A Gift of Time and Jam

My friend E came to visit this week, and gave me a lovely little gift: she and her sisters had made strawberry jam together, and she brought me a jar. She joked “It’s mostly sugar,” which might have been true, but it was a good kind of sweet, eaten on pretzel buns or biscuits or anything I happened to make to bear it to my mouth.

E’s visit, and every time I spend time with her, reminded me of the importance of time – the calm that one can cultivate by not trying to crowd one’s days. I have a temptation almost all the time to try to pack things in, as if I want to get from one thing to another without any kind of space. E is a deliberate person, who fits all the things into her day with space to progress from one to the other. It’s important, because she works as a poet and teacher, and both of those lines of work require margin, space.

Cooking takes a lot of my time lately, as I noticed while E would sip her coffee and sit with me in the sunny kitchen the past week. It’s a good thing though, because there are many shortcuts I could take: take-out, fast food, frozen meals, etc. They aren’t bad, but cooking from scratch is one of the only ways in which I “take my time” in my current lifestyle, with everything else being done as quickly as possible. It’s good to layer butter on a bun and put a little swirl of strawberry jam on top of it, adding sweetness to it and licking the extra off my finger. It’s nice to have a gift given to me, of both time and of jam, by a friend who knows a little bit about deliberately spending time.



19 comments on “A Gift of Time and Jam

  1. You are lucky to have a friend such as E. I look at cooking from scratch as a hobby. When I do it I really enjoy it and it is almost like painting or sculpting.

    You want to enjoy yourself in the quiet of the kitchen and relax as you create. You also want the end product to be pretty and tasty as you present it to your family. It is an “art showing” just on a plate : )


  2. What a lovely post!

    I love spiced fruit buns slightly toasted, spread with butter and topped with good bitter marmalade. Have you tried that?



  3. mackmarie says:

    I love this post because it’s such a special reminder that it is the simple things in life that are so important to stop and enjoy. xx


  4. Plectrumm says:

    We put up 16 jars this year๐Ÿ˜Ž


  5. amusingword says:

    Freezer jam is a delightful thing! Strawberry is a family favorite! In winter you can make it with frozen whole strawberries and can’t tell the difference between that and fresh strawberries! I made a double batch this summer using Sure-Gel. It’s wonderful in crepes.


    • I need to try it – we’re hoping to give a whole raised bed over to strawberries next year and I’m hoping we’ll produce quite a few more berries, so we can make some out of our own!


  6. Great post. I too love taking my time, spending time in the kitchen (my favorite room), especially with good friends and loved ones. We hurry in so many other areas of our lives, preparing wonderful foods is a great way to destress and reconnect with ourselves, and sharing it helps us reconnect with those we love and cherish.


  7. […] prefers his french toast with honey and I preferred mine with butter and jam. We made about half a loaf of bread’s worth, and the leftovers kept in the fridge and were […]


  8. runningrara says:

    Beautiful post. ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

    Liked by 1 person

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