Raspberry plum jam next
Tuesday July 03rd 2012, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends

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.

7 Comments so far
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Did you try the hardware store for jars & pectin? Every Orchard Supply that I’ve been in has both in the housewares aisle. And I think Home Depot does too.

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 07.04.12 @ 12:13 am

No coincidences. Small kindnesses make big differences. Bless you, Alison.

Comment by Channon 07.04.12 @ 5:45 am

I’d say that Kathy is right about where to get jars — Orchard Supply (here in Colorado I have to settle for Ace Hardware)

it sounds like you sweetened your neighbor’s day —

Comment by Bev 07.04.12 @ 6:35 am

Yeah, Ace Hardware is the place to go when you can’t find what you need–unless you want to check out my basement.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 07.04.12 @ 7:07 am

Plum jam — that’s berry nice.

Comment by Don Meyer 07.04.12 @ 9:54 am

Hmm … will have to check out your link. I want a crabapple tree so desperately. My grandfather had two and I grew up on crabapple jelly.

Every year my dad would go and gather grocery bags full of crabapples and for the next week or so there would be cheese cloth bundles hanging from the cupboard door.

We only had grape jelly from the store in late summer when the supply ran out.

Comment by Anne 07.04.12 @ 10:05 am

This post details why I love baking. I like sweets but I like to share them even more. (and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about eating cookies or cake) Making people happy is the best.

Comment by Kelli King 07.11.12 @ 12:42 am

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