Summer in a Jar

summer in a jar

Last year putting up fruit became a mission for me. It was my second year of canning.

Using a palate of flavors to mix apricots, cherries, and peaches with ginger, brandy, and nutmeg I have dutifully preserved random bags of fruit that have landed in my kitchen.

Intellectually, I feel pretty good about myself. I have not wasted food, I have taken advantage of the peak of season prices, and I have a good start on holiday gifts.

Emotionally the pay-back is bigger. Nothing can compare to that first taste of blackberry jam on the tip of your tongue. It snaps you back to the very day you handpicked the fruit, fighting off the stickers while working toward the goal of changing the ping of the berries hitting the bottom of your pale into the soft plop of fruit hitting fruit. You recall the special sweetness of those berries on that hot summer day. The jam brings to mind the scent of dry grass in August and summons the feel of the warm sun on your cheeks.

Indeed, homemade jam is summer in a jar.

CAA Contributor Mina Williams has written and edited articles for food and fashion trade magazines for twenty years. With her industry insider perspective, she brings new insight to culinary topics and gives food enthusiasts a peek into the inner workings of restaurants and food retailers. A native of Shoreline, Williams has worked for publications based in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago reporting on restaurants and retailers. Returning home to the Northwest she now freelances, based in Shoreline. Her passion is rooted in the farm to table movement, practicing her own skills in her home garden. The Slow Food movement has changed her outlook on food and food policy, as have her frequent exchanges with growers and producers in the United States and Italy. She is a journalism graduate of the University of Washington.

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