The Outcome is Fun

Jam is fun.  Let me count some ways.

For me, there is nothing better than making crepes (I know – so 70s) for my family and eating them with a thin layer of apricot jam.  It invokes a feeling of continuation from my parents, to me, to my nieces and great-nieces.   Also, it's delicious.  In our house, there is never a need to ask if anyone wants crepes for breakfast.

Customers come to the Jam Goddess table at the market and ask for help choosing jams or jellies that might be suitable for a charcuterie board or which jams go best with which cheese (plum jams and cheddar for one).  They are looking for things that will please their friends and family.  They often come back and report the results.  So far, Balsamic Pear Jam is the clear leader for Most Likely to Adorn a Small Wheel of Baked Brie.  And of course, Pepper Jellies win hands down in What to Eat with Cream Cheese and Crackers.

Many women who come to the markets often are seeking gifts for a significant male in their lives be it their father, grandfather or husband.  We know that generally, men are hard to buy for and after a point, no one requires anymore stuff. Perhaps their husband tasted the jam and asked his wife to get more the next time she was at the market.  I love that invisible group – the people who don’t come to the market but enjoy its bounty. 

When I prepare fruit, often friends and family have come and helped.  We sit for hours pitting or cutting peel, or jumping out of the way of splattering jam (the shrieks are kind of fun when one hits your arm), and we talk or have companionable silences.  It’s very comforting – this working together at a large task related to food.  It's also about making jams and pickling and doing teaching through the process.  Keeping other up to date and hearing about how their mothers and grandmothers did things.  There is a connection to the past – all those images of women on their porches sat in the shade, shelling peas and idly chattering. 

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