Monday, January 01, 2007

Blueberries (for Grandpa)

This is a great book I don't think I owned. I read it in school. And the illustrations are great.
Since the book is about a girl looking for blueberries I thought it fit well.

When I was young - many Friday nights, until my grandpa died, were spent at my grandparent's bungalow in Chicago. We would celebrate Shabbat. My grandparents lit candles and said the prayers. My grandma would serve dessert on square, blue glass plates. I have similar plates as an homage to her. Right before we would leave for the long trek home, grandpa would run and get us a jar of his, "grandpa's blueberry jelly." It really was jam. Why we said jelly, I don't know. Jelly is made from the juice and jam from the whole fruit - which is what he made. At one point, Grandpa got his wild blueberries from what he said "the hillbillies of Indiana." That's one story. He made it himself and it was heaven. If we stayed overnight at my grandparents house, we'd wake up and have his fresh squeezed orange juice, whole wheat bread, cream cheese and grandpa's jelly. I'd watch him spread the cream cheese and jelly really thin. Delicious. He was always in good shape and athletic. I think of how thin he spread everything.

After he died, I begged my mom to carry on the tradition. A few years later, she found a place that had good blueberries and she started making the jam. My sister, a chef, makes a mean jam but my mom thinks hers is better! If they both want to send me jars and have me do a taste test - well then! Actually, they're both very good.

When I smell the whole wheat bread toasting and I get out the jam, it brings back sweet memories of my grandpa who's been gone since 1977.

No comments: