Strawberry season has started!
As we drove back from a drive last Sunday, I noticed that there was a yellow and green farmer’s produce stand open and stopped to buy strawberries. This weekend, I will make strawberry jam. I do this every June, but this year, when nothing has been normal, it is wonderful to be able to contemplate a Saturday morning making jam.
Home from work a bit early, I pulled out my recipe and got my jars and canner ready. I breathed in the smell of the freshly picked berries. I am so looking forward to making strawberry jam. Here is one thing I will do this year on schedule!
These are the things on my schedule that have been cancelled:
- Getting all my garden plants.
- Graduations and weddings and other typical spring and summer festivities are cancelled.
- Summer stock theatre is cancelled.
- Festivals, from garlic festivals, asparagus festivals, lilac festivals – all spring and summer festivals are cancelled.
- Vacations are changed or cancelled.
But the silver lining to this enormous cloud may very well be a return to the happy milestones of an agrarian year. Now we can be grateful for the bright, red, sweet, tart jam that tastes of summer. Pickled garlic scapes and new radishes will grace our winter plates. We can relearn how to grow tomatoes and ferment dill pickles. If we cannot sit on a patio, we can sit on our lawns and balconies and maybe even have a friend drop by for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
If we learn to enjoy small pleasures again, perhaps we will be satisfied. Perhaps we can achieve that simpler life we say we all want.
I am lucky to be able to make my own strawberry jam, or a strawberry pie! Not everyone has an opportunity to do this. I am grateful to learn that it doesn’t take more than this for me to be happy.
(Whenever I may strawberry jam, there is a second lovely byproduct: strawberry wine jelly. Strawberry wine jelly is made from cooking the strawberry stems in white wine and adding pectin. Doesn’t it have a beautiful colour?)