Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blackberry Jam & Memories

It's been tough, I'm not going to lie. In fact, I didn't realize how tough it was going to be. My grandmother was a moving force in my life. She's been there since the very beginning, shaping me as much as my parents and brother. She was an incredibly talented woman. Her funeral was centered around her love of quilts, and I was proud to see her memory displayed through the products of her love. But, she had so many other talents and abilities that I was privileged to learn from as well.  She was an amazing painter, she cross-stitched, scrap-booked, and man - she was an AMAZING COOK.

She's the one that taught me the majority of what I know about cooking and baking ( my dad contributed the rest). My fondest memories with her include sitting on the counter putting fork marks into peanut butter cookies, taking the spring pan off the cheesecake, playing with the dough for the thanksgiving yeast rolls, and of course, learning to make the family recipe of chicken noodle soup from scratch. Growing up, family dinners at my grandparents was a regular occurrence and every meal she prepared for the family was made with love.

She was also diligent in following the church teachings of preparedness. She was diligent in creating a food storage that met not only her and my grandfather's needs, but that of our whole extended family. My childhood is filled with the seasonal canning and preserving of food. It is as much a family tradition in our family as a necessity that we are asked to do. When Jeff started to spend time around my family, I was touched and happy that he showed interest and a desire in how to can, because I knew that it was something that I wanted to continue doing in my own family with him and my future children.

Freezer jam is a family staple. It's an uncooked jam that sets up like regular jam... as long as you keep it frozen. It's amazing, I'm spoiled and no other jam compares to it. Today, Jeff got to learn how to make it. Today, we got to preserve the memory of my grandmother and her lessons through family traditions. Today felt good.


For my birthday my mom decided that she wanted to take me and my aunt on a last girls trip hoorah. I've bugged her for years about wanting to see shows on Broadway and to sight see in one of the biggest cities in the U.S. so now was my opportunity. We got to see three shows while we were there, all fantastic, eat lots of amazing street vendor food, sight see some amazing sights, and appreciate the slower paced life of home. I wasn't great at taking pictures on this trip, but here are the few I did manage to get. Enjoy!