Reluctant Jam

Shawn Smucker inspires and challenges my thoughts about writing all the time. There are a handful of people who have had a direct influence on how I write and Shawn is among them. I am honored to have to opportunity to post over at his site today about my recent failed jam experiment (and some other failures).

The tools and ingredients were laid out on my counter. Gram’s potato masher, our biggest stock pot, sugar, pectin, and loads of fresh blueberries. We had picked 22 pounds of blueberries the night before and I couldn’t make and eat enough cobblers or pies or cakes to use all of those berries. And while I don’t consider myself a particularly good cook, jam isn’t terribly complicated to make, and I’ve made it before with some success, so I thought that would be the best way to use a portion of our harvest.

I carefully mashed, measured, boiled, and added the ingredients together. I watched the mashed berries morph from an unappetizing brownish goo into a beautiful dark indigo sauce. It smelled amazing, but as I added the pectin and sugar, it didn’t seem to thicken. I ladled it into the jars that I had prepared and hoped that it would begin to congeal as it cooled, but a few hours later, it still looked far too runny to be considered jam.

Read the rest at Shawn’s site. And be sure to read around and subscribe. That man can write.

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