Friday, July 10, 2009


As I put Maxime to bed tonight, I read him one of my favourite children's books, Jamberry by Bruce Degen. It seemed appropriate and in accordance with the goings on at casa de Dear over the past few days.

Yesterday the wise, lovely, talented, funny, and über-kniter extraordinaire Alison came over to mentor me in my first foray into the jam making experience.

Making jam and preserves is one of those things I've always had a really romantic notion about, that I've always sighed about wanting to do and never actually did it. Well, this being the year of "I want to do it? Well, I'm gonna do it!" (tattoo, signing up for the 10km run...), I asked Alison if she would be willing to teach me how to do it, and she graciously offered to come over and show me the ropes.
Now, it must be said: spending time with Alison is always a privilege (she's an absolute riot and just an all-roud joy to be around), but spending time with her in the kitchen, learning from her? It was just a wonderful experience.

And dudes! The jam turned out SOOOOOO GOOD! Seriously, why would anyone ever eat the store bought stuff? Whenever I open one of these jars over the winter (because, there's no way in HELL I'm giving any away! Kate the Enabler will be the only recipient of my jammy love), I'll be savouring a little bit of summer, and I'll remember the time I spent with a friend to boot. I ask you: what could Smuckers possibly have on that? Nothin', that's what.

I'm now totally hooked on making jam. While on my lunch break today I strolled down to the book store and bought a book of jam and preserve recipes called Jellies, Jams & Chutneys which I can't wait to try out, as well as a Williams Sonoma book on baking bread. Because, you know, now all I want to do is smother my jam on fresh, homemade biscuits. Drooooooooooool. If Phil wakes up one night to find me gone, it'll be because I'm downstairs eating jam and making "Nom Nom" sounds.

Oh, and while at the book store I finally caved and bought myself Cookie A's Sock Innovation.

It's been so long since I've bought a knitting book! It was a toss up between this one and Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe-Up, but I figured since I've never knit a Cookie A. pattern yet (I may be the only knitter who doesn't have a pair of Monkeys...), it was time I let my guard down.

Happy Knitting Everyone!


kate-the-enabler said...

I'm having a challenging week. Not an impossible week, but not an easy one either. A number of small things have been beyond my control.
Today, however, one thing was completely within my control, and it was the jam.
I was going to RESPECT the jam. As the sole recipient of a jar of the Tara/Alison jammy adventures - I was determined to do it justice.
I picked up a loaf of very fresh, moderately robust, fairly crusty whole wheat bread. I waited until all was silent and calm in my home. I toasted two lovely slices, spread them gently with real butter (respecting the jam fully requires real butter) and liberally painted them with the beautiful jam.
Thank you, for a rather perfect moment at the end of my day :)
(I know, that was a lot of attention to jam. Yes, I do have a life outside of jam sampling - but you've got to know I LOVE to eat, and this week has been rather a long one ;) )

Big Girl Feet said...

Mmmm homemade strawberry jam is the best hands down! I am jealous! Norm refuses to eat jam, for some odd reason he doesn't like it! I know weird right! So he makes all kinds of grumbly noises when I mention I want to get or even try to make some. We're a no jam household. I miss jam....yours looks heavenly.... :))

Amelah said...

Making jam looks like fun!

Sereknitty said...

I, too, am addicted to home preserves and the making thereof. I have to say that my dill pickles are to die for! If I neglect to put them out for a family dinner, the grandkids let me know, very quickly. There's something so virtuous about making your own preserves ... perhaps it's the sacrifice of slaving over a steaming stove in 29C weather!

Ali P said...

(In a Gremlins voice) Yum prescioussssss. Okay I'm mixing my movies but you know what I mean...LOL
Guess what!!? Audrey is a jammer too! She is knowledgeable in the ways of the jams and we discussed them Friday night on the way to Effiloche. So, next time, according to Audrey, we should save our foamy skimmings for on bread etc when we are finished jamming. Jam Fluff!
Next fruit up: Raspberries!!!! I picked a bunch this afternoon in the back yard and thought of you.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Yum on the jam!!!

Must learn!

Is that new yarn I see on the kitchen Table? Cascade Eco?

Alrischa said...

Hmm, I wonder if I could grow enough strawberries to make some jam? Or would the sheep eat them, do you think? hehe. It looks like lots of fun, so I think I might have to try it.

Love the motto of the year. Might have to plagiarize it for next year's resolution...

Sinéad said...

Ah fond memories of jam & marmalade making with my Dad when I was younger. If it grew and was a fruit, he made jam from it while I measured sugar and boiled jamjars.
So glad you finally bought Sock Innovation! You'll have to join the Ravelry KAL for it now. Nothing like a bit of knitting deadline pressure to bring out the best in us! ;)

jeloca said...

I, too, have yet to knit anything by Cookie.

MMMM that jam looks good! Was it hard? Easy? Can you share your jam-making expertise?

knitspot anne said...

ooh, the jam looks yummy! i have not knit monkeys either, hahaha (i thought i was the only one!)