Marriage and Blueberry Jam

My best friend is getting married tomorrow.

15 years ago we shared secrets over intricately folded notes, gossiped about awkward boys we didn’t have the courage to talk to, and spent every weekend in the cabin behind the cemetery. Tomorrow I will raise my glass, shed a few tears and watch as she says her forever with a wonderful man.

There are people in your life that are like breathing. No matter the distance, or the time spent not talking, being with them is like coming home. These forever friends are the ones who hold your hand when you’re broken, and distract you with berry picking and dinner parties. No matter how different my life looks compared to hers, my best friend and I will always meet back in the middle.

Some people collect seashells and old photographs, I collect tattoos. My most recent addition is a reminder of how lucky I am to have best friends. 8 dots to make up a line. 4 larger dots to signify these girls. An arrow to remind me to always come home.

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My little dot, my darling Keelin, is marrying a good man. A man who builds kayaks. A man who loves dogs and being outside. A good man with a warm heart who loves her. They have the same idea of happiness; a homemade existence, filled with gardens and moccasin clad little ones.

Tomorrow I will hold my sister’s hand. We will toast to movement and change and this new path of love. Tomorrow we will dance and twirl. Tomorrow we will get drunk on beer and wine and friends.

Tomorrow my best friend is getting married… How lovely.

After Work

The shack and a few trees

float in the blowing fog

I pull out your blouse,

warm my cold hands

on your breasts.

You laugh and shudder

peeling garlic by the

hot iron stove.

Bring in the axe, the rake

the wood

we’ll lean on the wall

against each other

stew simmering on the fire

as it grows dark

drinking wine.

-Gary Snyder

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Honey Sweetened Blueberry & Lemon Jam

Makes 12 ½ pints

This recipe is because I have friends that ask for small favors, like 12 jars of jam for their wedding. This recipe is because spending hours in my kitchen making preserves is how I find peace. These preserves are delicious on a scone, biscuit, toast or just straight from the jar.

  • 10-12 cups blueberries
  • 1.5-2 cups honey
  • ½ cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 tsp calcium water
  • 4 tsp pectin powder

Clean and sanitize your jars. Set them aside.

Mash the berries with a potato masher and place in a pot. Add the pectin and stir (a lot) on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the honey, calcium water and lemon juice. Return to heat and bring to a boil again, stirring. Boil for 5 more minutes. Remove jam from heat and add in the lemon zest. Let it sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into the clean jam jars, and use a wet rag to wipe the rims of the jar. Pop on the lids, and screw on the rings. You’ll want to make sure that your canning bath is hot, and put the jars in the water bath. Boil for 10 minutes, and then remove. Place them on a towel and wait for that beautiful POP that lets you know your jam is sealed.

Give as gifts, tuck away for when you need a reminder of what summer tastes like, or bring them to your friend’s wedding. Nothing says celebration like jam.

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