I do. Damn good ones I might add.
I have a secret. Mine contains about 70% less sugar than the ones you buy in the store. Why? Because if you add sugar, and wait, osmosis draws out the natural sugars from the fruit and you wind up with preserves that actually taste like fruit, preserves that hold their integrity, and don’t go bad any sooner than any other jams, jellies or preserves.
If you skim the extra syrup off the top when the preserves are boiling and put it in jars, you have syrup as well. For pancakes or crepes or french toast. The preserves can also be used in cookies, so throughout the year, when I’m baking I use preserves from my kitchen, and something about it makes me happy. Because I like to know what I’m feeding my family.
Apricots smell like summer to me. They look like tiny butts, and have that rosy blush on them. I love their colors, and I love how they look when they are all lovely and orange and golden in the jars when I’m finished. Like the summer sun.
There was a post recently that got a lot of responses, about birthdays. And the idea of being an “old” mother. That they were the child of older parents and because of that, grew up embarrassed of their parents. A lot of people commented, apparently its a fear a lot of women in their 30’s have.
I never wanted to be an “old” mom. If I am honest, the post and the comments really hurt my feelings. Because clearly lots of women in their 30’s blog about infertility, and so there are a whole group of you who support each other. Which is fantastic. But it made me feel isolated in my wish for a child because I am over 40. My own mother was 37 when she had me. She had my younger brother at 39. As a kid yes, there were times that my parents embarrassed me. But I’m sure it wasn’t because they were old, it was because I was a kid and parents are embarrassing when you’re trying to become more independent, especially in front of your friends.
My parents were born in 1935. They were depression era parents, meaning that they were born during the depression, remembered going without, so wasting food was not ok. I had 3 older brothers and sisters, so I never had a pair of shoes someone else hadn’t worn until I was 13. I had to share a room with at least one of my sisters until I was 14, because there were so many of us, and we varied in ages by a lot. My oldest sister is 13 years older than my youngest brother.
Every summer, my mother would take a few weeks and “put up fruit and vegetables” I learned how to “can” from her. I remember when she would do blackberries, and blueberries, the entire kitchen would be purple. She also did beans, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, peaches and apricots. The mess used to drive me crazy, we didnt have a dishwasher. Plus its really hot work.
I don’t do all that. I do a little, and mostly I do it because it reminds me of good times with my mom. Because people like them, and I like to give them away.
I’ve had a bad week. In fact the last few months have been really, really hard. I try hard to keep busy, making things, doing something constructive. My embarrassing, old parents taught me that the best way to keep yourself out of trouble when things are bad is to keep your hands busy. To not allow your mind to be idle. To make an intention and toil toward the future.
Maybe its better to be young parent. Maybe. Or maybe the world would be a better place if we stopped judging ourselves and others by their age without knowing their circumstances. Did any of you love your parents less because of their age?
Somehow I’m betting the answer is no.