August 20, 2014

HOMEMADE JAM AND CHIPPED PICKET FENCES

Do you make jam? If so, why? To me, making jam is not so much about the jam in the freezer….it is more how is makes me feel to use my hands to put away a bit of summertime….it just feels good.

Karen makes wonderful jam…today she is telling us a bit about it.

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Life seems a little slower when I’m making jam; I think that’s why I like it. Homemade jam makes me think of chipped picket fences, flimsy screen doors with a slight tear, chickens scampering around the back yard, and calloused feet that have become oh so accustomed to the bare earth. Every summer, I try to preserve some of the fresh fruit from my family’s orchard that has been a significant part of my entire life. Spiced Peach, Sweet Cherry, Apple Pie, Nectarine Butter, Habanero Peach, and Candied Pear are some of the flavors with which I’ve dabbled. Four summers ago in my parent’s kitchen, I canned 250 jars of jam to give as wedding favors—and every year thereafter, I’ve continued in my own kitchen (I just don’t make the same quantity!). Whenever I open or give away a jar, I think of the rows of tress that gave me my solitary, childhood playland, and my father and uncle who humbly tend the parcel of the earth entrusted to their hands.

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Before the summer ends, I encourage you to visit a local farm, buy some fruit, and try to make your own jam. You will be thankful you took the effort to do so when the fruit of your labor can be enjoyed at the Thanksgiving table or you have a thoughtful gift to surprise your new neighbor. Here is a simple, fail-proof recipe to start your endeavor.

 I’m curious, do you have any fond jam memories?

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