Pectin? the woman at the grocery store asked me. What’s that? I explained that it helps the fruit gel when you’re making homemade jam; she said into her walkie-talkie as we searched, This lady needs this stuff for making jello.
Um no actually.
Thinking I just didn’t need that many, I had given dozens of canning jars away the day before all those plums arrived and now I didn’t have enough. The only part of making jam that was easy to find was the sugar–everybody’s summer fruit trees must be producing at once. Before this was Silicon Valley, it was Valley of Heart’s Delight, orchard after blooming orchard, and the idea of having at least one producing tree endures in the culture.
I got some raspberries to try raspberry plum jam with (thank you DebbieR!) and I found the pectin at the fourth store. A few strange squat jars at the third store. They’ll do for now.
And…I spent a little while thumbing through the online Stark Bros catalog. They know what will grow here, including–Seckels? Really!? Seckel pears, my absolute favorites, the ones I’d been told needed mega-cold hours? (The Moonglow pollinator looks good too.)
We shall see. Discussions have begun.
But the other thing that happened today.
Another neighbor showed up at our doorstep with misdelivered mail, shaking her head at the mailman who couldn’t read an address–but I was suddenly glad for the moment. Richard thanked her for bringing it over, while, me, I was running into the kitchen. Then I chased after her with a bottle.
Was she on a diabetic diet? Or could she eat–did she like–plum jam?
I *LOVE* plum jam! she exclaimed.
This is all A’s fault, I told her as I held out the jar; she gave me the plums from her tree.
I did not expect what happened next. For me? in a voice so…vulnerable, and she turned away a moment not to burst into tears. I pointed out the delightfully silly bottom of the jar, trying to help.
But I came home so very very glad.
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