Sunday, July 5, 2009
My husband is close to perfect. Or so he assures me whenever I find fault. I have to admit, he's not far from right--he is easy-going, generous, amusing and amused, interesting and interested. He has a good sense of humor, and thinks I'm funny. So I really can't complain.
But I do. It just takes more creativity on my part; I have to really look for faults, and once found, concentrate on them, nurture them, and watch them develop. It's actually a lot of work.
My biggest pet peeve? The way Pavel eats jam. As a child, I was taught that you took a little jam and returned the jar to the center of the table. Pavel edges the jar up to his plate and leaves it there. He then puts a big lump of jam on the edge of his piece of toast, and takes a bite. "Pavel, pass the jam" I try. But as usual, he's reading the paper, and doesn't hear me (okay, pet peeve #2--another time). Instead of sending the jam my way, he dips the knife in again, puts another mound on the next half-inch of toast, and chews away.
Pavel could eat a half jar of jam on 2 or 3 pieces of toast. I suppose it's not the worst fault in a husband, but I have to say, it drives me a bit crazy. Because I like jam once in a while, and if I want to have some from one jar more than one morning, there's nothing to do but hide the jam.
A few years back I came up with an alternate plan. If you can't beat him, join him. For his birthday I made a huge batch of blackberry jam. I mean gallons, canned in quart jars. For some reason, that year I had gone through an uncharacteristic Martha Stewart phase, and had bought a fancy labeler.
Everything got labeled. File drawers, file folders, kids' rooms' doors, dry good containers, and, yes, Pavel's jam.
I called it 'Pavel's Eat As Fast As You Can Jam'. And he did.
We had a few months of domestic peace, but then the jam was gone, and the irritation returned.
This year at Christmas I gave him a coupon for a 'Jam of the Month Club' membership. I don't expect it to solve anything, as it's just one small jar a month. That's barely enough for one weekend! Some months (okay, most) I've picked up a nice jar at a shop. There's lots of tempting jams at my neighborhood shop, Foster and Dobbs (Ayers Creek Farm and June Taylor jams). And when I was grocery shopping in Vancouver, I picked up a jar of whiskey orange marmalade.
But yesterdayI noticed some apricots I'd bought were starting to get brown spots. That was because no one was eating them, and they had no flavor. So I cut them up (all 7 of them) into a small saucepan, added a little water, and cooked them down a bit. Then I put some sugar in (no idea how much--maybe 1/2 cup?) and cooked it down to jam. Oh--I also put in an apricot pit. I suppose that's for flavor, but mainly it's because my mother always did it.
Instead of 7 mealy apricots heading to the compost we have one dish of jam. Technically, it should be Pavel's. But I'm not reminding him. It made for a lovely Sunday morning toast topping (on Ken's Country Brown, natch)!