Jam Sammiches

When I went off to college, I decided I needed a job.  I was painfully shy, to the point that if I were called on in class, I would turn bright red and possibly throw up.  I didn’t talk to strangers well or easily.  So, when I thought about what job would be the best for me, I picked out one of the busiest locally owned restaurants in Lexington and I applied to wait tables.  I must have lost my damn mind.  While it was painful, so horribly painful, I eventually came out of my shell.  Kicking and screaming the whole time, yes, but now, if you ask someone who hasn’t known me that long, they will tell you, you can’t get me to shut up.  I inherited a trait from my father that just needed a little priming to come to full fruition- he can talk to any one.  And now, thanks to jumping into the deep end fully unprepared, so can I.  That’s usually how I take things on, be it a new project, new hobby, new job, new home, whatever.  I jump in without too much thought to what might go wrong.  Not to say that I am wandering blindly into situations, but more like I packed a light lunch for a weekend camping trip in the mountains.  I know that I will need more food than that, but I figure that’s what the weekend is for, right?  Finding what you need where you are.  So when I set my mind to having a garden, and maybe some livestock, and of course I’m keeping my two jobs, duh, I didn’t necessarily pack three days worth of food.  I just grabbed a sandwich and hit the trail.  The result is that now we are finding new ways to work together to get food preserved, and I am losing sleep and probably health along the way.  But it has been such an exciting journey!  I have learned new recipes for canning fruit that I never would have dreamed of.  I have started learning how to make cheese.  We are preparing to fence our field, and we are planning out the best way to pasture a cow without upsetting the already delicate balance of our lives.  The Hubby started his own business.  Talk about jumping into the deep end.  I am proud to say that he crafts his own hand forged knives and other blades.  He has been working my nurse hours on this too- 12 hour shifts, 5 or 6 days a week.  He is going stir crazy right now because one of his tools broke and we are (patiently) waiting for it’s replacement.  He is wearing a rut in the floor pacing.  With all that free time though he has prepped a ton of pears for me.  My friend Angela asked casually if I could find a way to preserve some pears, she had a few extra.  See, I didn’t ask questions, I just said sure, whatever you need to get rid of.  That’s how I ended up the proud owner of what we estimate to be about 40 lbs of pears in need of processing.  Between myself and the Hubs, we managed to can a bunch of jam, preserves, and freeze some pears.  I am also in the process of turning the last unfrozen batch into pear butter.  I will share pictures and recipes when I am sure everything came out the way I wanted it to.

We have never been busier in our life together.  And I can say that we have never been happier either.  Once harvest and preserving time has come to an end, and we slow down to spend some free time with family and friends, we will catch our breath.  But for the time being, I think we are going to keep diving head first into the deep end.  That’s what life is for, right?  Living.

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