In a Jam

Colorado was beautiful. Good friends, good food, good weather. What’s not to like? On the way to Estes Park, I was introduced to cherry cider. It’s liquid cherry pie (and we all know how I feel about pie). Patrick and I loaded up on peach syrup, strawberry rhubarb jam and other cherry paraphernalia (thanks, Jenny!), figuring what we didn’t eat would make a great gift.

Despite the fact that I fly relatively often, in my post-wedding fatigue, I somehow managed to forget the liquid rule this time around. I headed through security only to hear the dreaded words: “Bag check.” This was followed by the next dreaded words: “Who’s bag is this?” The officer dangled a black sack precariously over the conveyor belt. Mine.

After being chastised by the security lady who gloved my peach syrup with suspicion, I had to make a choice. Keep or toss. There was no way I was about to throw away more than $20 worth of fruit products. It was time for the mad dash back through the giant Denver airport to check my bag.

But first came the walk of shame. I rearranged my items while The Preserves Police held my bag and waited impatiently. (They don’t let you have your items back when they find something “banned” from carry-on inside until you have left the security area.) I was then escorted by the guard through the weaving line of security stations, past all the other guards and the wondering eyes of all the other passengers in line. I could feel the redness creeping up my cheeks. One guard even half-jokingly asked me as I exited, “Have you been bad?”

Ultimately, I made it back to Southwest’s check-in counter and then back down to security. I was on time for my flight, and am now back in swelteringly hot Texas. Colorado was fun, but that peach syrup had better be good.

peach syrup, strawberry rhubarb jam

The Suspects: Syrup and Jam

When Life Gives You Sour Cherries

The other day I was POSITIVE I would have a great new recipe to share on the blog. I picked up some cherries at the grocery store that were super cheap, brought them home, washed them, started to enjoy them, only to realize they weren’t so enjoyable (probably why they were so cheap). They were all either too sour or too soft. So I decided to bake a cherry cobbler. I figured a little sugar would make them all taste better.

I found a recipe and pitted each one of those little suckers by hand. (I wore latex gloves and my juice-stained hands made me feel like a surgeon operating on a patient. Gross.) Anyway, I followed the directions carefully and pulled the cobbler out of the oven eager for a taste. Let’s just say it wasn’t my best baked good ever. It was too sweet with not enough depth of flavor, and the cherry mixture was too runny.

So to complete the title sentence: “When life gives you sour cherries you make crappy cherry cobbler, and you give it to your boyfriend.” Patrick, for the record, didn’t think it was half bad. That’s one of the many reasons why I love him.

This cherry cobbler blooper is pretty emblematic of a lot of things in my life right now. It’s so easy to have expectations (good and bad) in life. And it’s even easier for everything to turn out exactly how you didn’t plan. While it may sound like I’m being negative, I’m actually really at peace with this idea right now. There are so many things in life we cannot control, but it helps to learn to embrace this feeling. I’m not ready to bake another cherry cobbler just yet, but I’m sure glad I tried.