Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why Do I Make Jam?

Anyone who has visited my parents' house in the summer knows that my mom and dad are big on fruit preservation.

Their yard is full of berry bushes, apple trees, grape vines, and many other plants that grow and yield fruit.  And their kitchen turns into a bakery for pies, cakes, juices and jams.  It is a wonderful place!  Just to walk into my parents' house and smell what is cooking can make the whole summer seem worthwhile, and I dream all year about tasting my mom's blueberry pies.

However, none of my mom's abilities seem to have been passed on to me.

I realize this every summer when I decide to make jam.  Actually, when I DECIDE to make it I imagine that these skills have been inherited . . . it's only after, when I am finished, that I remember.

Every year we pick--or at least pick up from a fruit stand--strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and then blackberries--we just live in that kind of a place.  We might overpick and not have enough freezer space, or find out some of the berries on the bottom are a little mushy, and I say, "These berries would be perfect for JAM!"

I get out my jam book, ask Mom if she has any extra jars . . . and lids . . . and rings.  I call her ten times in half an hour to double-check on the directions, and I end up with some beautiful, sparkling jars of something resembling jam.  At least until the jars are opened.

 
Then we find a substance that is just a little runnier (as in juice-like), or more solid (as in play-doh).
 
I'm not even sure what you would say went wrong with this one:

 
Too separated?
 
It just doesn't seem to ever work for me.
 
I mention this because it all happened again this morning.  Blueberry syrup anyone?  It really is delicious. . . .
 
I guess I just keep thinking one of these years those berries will actually turn into jam!  A beautiful dream, anyway :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Our Kids Love Canada Day!


I think it all started when we lived across town, and the Canada Day parade ran right down our street ... we couldn't NOT go.

Ben and Janae learned to dress in red and white, wave a flag, gather candy, and say, "Happy Canada Day!"

Then Jason's mom had us out to Harrison a few years in a row, and swimming at the lake became part of the tradition, too. 

This year the kids dressed up in their red and white--
 
 
we went to a pancake breakfast put on by the church, and then headed out to Harrison Lake.  
 

It was all a bit more complicated with a little baby--who loves the water but had to stay out of the sun.  It was Eric's first experience with sand and lake water, and it wasn't easy to keep both from getting into his mouth!

 
 

But everyone still had fun :)
 

We seem to be raising some pretty patriotic little Canadians!

And some of them don't even know about the fireworks yet....