Jam Making

Monday, September 28, 2015

"There are two sides to jam making," writes Diana Henry. "One is jolly and practical, requiring you to collect old jars, heave pans round the kitchen and write sticky labels."

Okay. Got it. Jolly and practical.

"The other is poetic. Sticking my head into a pan full of apricots and lavender recently I thought perhaps the art of making jam wasn't too far from that of making perfume; they are both about fragrance, about capturing the essence of something."

Wait, okay, only two sides? Both charming? I propose a third side to jam making, the side where you end up with 40 pints of strawberry jam that didn't quite set, four (ish?) years ago, now cluttering up a shelf in the fruit room, inducing a kind of soul-withering reaction, similar to, but different from the slight rage one feels when confronted with several quarts of sweet and limp pickles from last summer.

I jest!

This fall I've reached the other side of jam making, of canning in general. The side where maybe there is jolly practicality and poetry. The side where the kitchen is blissfully free of other voices, and the peach jam is (joy!) mourned at its end

© The Attic at Anderwood Maira Gall.