I started this blog last year, while I was unemployed. With my time off I embarked on a new adventure of homemade meals, food preservation, a well-tended (or at least less neglected) garden, and a rebuilding of my spirit. Since starting my new job, I have a lot less time to do these things. I am learning to make time for them so I can continue to feed my soul. I live in Seattle with my husband D, and my cats Jasper and Annabeth.
Three years ago, my mother passed away. With her went my home base, and all the secrets of the universe she knew and I never thought to learn. One of the things she loved most was making jam, which she’d give to the rest of the family at Christmas. Every summer she churned out strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry jam (my favorite), along with green pepper jelly. In the fall of 2010, she was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare cancer, and died in May of 2011. Her last summer never came, and I never learned how to make her jam. My first summer without her, I tried to make blackberry jam. It didn’t set, the jars didn’t seal, and I felt I had lost her again.
The next year I joined a canning group through my garden club. I learned some basics before the group grew too large and lost its charm. I’ve started a club of my own – the Seattle Ladies Preservation Society – with friends, so we can learn to can together. I’ve gotten a lot better and jams and jellies, and have tried a few pickles and canned fruits, too. It’s a lot of fun, but I still have so much to learn.
I like to think I can connect with my mom and my past through making jam. I’m not sure if I’ll learn the secrets of the universe through canning or not, but it can’t hurt to try.