Yesterday I figured out that I'm about a half generation ahead of these college students that we hang with. I realized that one of their mom's is about 15 years older than me, and I'm 15 years older than that student. That would make me like the "cool older aunt". I like that role - totally works for me.
So, with that in mind, Auntie Steph taught Kara, Kaela, and Julie how to make my favorite kind of jam yesterday. There's no specialty to it, other than using the pink box of "SureJel" to follow directions vs. the more common yellow "SureJel" box. But, since I first discovered the marvelous taste of this jam from my buddy, Nancy - and had her show me the "secret", I feel like all credit should be originally given to her.
I think this will be my 4th year making jam on my own. In the past, I've made it with Nancy, made it with Amy, and even made it with 5 other women. Last year, I realized, if I want the jam to turn out right, I probably ought to make it on my own, especially with the amount I make to last all year long (just too much gabbing happens when you get too many girls together and you kind of forget what you are doing).
I sent out, what I thought, were detailed instructions on what ingredients to get and where to get them for making the jam. About 45 minutes after the trio were supposed to arrive yesterday, they called me from the local Walmart - not able to find the "pink box", hoping the yellow one would work - and a little worn out from the ingredients gathering. (No, the yellow won't work, but the Market of Choice will have it - just go next door......)
As soon as they arrived, moods improved (at least I had fun!) - and the girls cracked me up with their friendships, interaction, and silliness. Love those gals..... I taught them what a "rolling boil" is (just learned that myself a couple of years ago making toffee) - and that it's not called a "running boil" - and that the bottom green part of a strawberry (Costco had run out of raspberries) should probably be eliminated - which prompted a mad search to remove all of the "strawberry butts".
The most significant learning element of the afternoon actually occurred about an hour after they left. I received an "I-chat" from one of the girls asking when it was safe to put them in the freezer. I laughed and texted her back, "You are kidding right?". But no, apparently, all three girls thought we were making freezer jam, despite my efforts to explain when you know the jar (glass!) is sealed and is safe to store....and would have put them in the freezer by the end of the day. Yikes, I'm pleased we got that sorted out - and saved three freezers from certain explosive disaster!