Pear, meet jar

jam in jars

I’ve had a pretty crappy summer with some mishaps at work that made me stressed, overheated, and angry. So I slept most weekends, or sewed things to calm down. What didn’t happen was canning much in the way of jams and preserves. It’s a hot business that keeps you on your feet for a couple of hours. Was not in the mood, to put it mildly.

Now that the weather is crisp (finally) I got guilted into doing some canning.

Guilted by remarks like this:

“oh, my family really looks forward to those jams you make for the holidays”

“we save those jams you make for the weekend and eat them with cheese and crackers and a good wine”

“what flavors of jam are you making this year?”

I suspect a plot.



I took the past week off to get my head in a better space. It’s the first time in more than 40 years I’ve dreaded getting out of bed to go to work.

Cleaned out the closets, filled the charity boxes, cleaned out the pantry, and cooked.

Among that, three batches of jam and several jars of lime pickle, like the sort you get in an Indian restaurant. I love that stuff. I opened all the windows, cranked up some music, and got going. (The jam jar in the above image isn’t dusty — that’s how much crap is in my tap water after the jars sat and the water left on the lid evaporated overnight.)

When I was an exchange student to India, the two younger daughters in my host family weren’t so sure about ‘the American.’ One had a sunny disposition and was just curious. The other was inclined to some hazing to put that Yankee in her place.

Two jars of lime pickle, two spoons, two hardheaded girls. Stare-down.

I put that little kid under the table, red faced and gasping for cool air.

We became the best of friends after that. What else could happen, having shared and survived that experience?


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