I hung out with my Polish friends this weekend: Sunday in Rambouillet with Agnieszka, who told me that you can plant goji berries in France so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get their health benefits. Then she gave me a plant and some piano music. And Saturday I spent time with Renata who taught me how to make strawberry jam. Polish people are so cool. They know stuff.
Renata lives close by and her daughter is in the same class as Young Lady. She grew up on a farm, so when our apricots grew ripe at the exact time that we were in Bretagne last year, she confessed that she almost hopped the fence into our yard to pick the apricots so she could make jam. This year we’re giving her a key when we go to Bretagne.
As long as she promises to give us some jam.
Oh boy does this intimidate me. This is what Sir’s grandmother used to use when she made jam in her big old house. Who knows how long this stuff has been in the family. And what was I supposed to do with it? Luckily Renata was coming over.
can you believe the harvest?
When the strawberries had given off some of their juice, we added 600 grams of sugar (for the 3 kg of strawberries). This is a really low amount as most jams contain an equal weight of fruit and sugar. The pectin helped it to hold in place of the sugar.
she filled the pots with jam. Three kilos of strawberries made 9 jars.
We took the other copper pot and placed the jars in it with a shoebox ripped and wedged in between the jars so they would not clink together while boiling, thus breaking the jam. This is the smart rustic Polish farmhouse way.
Oh, we had our jam plus bright copper kettles, which had been scoured by the fruit acid. Actually they had been scoured by the fruit acid in the jam, which we were about to consume, come to think of it.
So maybe we won’t think of it.
Sir’s grandmother would have been so proud that her family copper kettles were being used, even if she also had to come to grips with the fact that her grandson had settled for an American. Perhaps some things are better left unlearned.
And with the hard work done, I was free to sniff the warm fruity perfume permeating the house and sit down to play piano with my new sheet music. That’s when the jammin’ really started!
Well folks, that is, if you can jam to Mozart.