The other day my podcast co-host and I took our kids, saddled them up in the car, stopped at the local coffee shop for a caffeine fix and took off to pick blackberries. I love the summer & early fall, and usually try to take in as much fresh fruit & products from the Farmers’ Markets as humanly possible. Pies, cobbler, yogurt with granola and fruit, salad and just straight up fruit and fresh veg. Ahhhh… Another thing I love to do is make homemade jam. It’s a simple pleasure that allows me to unplug and create something we’ll use in the coming months.
Simple Pleasures = Connection
I believe life is too short to be a workaholic, so I take time for hobbies that bring me joy. I love making jam in June-September because in February when my son bites into a PB&J I know I made that happen with my own two hands. Something about homemade goodies makes me happy and connects me to a simpler time. Blackberries + sugar + pectin + jar = yummy purply goodness on toast in the morning. Blackberries + sugar + butter + flour + water + lemon juice = a blackberry pie that makes my hubby swoon. Simple to do, and (when done right) smiling happy faces eating something positively yummy.
I’ve been asked how I have time to make jam, and I’m amazed at how many people not only don’t know how to do it but are intimidated by the entire process. Canning was a part of my life growing up, and I remember my mother staying up literally all night. In my hometown, summer temperatures soared to over 100F, so nighttime was a perfect time of day to heat up the kitchen without overloading the air conditioner. So, she stayed up with her wooden spoon, canning kettle and jars cranking out jars of peaches, pears, tomato sauce, jam, pickles and veggies of all kinds. I remember the shelves in our hallway overflowing with all the colors of the rainbow perfectly preserved and waiting for the cold winter months.
Nothin’ says lovin’ like something you made yourself. What hobby or activity makes you smile and connects you to good memories or a feeling of satisfaction? When was the last time you did it? What are you waiting for?