Years ago my friend Pam introduced me to Nanking Cherries – and the joy of the jelly they make. She has a hedge of them, and invited me to “glean” what was left after she picked what she needed for the year.
The jelly was a treat, and came just at a time when we were trying to think of an affordable gift to give our friends and family for Christmas that year – and there wasn’t much money to do it.
By all reports, the jelly gifts were a success.
So, the next spring I went in search of bushes to plant in my garden – this was back when we hadn’t lived here long and I was trying to make the property more productive for us. Of course I haven’t given up on that goal, just haven’t had a lot of time to put into it lately. But I digress.
I bought four bushes and planted them.
They promptly died. Not really sure what happened there, but dead and gone are the bushes I bought.
So every year Pam calls me to glean off her bushes, and I contemplate the need to try my own bushes again.
But this year is different. Pam is battling ovarian cancer – doing quite well at it I might add.
So this year she called me and said “bumper crop and I’m not able to pick or process them. Do you want them all?”
Umm, yes! Where I usually get enough for one batch (8 jars), this year I have enough for 8 batches (64 jars). I offered Pam some, and she declined on the basis that she and her husband are becoming empty nesters this fall, and the 50 or so jars they have stored from years past will get them through without a problem.
So, if you invite us to your home during the holiday season, I have a hostess gift in mind already. In the mean time, J will be gorging himself on toast with peanut butter and Nanking cherry jelly.