Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Badminton. Board Game Night. Making Jam.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Making Jam
I've been making jam for years. I don't even especially like jam. But I like making it. In huge quantities.
This year, I paid attention to the prices on fruit, and I've been buying in bulk towards the end of the season. Started with two crates of strawberries. Next was 18 pounds of cherries. Looking forward to blackberry season, but I'd prefer to pick those myself from the wild (even if the 'wild' means from the large number of blackberry stands in our local public parks). Maybe I'll grab a bunch of grapes from my back yard in Providence this Fall, too. Unfortunately, I'm going to miss raspberry season in Vermont. Oh well.
Michael and I put together a few gallons of jam from the strawberries and cherries the other night, and I've been scratching my head trying to figure out how to get rid of it all now.

Still, my all-time favorite jam was the 'Horseneck Beach" jam Marc and I made a few years back. For reasons I don't understand, it was a banner year for beach plums, I'd never noticed them before, and haven't ever caught them in season like that since. We stuffed bags full of beach plums, and also rose hips because they were also especially ripe.
As raw fruit, neither beach plums nor rose hips are especially appealing. The plums are more stone than fruit, and taste sour. The hips have a narrow flesh protected by sharp hairs surrounding a seed pod that has a nasty tendency to pop open and fill your mouth with phthhhh.

But, throw 'em though a Foley food mill, and double their weight with sugar, and you've got a mighty fine jam on your hands.

Board Game Night
About a month ago, my roomies invited me to the board game night around the corner, at a coffee hut called On the Corner. We basically played our own game of Catan there, even though it's open tables, and had a good time.
I've been going back every Wednesday, played a few more games of Catan, and been introduced to a bunch of new games as well.
I've enjoyed meeting strangers - there's something relaxing about having this shared activity of playing a board game together. It's interactive, without being forced or too intimate too quickly.
I seem to have made a habit of it, we'll see how this thing pans out...

I've been playing badminton at the Y for the better part of a year now, and it's great exercise. Lots of running around, and it's a real challenge for my hand-eye coordination, which was never very good, and there's a lot more strategy than I've been able to grasp yet. But I always have a good night playing badminton, and it's a bit of a community, so it's nice to be interested in other people & have them interested in me.

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