I guess you could say I’ve always been a little obsessed with jam. Or, if not jam itself, stories about jam.
Before the days when I had the wherewithal to gorge myself on jam, I gorged myself on jam’s next of kin: Bread and Jam for Frances. In this cheerfully didactic story, which is still one of my favorites, Frances the badger has committed one of the seven deadly sins of childhood: She has become a picky eater. She won’t eat eggs, and she turns up her nose at veal cutlets (um, who wouldn’t?). She only wants to eat bread and jam, as recorded in one of her famous jam ditties:
Jam on biscuits / Jam on toast / Jam is the thing / I like the most.
Oh, indeed, Frances. Isn’t jam the thing we all like the most? Not disgusting grape jelly–even as a child, I was more of a jam connoisseur than that. I’m talking actual jam–preferably red, and preferably homemade.
Now that I’m an adult, my jam obsession extends not just to eating jam, but also to making it. Not exactly a complex endeavor, but an exacting (and time-consuming) one, especially given the particulars of my jam process. Still, every year when the season for local strawberries rolls around, I count the days until a trip to my favorite pick-your-own farm pans out (the weather gods have not been kind this June), and then load up on berries.
Ten pounds of berries, to be exact. Eight designated for jam.
OK, yes, eight pounds definitely sounds as though it falls into the realm of obsessive–or maybe excessive–but consider this: eight pounds of strawberries yields only five pints of jam. (That’s ten, 8-oz jars, for those of you keeping track at home.) And by the time I’ve gifted a few friends, and my dad, with their annual jars of “Jenny Jam,” that leaves very little jam to get me through the rest of the year. Especially with all the English muffins, and popovers, and scones, and loaves of bread (i.e. jam vehicles) that come out of my kitchen between September and May.
Yes, carbs are a necessary delivery system for jam, but it’s the jam I really crave. I guess that’s why I can love Bread and Jam for Frances, but not its fundamental premise: You can OD on jam. I haven’t–at least, not yet.
5 Things I’m Obsessing About This Week (when I’m not thinking about jam): June 12, 2013
1. Would my homemade jam tempt Hansel and Gretel? This sugar-filled solarium certainly would. WOW.
2. School’s out, but teachers are still getting the last laugh.
3. There’s a story in here somew(hair).
4. Please die the death of cuteness with me.
5. OK, so the one other thing I might possibly consider eating besides jam is THIS. Yum.