I'm fairly sure that I did not eat store-bought jam until I was in my twenties. My grandmother and mother made jam as far as I can remember, and then when I moved away I was able to continue to get a supply from them for Christmases or I could snag a couple of jars when I went home to visit.
But then the Post Office decided that email was cutting into profits and upped their prices and my relatives stopped sending me jam.
For one who has never had to buy the stuff before, purchasing the appropriate texture and flavor of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade (do you even know the difference between all of these? I had to educate myself. It was terribly annoying) can be difficult.
Over the years, I have rec'd a jar of jam here or there from a friend or sister in law or stolen one from my parents' house when they weren't looking (the sour plum tree in our backyard really does make special jam). But I've still had to buy several jars from the store and about a third of the time whatever I buy ends up getting tossed out because I've not gotten the right flavor/texture of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade.
Which brings me to Karen (Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe there on my side bar - but I'm pretty sure her blog's private. I'm very sorry for your loss, she's a peach).
Karen is a friend from college. She is tall and slender and athletic and she usually wore her hair in a ponytail and I always saw her in jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. Because of Karen I was completely converted to the jeans/t-shirt/sneaker/ponytail look (my does this post have a lot of forward slashes or what?) for some years while I chased small children around my home. It was helpful, but now I'm back to using the curling iron and wearing heels.
Anyway - Karen had twin girls and painted her toenails for the first time and ventured into crafting. She's good at what she's done so far, and I can prove it. Last week I got a surprise in the mailbox:
Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe has recently moved to Montana and decided to see what could be done with the famous huckleberries that populate the state. Let me tell you; good things could be done. She sent me 5 jars but by the time I took this photo - 4 or 5 hours after I rec'd the box - one jar "pearberry" (what a scrumptious name!) was already halfway gone.