Oh Yes I Can

I can’t sew. Or do crafts. In fact, last year I spoke to a MOPS group and was totally comfortable talking in front of a crowd about raising kids in Grand Rapids – it was doing the craft that made me nervous. My home decor is a bizarre blend of gorgeous artifacts surrounded by functional and mismatched furniture. An antique Indian drum next to a bunch of wire crates posing as bookshelves.

In spite of this, I feel fully qualified to call myself “domestic”. Why?

Because I can.  And today is National Can It Forward Day.

I start with strawberries.

Freshly picked and washed, then cleaned of leaves and the occasional and rare imperfection on a Michigan strawberry in June.

Two quarts of berries; crushed and mixed with a quarter cup of lemon juice and one box of pectin then brought to a boil.

Lots and lots {seven cups!} of sugar added; and that too is brought to a hard boil for one minute.

It’s ladled into jars which are wiped with a clean cloth and sealed tightly.  Five or six at a time are bathed in boiling water for 10 minutes and lifted out.

Then ‘pop, pop, pop’…. my favorite sound as the melted wax on the lids seals the jam safely for my family.  Over and over, all afternoon until there are 36 pints; enough for a year with a few extra to share with friends.

And yes the strawberries are organic, and the jam is better than store bought but it’s more than that.  It’s what I do. A tradition; an expression of love as I touch every berry that my family will eat.  Pride fills my heart as quickly as my shelves fill up with strawberry jam; then peaches and tomatoes and pickles and applesauce.

I love them; so much.  This little family of mine.  I put food up in neat rows and it’s there when we need it; the beautiful colors of the harvest lined up in glass jars – peaches in February and tomatoes in December. That’s my craft, and my art, and my domesticity.

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