09 December 2007

We be jamming

I had brunch at Cafe 202 today-- pancakes with creme fraiche and blackberry compote. Delicious. Next in the lineup was a stroll through Chelsea Market, which always delights me with its old-world charm. The Chelsea Market Baskets store, especially! I prefer no-name brands from far-away countries. Saw some strawberry-rhubarb jam, which made me think about strange forms of comfort...

When I was younger, we used to go to Girl Scout camp in the summer for a weekend camping trip. We hiked through the woods in the dark and illuminated our path by chomping spearmints and watching the sparks fly from our mouths. We made American flag pendants out of safety pins and tiny beads. But what I remember most of all is making the sun jam. At that young age, it was thrilling to make with our own hands something that we'd only seen on grocery store shelves.
Now I only buy jam. I scoff at jellies-- they are the poor man's jam, watered down and unspreadable. Jam needs to be plopped, dolloped, layered, and jelly simply isn't capable of doing that. On nights when I have no food in my apartment I can make a supper out of bread and jam. And in the words of the little badger cub Frances in Bread and Jam for Frances, "Jam in the morning, jam at noon, bread and jam by the light of the moon, jam...is...very...nice."
Does anyone remember that episode of Friends where Joey asks, "Remember when your mom would send you to the movies with a jar of jam and a spoon?" I think that sounds heavenly. In fact, if I don't find an interim job soon, I may have to explore the old plan from college-- moving to Colonial Williamsburg and being a jam maker. Of course, it would be far more satisfying to take in as much of this city as I can, try to forget the past and embrace the future, and come back at the end of the day and have a wonderful cup of tea and bread with jam on lovely vintage floral china...Oh, the simple things in life.

you're toast and jam
and you're cotton candy
you're double rainbows
beside a setting sun
you're wood burning outside
there's a fire growing
you're sweet as green apples
you must be the one
~chantal kreviazuk

beautiful reflection in Chelsea Market

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