Post # 226
We were living in the Minneapolis metro area in the mid-80’s. Our Pastor and his young family had moved here only a couple of years previous. They were slowly establishing their household. A desire of the pastor’s wife was for a kitchen blender. Bless her heart, my wife gave our blender to her. (I never did figure out if the gift was out of compassion or by design.)
We were now blender-less. I’m sure, in those days, a blender was important kitchen equipment, at least for me and my kids, for the making of milk shakes, at lease once in a while, but especially after the kids went to bed.
It wasn’t long before a neighbor, Sue Bird was having a garage sale. There on a table was a used Osterizer Blender. My wife took me over to “scope” it out. It looked like a fine machine to me. It had metal blades, a metal shaft, and no plastic gears. It was made before the American Manufacturing Industry invented the word “obsolescence”.
Time has passed and we now live in the middle Midwest. I had been encouraging my wife that WE needed to make strawberry jam. She has a recipe that makes what we call freezer jam. Two batches ago, our grandkids just fell head over heals for it. It was so good, that I suggested WE should make another batch.
I bought the fresh berries and promptly went to work and wandered around the woods (reminiscent of Dave Crockett). I came in once and saw her working on OUR jam and quickly (and wisely I might add) returned to the wilds.
The wilds however, turned out to be IN OUR house, upon my return. And WILD she was… It seem there was a difference of opinion concerning the use of the word WE when making some jam. She seemed to believe jam making was a two person job. I seemed to believe that my portion of the WE only included purchasing and eating the results…..
(I only relate this, as ground work to explain why it’s been 8 years since jam was last made in our house.)
A sufficient amount of time has passed that I can again say, JAM, and WE in the same sentence and not be brutalized! The advantage now, is that our local berry farm is out of business, but the big box grocery carries frozen whole berries, hence most of OUR grunt work is done.
We recently purchased berries, but then stored them for two months, waiting for “just the right time” to get up the inclination to make some jam. Cautiously, I did a round about, discussing the days intended activities and approached the berry topic from the side. Yes, she says, this could be a good day for US to make jam.
She got the frozen berries out and began the nuk-thawing process. I organized the equipment. Spoons, measuring cups, pans, I washed jars, and lids as needed, and I pulled out the Osterizer.
As of this day, we had owned the Osterizer blender for 30 years, AND, remember is was used before that. My wife was in charge of berry thawing, I volunteered for the equipment handling, the blender! She would heat the pectin and I would get to blend, stir and pour.
My wife is a multi-tasker. She was washing clothes as well and getting my jam duties organized. With her permission, I began the berry-blending. Ummm, they were still slightly frozen but should be ok, the blender was working hard at getting the berry chunks down to the blades. I stopped, looked , I was a 1/3 of a cup shy of the amount needed for a one batch quantity.
I but some more berries in the blender, and turned it on. The berries floated on top like a bobbers on a fishing line. They needed a little help so I pushed them down, then down a little further. Cur-chunk! Oops!!!! My wife coming from the other room saying “OOPS”?
I looked, and my wooden spoon had the character of a backwoods survivalist having not seen a dentist in 40 years.
I poured the blended contents into a bowl and proudly exclaimed, it’s ok, I can’t find any chunks! She seemed to believe chunks or no chunks, jam with wood was NOT a proper finished product! Sadly, I watched my work go down the drain, literally.
My job title has now changed, I’m now only in charge of stirring. I get to stir the berries into the sugar, the lemon juice into the berries, and the pectin into the berries. (And don’t move from that spot!-Yes, dear.)
I think there may be another span of time between jam making. And the use of WE might also be in question.
Boy, that is some great blender. It doesn’t stop for anything, and makes even wood disappear!!!