This summer I learned how to make strawberry jam. I have made it a few times before, but this summer I feel like I really understood the process & could make it by myself, if I was inclined. There are many steps, but first among them is acquiring strawberries in bulk. The most delicious way to do that is pick them yourself. I do not remember the last time I ate something as tasty as the first strawberry. You have to test the strawberries, in the field; it is important to choose a strawberry you think will be good & then find out if it is, so as you go along picking you will have an idea of what to look for. Truly the warm sweetness that cascaded in my mouth was a version of Beulah. If I had not had an expert jam maker leading the process I would have been lost. I would not have know to test a strawberry, just how clean to make the jar tops, or a half a teaspoon of butter in the berries before the pectin makes all the difference (because butter makes everything better). All of these things are critical to a successful finished product. Expertise, know-how, knowledge, whatever you want to call it, is as crucial to this process as it is to art-making. You need to approach with a beginners wonder & openness and take in the knowledge & process of a pro. Sometimes you can be your own teacher thru trial & error, but other times you can learn from a master & then take what you learn & make it your own. Thank you Mary for teaching me about jammin'. Happy Friday Y'all!
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