The berries in my garden are ripening and it is time to harvest. The black currant could still have some days before picking, but I am going on vacation on Tuesday morning and will be away for 2 weeks, so I made the first marmalade of the summer today.
Picking the berries, cleaning them from leaves, cooking them with water, stirring for a long time in 8 movements, adding sugar. As I do this, an increasing, heavenly perfume fills my kitchen. I burn my fingers when taking out the pre-heated glass jars from the oven but don't feel the pain, and I can't take my eyes of the full jars in a row.
The work brings forth sweet memories from summers in my grandmother's garden, other good childhood memories of canning and making marmalade together with my mother. Memories sweet as the smell from my kitchen today.
It is cheap to buy jam in the grocery stores nowadays, but I am never tempted. The jam from my kitchen is clean, just berries, water and sugar, and it is made with love. Love for my family that will find delight in it, love for my garden which gives my such pleasure, love for the Creator of all life. I want to let the mesmerizing smell from my kitchen follow me wherever I go to pay sweet memories forward to people I meet.