Why can it be so different between people, like a special snowflake cut out of the winter sky, just for you?
I may not have those answers for you, but I can at least speak to my own addiction to Jam.
You must be visualizing a girl sitting in the kitchen licking the inside of every jar which could be found in the refrigerator and cupboard. Then freaking out when the glass container squeaks pronouncing “I’m clean, there’s no more!” Eyes bulging, claws protruding she tears through the house searching, hunting for more delicious sticky jam. That’s not me, not exactly anyways.
For me, this addiction is about making the jam. Eating the jam is purely a bonus after the fact. I love making jam. This is a new thing for me, just in the last six months. I guess there’s always something that motivates me to the edge of madness. Le mode d’aujourd’hui is jam.
I spent last night making two batches of fresh strawberry jam. One with lemon zest (just a touch) and Splenda (for those who watch their sugar intake), another with a hint of fresh mango (and cane sugar). I’ve been so stressed out lately, making this jam was my way out. Hull, slice, slice. Hull, slice, slice. Hull, slice, slice! My mind could rarely wander away from the task at hand, or else fingers would end up in the mix or glass would have fallen and surely shattered on the tile floor. The warm mist from the canner was like a mini facial. I tasted the fruit here and there to check the acidity and sweetness before adding sugar. Stir stir stir stir. The aroma of the red mash bubbling in the pot overtook the whole house, even Pepper, our Boston Terrier, was curious and came inside sniffing the air.
I was sad to see that the second batch was all poured in the half pint jars ready for one last dunk in the canning pot. When will I do this again? How quickly can I consume the nine jars waiting on the counter (plus the two in the fridge from the batch made in May)?
People used to can food (and some still do of course) out of necessity because it could be stored without refrigeration. And if you grow your own food, it’s wonderful to can some for winter so you can enjoy the output of the garden between growing seasons. These days, there’s a grocery store, corner shop, or pharmacy stocked with shelf-stable canned goods – why bother doing it yourself? Because… I like making jam.