Small-Batch Blueberry Jam

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I love being a vendor at the Matthews Community Farmers Market. Not only do I have the best customers on the planet, but I also meet and talk to the most interesting people. This summer I worked alongside the cutest couple selling the best blueberries of the season. My blueberry jam tasted amazing thanks to their bumper crop of local berries.

My new friends are in their early twenties and engaged to be married next September. As the elder member of our little group, I took it upon myself to impart the wisdom that they probably wouldn’t hear from anyone else. I was 20 once, and I also had high hopes and great expectations. So, I know what it’s like to be delusional about the future.

Each week I was at the market, I supplied them with unsolicited advice for life and marriage that made them laugh, but I hope it also made them think. I’ve been with my husband since I was 21. I’m 49 now, and I have insight into what it takes to sustain a loving and joyful marriage.

Here are my top 5 tips for a happy, longlasting marriage:

1. Boys and girls are different. Your husband is not the masculine version of you. He is a man, so let him be one.

2. Your wife is not your mother. It is not her job to look for your keys or pick up after you. Dirty clothes belong in the hamper, not on the floor.

3. Laugh together… A LOT! Life is too long and hard if you can’t find any humor in it.

4. Don’t use sex as a weapon. Enjoy each other and be angry later. That is, if you can remember afterward why you were mad in the first place.

5. As the wife and mother, you will always get the poopie end of the stick. Even if that stick is covered in gold or encrusted with diamonds, there will still be poop on the end of it. That’s life, just roll with it, and lock everyone out of your bedroom, so you can enjoy that stash of snacks hidden in your nightstand in peace.

My list could go on forever, but I left it at that. If they’re nice to each other and appreciate the value of my wise gems, they’ll be on the road to happily-ever-after. At least until she comes home and people who have been there all day doing nothing ask, “What’s for dinner?”


Blueberry Jam
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

5 cups fresh blueberries
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine blueberries, sugar, lime juice, and cinnamon in a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the preserves thicken, about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the pot from the heat and skim off any foam that accumulated. Pour the jam into jars and cool to room temperature. Cap the jars and store in the refrigerator.

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