In a jam

Hi, hi, how you all been? It’s summer! Who blogs???

Here’s a story about a jam:  As I got the last jar of jam out of the cupboard the other day and patted myself on the back for having made enough jam to get us through a whole year, I started getting excited about jamming season. So far, jamming season is kind of s0-so.

First batch (Rhubarb-ginger) turned out really well but the lids didn’t pop so I have to keep them all in my fridge –  or re-boil and re-jar, but – more on that in a bit – that’s not tempting right now. Second batch – Strawberry-Rose Petal (oooooh la la! Just for you, P!). According to my 25$ candy thermometer the jam refused to attain the setting temperature of 220 F. After what seemed like ages I decided to jar it anyway and ended up with 8 nicely sealed, lid-popped, jars of strawberry soup.

A couple days on the counter, a soupy toast-test, and I decided to re-boil the jam. I added a BIT of rhubarb to make extra sure that it would set. I did the cold-plate test (sucks) AND used the thermometer (defective?). I jarred the jam. Or should I say, the strawberry- flavoured super-ball. It seemed fine when I poured it in but it is now bounceable. AND the lids didn’t pop!!!  so much for the 25 bucks.

So apparently this is rescue-able; I will likely try a re-boil-and-add-water so as not to waste all those berries… I’ll let you know, if you’re THAT interested. But what I really wanted to do, is make you all jealous by sharing with you what is making me happy these days despite the jams I seem to be getting myself into. Go ahead and laugh; this is a Gratitude List.

No, two lists:

Things That Could be Improved:

1. Jam consistency and lid sealing

2. My kayak roll

3. Screaming wake ups at midnight and also screaming wake ups at 5 am (not me).

4. The length of the summer and of related Summer Vacation

5. The number of strawberry plants that survived out of the 25 that I planted

6. The price of a plane ticket from Montreal to Gaspe and/or the days that VIA decides to send a train to Gaspe.

Things that I get out of bed for, despite above list:

1. Coffee outside.

2. Getting to the beach before 9 am. With a big bodum of coffee.

3. Elsie and Frida’s naked buns on the beach.

4. Watching the gaaaah-den grow. Especially the kale, I love watching the kale. The potatoes are going to take out the beans tomorrow or the day after, I have a mission to hold them back.

5. Having gaaaah-den missions.

6. Beer. Outside, where else?

7. Dinner outside, Barbeques;

8. When the dog DOESN’T break his chain and terrorize the neighbors.

9.  5 à 7 invitations that end in T-bones and birthday cake.

10. Kilombo.

11. Having booked a babysitter for 2 nights of the Festival du Musique du Bout du Monde so we can take my folks to see Sargent Garcia – Buenos Noches, Gaspéééééééééé!!!!!!!!

To summerize, basically – summer. In summerum. Summerily.

I think I just wanted to write that down to come back to in the depths of next winter, when we’re snowed in cause Duane won’t plow us out any more cause his wife hates our dog, and it’s April, and we’re still snowed in, and everyone in Montreal is wearing halter tops and drinking daiquiris, and I can’t even go toboganning cause the toboggan blew away, and it’ll never, ever, be summer again…

Here’s to Gaspé in the summer. Come visit. Our neighbor has a basement apartment he rents out.




2 thoughts on “In a jam

  1. nina

    Wow!!! Strawberry-flavoured super-ball – what a great invention. After a couple of passes you could sit in the shade and eat it. That’s a sport even I could get into. Can’t wait to see you all – xoxoxoxox

  2. Update: You CAN re-boil over-boiled jam. It’s been a while but I think I added some water and just re-boiled it. It worked great. Also, I was right about wanting to read this while snowed in. The toboggan has also blown away. Am I psychic? or WHAT??

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