My dear friend Natalie is game for anything.
She is the most well informed person I know and a fabulous researcher, gleaning information in lightening speed on any topic on the internet.
She is curious, lively, quick, and an early riser like me, so at the break of dawn, I know I’m not alone.
We have plans this fall to learn to play golf, visit the Barnes Collection in Philly, and make lots of JAM!
Natalie works in NYC and passes through the Union Square Market on her way to work. (the amazing market photos are hers)
Why am I bothering to grow tomatoes at home? Isn’t this a spectacular sight?
This color palette is worthy of a Renaissance painting.
Last week, I asked Natalie to find the farmer with the tastiest plums for jam, and as good as gold, she arrived at our house with two large bags of perfect fruit grown by Migliorelli Farm in Tivoli, New York.
I’ve always felt a little intimidated about preserving food. The prospect of delivering jars of lovingly prepared botulism-infused preserves to my family and friends has prevented me from attempting any foray into the alchemism of canning.
I spotted The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders at the library and found inspiration and courage in the photographs and lucid text with details suited to a neophyte like me.
Natalie, always a well of enthusiasm, couldn’t wait to throw herself into the experiment.
Plum jam is really easy to make.
The halved fruit, skins and all spend 24 hours in a bath of sugar to draw out their juices.
Here’s Natalie, the next day, scooping off the foam as the fruit cooks on the stove.
Meanwhile the jars went into the oven to sterilize.
We filled them up and then they went back into the oven to sterilize and seal.
When we took them out of the oven to cool, we heard a chorus of POPS, the signal our jam was safely sealed and we had succeeded!
We are moving on to the next challenge.
Fear could keep me in life-long leg irons…. even with silly things like jam making.
I wonder what other nonsensical things are holding me back from living life to the max.