Just Jammin’

After visiting my sister Karen all afternoon and declining her offer of supper, we were saying our goodbyes at her front door.

“I feel like there’s something I should be sending with you,” she said.

This is a symptom of what I call GrandpaBensonitis; it’s an urge to send guests away with a small gift, usually food of some sort. He was of Norwegian ancestry so I wonder if this is a Scandinavian tradition.

Neither Karen nor I could think of anything I’d left there or that she had planned to give me, so I reached for the door handle.

“Wait, I know! Do you want some jam?”

“Sure!” I said. “Of course!” and took off my rubber boots to follow her to the storage room, where she reached toward a shelf laden with sealer jars.

“What kind would you like?” she asked. “Take whatever you want.”

I put a jar of jam in each jacket pocket (Duckie was in my arms so he wouldn’t get wet and muddy on the way to the car). Karen was happy to have shared some of her bounty and I left feeling blessed.


Raspberry jam is my favourite and I’m making short work of this jar.


8 thoughts on “Just Jammin’

  1. Dear Karen

    I’ll be right over. Raspberry would be great but I must admit I am partially to the wild berry preserves. Chokecherry with crabapple, Saskatoon, High Bush Cranberry with whatever. Oh just whatever you have.

    Dear SJC: You are what is called “spoiled for choice”.

    I don’t thnk this is Norveig, exclusively. My Ukrainian relatives have this gene too, which I”m pretty sure is a Prairie gene.



  2. This is such a Newfoundland tradition too!. I’ve even pressed a jar of homemade yogurt on to guests when my jam or dishcloths have run out!
    Looks delish!


  3. I recall reading an article in G&M a couple years ago where the writer and presumably all of TO couldn’t understand why they were supposed to be grateful or even PRETEND they were for the jars of jam or chutneys which in typical ALL WRONG Toronto fashion, were brought to the hostess rather than she giving out. Why do they think we want these wrote the writer? Eeeeuu. As I said, TO getting it all wrong. It’s just the loveliest thing that people do this still, in small towns throughout Canada. Maybe that’s what we should celebrate for 150. 150 years of people being neighbourly and lovely. Except TO.


  4. Marms,
    Toronto is a different animal, for sure, though there are many lovely people there too. Rural and small-town sentiments do seem to differ. When I was in TO at age 20 I was in the back of a cab and noticed this beautiful young woman walking down the street and was looking at her as we passed, and she gave me the finger. I don’t think I was staring! And when I was there a few years ago, I was in a very busy mall and didn’t have a watch or cellphone, so asked a woman sitting at one of those restaurant tables out in the walking part for the time. Holy Cow, you’d think I’d asked her for a dollar! And heaven forbid you say hello to a stranger. Here, you say hello to everyone you meet on the street, stranger or no. -Kate


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