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No, you don’t have to take my class. But you can if you want!

I was reminded of just how many opportunities present themselves when you get out of your normal groove and take a class.

Today I learned how to make strawberry jam (regular and sugar-free), apricot-pineapple jam, and apple jelly. I spent 2 1/2 hours of my day with eight others, stirring, mixing, cutting up strawberries, adding pectin, boiling, sanitizing, and sealing – and not necessarily in the order listed.

Even better than hearing the last two POPs of my 4 jars sealing as I drove home was sharing stories and meeting new people. Our ages and backgrounds and experiences varied wildly. From late 50’s to a young man who looked about 15 or 16, some of us had experience canning, others had none.

One woman I met has a son just 3 months younger than my little princess and makes t-shirt quilts. We swapped stories of our spicy grandmothers and laughed. When one of the pots burned a bit on the bottom as the concoction was bubbling, no one pointed a finger or blamed (okay, okay, it was me who somehow let it burn!) and we washed dishes and cleaned up our mess in the community kitchen with no complaints or reticence.

It was pleasant, educational, and sociable.

I talk a lot about life change. Anyone reading the previous entries can gather that. But this Saturday I practiced what I preached, and enjoyed every minute of it. I learned something new, and as the teenager said with a shrug when asked what had brought him here today, “It seemed like fun.”

It was fun.

And you know what?

Tomorrow I’m raiding my enormous spearmint patch and I’m going to make mint jelly. Want to join me?!

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