Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jam today

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Why do Dave and I make jam? He never eats it, and I might eat a jar in two months. And yet every year I pick the blackcurrants, wash them, weigh them, collect and prepare the secondhand jars, and buy the sugar, and we stand around in the kitchen on rainy summer days, and make jam.

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By the middle of August we’ll have probably 80 jars of jam, and I will spend the rest of the year giving them away.

Why do we do it? Why do we like it? Don’t know why, don’t care why. Maybe it’s the homeliness of the activity, maybe it’s the conversations we have. Dave usually cracks me up with something he says on a jam-making session.

Three years ago, this happened (from my blog):

I got out the book with the recipe for blackcurrant jam, and in it I found a note in my handwriting - "Our pan holds no more than 6lbs of fruit." I told him, I did. "Never mind that," said the stirrer - "bung it all in."

And guess what? Our pan did hold no more than 6lbs of fruit. So we had to get the old one with the bumpy base down from the top of the dresser, for the overspill.

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Last year, it was this (from my blog):

Dave: “I wonder what’s the minimum amount of jam it’s possible to make.”

Sue: “With a pound of fruit I should think.”

Dave: “No, theoretically speaking. Would it be possible, for example, to make jam with only two blackcurrants…in a test tube?”

Sue -  thinks: The poor boy’s been watching too many of those Sixty Symbols videos on Youtube.

One year the blackcurrants will be ripe, and one of us won’t be here. I think things like that, these days. That’s why I want jam today.

And the days are not full enough

And the nights are not full enough

And life slips by like a field mouse,

Not shaking the grass.

Ezra Pound


Anonymous said...

Blackcurrant jam is my very favourite jam! And so, if you don't eat it, just send a pot down here to Devon! I like it the best of all because it's sharp, less sweet than strawberry, raspberry being half way house to really satisfying sharp jam, i.e. blackcurrant!
Margaret P

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, Margaret, and I leave out some of the sugar the recipe says and people still seem to like it.

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, Margaret, and I leave out some of the sugar the recipe says and people still seem to like it.

Mary K. said...

"One year the blackcurrants will be ripe, and one of us won’t be here. I think things like that, these days. That’s why I want jam today."

You always bring tears to my eyes, when you write of your husband and your fear of losing him or he you. Although I am still quite young, I have a constant fear of losing my fiance, but that stems from my mother losing my father after a couple years of marriage.

I just found your blog a day ago, and I must admit, I'm hooked. I'm a lonely only child, the ones you speak of in your "About Me" and you are right about that, we do tend to write little stories here and there, but more than that to keep us from our loneliness, we read blogs.

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Mary, thanks for your lovely comment. You have no idea how needy writers are, and how much they love to get feedback. I agree about the loneliness thing - there is a blog I always turn to in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, and my Californian aging hippie friend isn't online. It's called the scent of water and the link is on my blog at the side.

Mary K. said...

I too am from California, and the pictures you post of where you live, they look like what I imagine heaven to be like!
I live in Los Angeles, and there's nothing like that here.
I'll definitely check out the scent of water, thank you!
The thing about blogs that I love, is that it's like reading a book, except with blogs, you can contact the characters. =]

Sue Hepworth said...

What I'd like to know is - how did you come across my blog?

Mary K. said...

Well, it was a complete accident, I wasn't even looking for any blogs, but rather I was looking through google images. I wanted to find a nice photograph of a woman with a lamb that I could use, and one of the results was of your sister with her pet lamb, and that is how I came across your blog.

Sue Hepworth said...

That's really nice.Thanks fr telling me. I am always intrigued, wondering how many people end up here after looking for something other than me, and then stay.
With reference to your earlier comment that where we live is like heaven, on days like today when it's warm, sunny and still, it is. Even on grey days, it's pretty nice. We're very lucky.

Mary K. said...

My pleasure, I can completely understand, you put so much of your life in this, I too would want to know my readers.
I'm assuming that you live somewhere in the English country side, which by the way, has been my dream location to have a home. What can I say, I've watched too much Pride & Prejudice growing up, and now it has been embedded in my mind =]

Sue Hepworth said...

We live near Bakewell in the Derbyshire Peak District, which is a National Park in the middle of England. Our National Parks are not like yours, though. There are towns and villages in them.They are areas of natural beauty, and there are strict planning regulations - around building issues.