My sister is one of the many people in my life that baffles me…on a daily basis. The other day we were on the phone with each other and were talking about events we both shared that resulted in a highly stressful week for the both of us.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: “I need this week to end, I just need to sit down and stare at the wall.”
Her: “I know, I am so stressed I am making three different jams all at once!”
Me: “What? Like now?”
Her: “Yeah! I have a strawberry blueberry going, a watermelon something and a cherry peach. It’s crazy in my kitchen right now!”
Me: “Uhhhh – I really don’t think that is normal…at all.”
If you know us in “real” life, you know that we are complete and total utter opposites. In fact, you could not find two people that are more different from each other. I think that the saying opposites attract definitely apply to our relationship. I think it is the sole reason we can spend endless amounts of time together and not kill each other in the process.
After I got off the phone with her I couldn’t help ponder the way she handles stress. It would never occur to me to rip my kitchen apart and start mashing, mixing and boiling up jam. No, I would need to be putting things away and make my surroundings as orderly as possible.
I always find it interesting to see how different people handle their stress. For my sister it’s making jam, for me it’s cleaning something. We should really get together on our stress days so I can clean the mess she makes. Now that would be a healthy symbiotic relationship.
I really have to contain the urge I feel to stress her out on purpose, knowing that I will be the happy recipient of her yummy jams.
How do you handle stress?
STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY FREEZER JAM
Yield: 2, 12 ounce Ball Jars
* 1, 16 ounce container of strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
*1 1/4 cups blueberries
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 tablespoons powdered pectin
Step 1: Using a large pot, heat the berries, white sugar and pectin over medium high heat. Stirring often, cook for approximately 10 minutes, then smash fruit with a potato masher. (If you like your jam more smooth-textured than chunky, you can remove some of the heated fruit at this point and chop it up in a blender. But be careful. To make sure you don’t get burned, cover the blender lid with a towel – the heated fruit and steam can burn pop the lid off.)
Step 2: At this point, place a small plate in the freezer while you’re cooking the jam. Cook for approximately 5 more minutes.
Step 3: At the 15 minute mark, place a small dollop of jam onto the frozen plate and return it back to the freezer for 3 minutes. Remove the plate and run your finger through the jam. If the line “holds”, your jam is good to go. It will also thicken up some more in the fridge.
Step 4: You can store the jam in any kind of clean, sterilized, freezer-safe container. I prefer to use Ball Plastic Freezer Jars because they don’t break if they fall out of the freezer, but you can also use Ball Glass Jam Jars or even simple glass containers (like pyrex). When filling, make sure to leave ½-inch of room at the top for expansion upon freezing. Leave jam sitting out at room temperature for 1-2 hours to let it cool down before putting it in the freezer – or refrigerator if you plan on eating it asap.
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