I made my first batch of jam when I was 11 years old and I failed miserably. Ever since then I have been hooked on jam making. Years of experience and education have made me into the jam making juggernaut that I be. I love the processes one goes through to make jam. Peeling, squishing, stirring. All that stirring is theraputical for me. For creative problem solving, I recommend stirring left and a good bout of stirring right may indeed help negotiate the more linear problems of everyday life. A boiling pot of jam and big spoon are a lot cheaper than the therapist! There is also that adreneline factor of pure unprecidented, unpredictable failure looming for hours until the jars do or don’t set. When things go right in the kitchen or I get a lot of compliments from my customers I’m on cloud nine.
There have been other interests, of course, but it always seems to come back to this. After many years of growing, education, travel, self-introspect, all these things we do to develop as a human aspired to me becoming a jam maker. Never once have I heard of a child saying “I want to be a Jam Manufacturer when I grow up.” I believe I wanted to be a designer of Barbie fashions but I am sure it is all related! Just think of all those tiny clothes in beautiful gem colors not unlike the light glowing onto freshly poured jars of yellow peach, red raspberry, and green pepper! Let’s face it- people are attracted to color, and if it is edible all the better. And if it tastes good or is gourmet quality, get a bigger spoon for heaven’s sake!! Then order bulk to make sure there is not the nasty surprise of “jam shortage”. Next, hide some jam in cool, dark places in case your family eats their shares faster than you. Oh, yes, shares are strongly suggested and can be divided up by age, size, status, income, etc. I suggest writing your name on your jam jar lids and hiding them in that cool, dark place we just talked about. Lastly, just in case of a nuclear fallout… anyway there is so much excitement involved in the world of jam why would I want to be anything else?
Jam Maker is not a flashy title, so I go by Jam Manufacturer which gives me a little more credo, I think. After all, I take a lot of pride in my work and want to be recognized for it. At the end of a real good day, when my countertops a covered in a rainbow of jewel-toned jams with the sun setting upon them, successfully sealed and set, I am the Jam Queen.