lisa Marie, Dana here (my wall too ;-) ) The red square at the bottom is a bin that holds random loose messy things like extra lids, tongs, there’s some bags of salt etc. in there too. It’s plastic, which bums me out..but made to fit in the shelf. always looking for alternatives in the flea markets etc.

  11. I love you guys and it too bad about not being the in magazine but the website article looks great!

  12. Hi! This is amazing! I was wondering if you might have a list of all things you have put up?

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