Wednesday, April 21, 2010
In a Jam
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Strawberries were on sale. The weekend was not the best for adding the job of "jamming" but I couldn't resist the price. The other truth at play here is that making jam is one the little things that delights me about being a homemaker. It ranks right up there with baking homemade bread and mopping my floors with lavender scented cleaner! :0)
I know what you are thinking. Jam is not that pricey and readily available at the grocery store. Homemade jam is high in sugar (four cups per batch - yikes!) Who has time for hulling, chopping, canning fruit?! Well, I say you are missing out if you have never tried it. The cooked version is wonderful and keeps on your pantry shelf as long as you would need (of course, at our house, it goes fast, no matter how much I make!) The hot sweet scent of ripe berries fills your kitchen, enticing neighbors and mailmen alike.
This time around, I made freezer jam. When time is short, there is nothing simpler and the sticky sugary goodness is worth the twenty minutes it takes to wash, hull and chop berries, add sugar, boil pectin, and stir it all together into a pink heavenly concoction that will cause your peanut butter jar to swoon!
The kids' eyes get bigger when they step into the kitchen (better yet - let them help!) and see all those scarlet jars full of yumminess. Summer feels closer when one eats a piece of bread with jam running down its sides. Little cheeks beg for kisses when strawberry seeds slide into their dimples and fingers find tongues to get every last morsel.
Enjoy the treats of spring. Delight in the simple pleasures. Slip your cell phone into your apron pocket and pull out the wooden spoons and potato mashers and preserve a little love in those jars! Our days slip by too quickly not to stop and smell the strawberries!
God has given us each day as a precious gift. How blessed we are. Are you, like me, often racing through days in a fog of schedules and demands, forgetting that the things that keep us busy are often the things that distract us from those we love most. Is it worth it to stop, breathe, enjoy the bounty that God richly gives us? Can we use those sweet moments at the sink, at the counter, to talk to our great Provider and thank Him for a moment of peace? Is there a spiritual lesson in strawberry jam? Absolutely. What a sweet simple picture it is of the abundant ways our Father blesses us. Stop with me and taste and see that He is good!