While I was talking with one of Skye’s mentors the other day, the conversation turned to our Berry Patch and the canning of jellies and jams. She pointed out that such skills are going to be in demand in the coming years. I guess they already are, because I spent a recent morning teaching three work friends to make blueberry jam. Truthfully, only one of them begged, “Do you know how to make jam? Will you teach me?” But the other two jumped at the idea of spending a morning with other women, picking blueberries and jamming them. Skye declared that grown-ups have weird ideas of fun: getting together to pick blueberries and make jam did not sound like her idea of a party. However, she was glad to entertain the other daughters in the backyard swimming pool.
But it was great fun. The berrying gave us a chance to chat in a companionable situation away from work. When we moved inside to make the jam, everyone pitched in and the work went quickly. Even the friend who said, “Oh, I’m not going to take any jam home: we’re really not jam people,” succumbed to the temptations of blueberry jam once she tasted the brilliant purple concoction. And when the day’s work ended with blackberry lemonade – made with syrup from my own berries – the day was declared a success. We’re still deciding whether our next lesson will be homemade yeast bread or roux that leads to gumbo.