Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Young(ish) and innocent.

Early in my adult life I watched the 'older' ladies at church make plans to fill the cheer baskets that were delivered to the shut-ins of our church community.  In my youngish innocent mind that was for the 'old' ladies to worry about.  Foolishly, I thought that I didn't have the skill to create cute and clever little goodies so I was free of any responsibilities in that department.

Fast forward ten or fifteen years and I started to notice that the 'old' ladies were becoming the shut-ins and that nobody new was stepping in.  Also, I caught a glimpse of one of those mysterious baskets and noticed that there wasn't anything clever or stylish about the little packaged goodies.  The same year, a man with an ailing wife, stood up and read a poem modeled after 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' about how wonderful it was to be the recipient of one of the deacon's baskets of cheer.

So, I started making time to fill a dozen or so treat bags with some baked goodness out of my own kitchen.
I wrote about those treats here one year. This year, fate must have been looking down on me when I decided to make jam.

I recently came across a jam recipe that looked too good to pass up.  

After all, apples are in season and can be had for a very good price.

 

Since canning isn't something I've done for years, I don't think I've even unpacked my canning pot after moving years ago. I had to make do with what I had on hand.


Luckily, I have a couple nice size pots.


 The brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice are what make this different from regular apple jam.


Oh, the smell!


Two batches later and I have enough for us, for the cheer baskets, and a gift here and there.


The whole morning I was working, I kept thinking of my friend who usually makes the jam for the cheer baskets.  I wondered if she was making any or if I'd be stepping on her toes by making the same type of gift.  Well, this is where fate stepped in because my wonderful sweet church friend died that morning.  It was sudden and very unexpected.  One has to wonder how and why things work that way.  

I did not intend this post to end with that bit of news.  I took the photos along the way with the idea of simply posting about jam making.  I guess you just never know how things will end up.  

I can't ever imagine being able to step into her shoes...however after attending her funeral and listening to her family...I can dream about my own kids and future grand kids saying such wonderful things about what it was like to be in my home and part of my life.  I hope I can put to use the lessons I've learned from her.  First up, make jam for the cheer baskets.  

Thanks for stopping by.  It's hard re-generating a blog.  A special thank you to Carol and Lee.  

Pam


16 comments:

  1. God bless you for your wonderful work. How thoughtful and good.

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  2. There are no coincidences, only (as put in the teen fiction my daughter read) "God things". Blessing to you for your gifts and insights.

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  3. Hiya there Pam, beautiful post today, warmed me up nicely on this frigid NY mornin', so thx for that! Wishing you a belly-full of good cheer and warm holiday wishes:)

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  4. I think your sweet friend would be happy to know that you were continuing on making jam and making the baskets special.

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  5. So sorry to hear about your church friend. I am so glad that you are back blogging!

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  6. Wonderful post ~ and a tribute to your friend....surely she is smiling down on you and loves that you are keeping the tradition going.....so glad you are back to blogging!

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  7. Beautiful blog post. Made me get tears in my eyes. You are doing a wonderful thing. What a gift your jam will be.

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  8. How wonderful that her legacy will be carried on and what a beautiful way to remember her!

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  9. What a sweet story. Though you lost a wonderful soul you are just carrying on where she left off. I know all will appreciate your efforts.

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  10. It's so heart warming that you will continue her good work, I'm sure your gifts will be very much appreciated :)

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  11. You are not only a talented stitcher, but you've got the world's kindest heart. Your community is lucky to have you!

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  12. Sorry to hear about your church friend. Something similar happened to me when I helped stitch baptism napkins for my church. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. You must think of and miss her each and every day, Pam--how nice to make this jam and carry on her work for your church community... Lovely post!

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  14. hello Pam!! I found you through our mutual friend, the lovely Carol. That jam looks heavenly and I can almost smell it from here in BC!! So sorry to hear about your dear friend passing. Sending you hugs and prayers.

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  15. Sorry for the loss of your friend. And "Yay!!!!" for stepping in to help!!!!!

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  16. How lovely. Homemade jam for cheer baskets. Good for you!

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