Wow. Two whole posts in June so far. I have missed this creative outlet, but not enough to stop washing lettuce and picking daisies. I want a whole year of May and June sometime. Oh wait, that would be heaven, yes? So I will get it someday. Minus the weeds, but flooded with berries.
Speaking of berries, I promised some people a recipe. Every time I make strawberry jam, I feel shocked at the quantities of sugar. It just seems wrong to use more sugar than berries. Technically that should be labelled “sugar jam” in the freezer. One day a few years ago I got to chatting with my favorite greenhouse ladies over in the Cove. (The same ones who served me rhubarb punch this spring… What can I say, we like each other.) The one with 8 children told me she was making strawberry jam that morning, and when she got back into the house her children had eaten most of it with spoons. She seemed very jolly about it, but my eyes must have betrayed my shock, because she hastily reassured me, “It’s the kind with hardly any sugar! Have you tried that?”
I hadn’t even heard of it, so she filled me in.
Crush or chop berries in the blender until you have 4 cups.
Mix 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup thermoflo, (the bulk food variation of clearjel that is formulated for canning and freezing)
Mix all together in saucepan and cook until thickened. I always add a splash of lemon juice as well.
It sounded too easy not to try, so I went home and did it. My children love it! I think that is mainly because nobody polices how much jam they put on their toast when they are eating “Kid Jam”. I took this jam along to the school hot lunch. One of the boys sheepishly admitted to eating six bread rolls, just for the jam. And he wanted the recipe. That was the first time ever that a 7th grade boy asked me how I made something. :D Gabe doesn’t care for the texture, almost like a very thick strawberry danish, but I use it to sweeten his Greek yogurt in his lunch, and for that it is great. So I usually try to make normal jam too, for him. We go through a lot of kid jam in a year though. This year we bought cheap berries at Aldi’s for the jam, since we would be cooking them anyway. It isn’t as bright red as usual, but here you are, visual proof in the form of grainy cell phone photos:
Now that berry season is almost over, I helpfully give you the recipe for Kid Jam. Maybe you can try it on the overflow berries at the supermarket, too.
In the past few weeks so many things have happened that could distress one. The White House spotlighted in rainbow colors, ISIS atrocities, church people mown down with a gun in prayer meeting. More locally, my parents’ neighbor was tied down to a chair with wire ties by a person desperate for drugs. She sat there in her house, alone, for 2 days before her daughter found her. And now the news that my cousins’ Amish grandpa was brutally murdered in his home and his wife beaten severely.
The world is going mad. People are crazy, hopeless, dangerous. I hate the news.
God gave me this in Psalm 33:8-11, 20-22.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
We just sang “Shout for Joy” in choir this spring, so this Psalm means more to me than before. I read it and hear the music in my soul. That part about the plans of His heart for all generations, that is the intimate hand of God over the unwitting, stubborn people of all nations. He hasn’t lost track of anybody, even the ones who seem to have lost their minds. My hope is in the steadfast love of the Lord!
I wish I could see the big picture, like, what? is going on here? But since I can’t, I rest in the assurance that God always has the final word.