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of jam dreamin’ + iced coffee

March 17, 2012

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” -George Bernard Shaw

I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, sun streaming through the windows, sipping iced coffee, surrounded by a stack of books about cooking and food…

…and I’m working. (Well, I just finished working. If I was still working, I wouldn’t be blogging.)

I never imagined two years ago, having just been rejected for what I thought was the job of my dreams and feeling like I had no place to go, that I would be here, doing something I love (like really, really love), getting paid to read about what flavors go best with rhubarb and why cutting it in longer lengths produces better jam. I’m not sure in my wildest dreams I could have imagined this life.

Yet here I am. I’m starting in on the ground floor of research and development of a whole line of jams, chutneys, condiments, pickled vegetables, and spice rubs. Barely three months out of culinary school, this whole project gets to be my baby. My friends/bosses at Lubbers Family Farm believe in and support me enough to let me exercise and stretch my creativity; I cannot possibly, possibly express how much this means to me. If I think about it too hard, I start to cry. So I can’t think too hard or otherwise I’ll have to add “weeping into my cup” as part of what I’m sitting here doing at my favorite coffee shop.

So I’m here, coffee almost gone, wrapping up a brainstorm session. My desktop is cluttered with documents full of notes about possible flavor combinations, a bookmarks folder full of sites that inspire me, and a growing, itching excitement to get in the kitchen and start experimenting. I can’t wait to stick my head over the bubbling kettle, sniffing, tasting, trying, praying, hoping, failing, starting over, succeeding, crying, laughing, clapping.

It just makes me want to buy a whole raft of cute flowered head scarves for my hair, a denim apron, and wear red lipstick. It just makes me so damn happy.

I never could have imagined this life. But I’m so grateful it’s mine.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. hopefulleigh permalink
    March 17, 2012 5:16 pm

    That is so, so cool! Very happy for you.

  2. Aban Jasoomani permalink
    March 18, 2012 10:20 am

    It is sunny here in toronto, and i would like nothing better than to make strawberry-rhubarb pie/jam with you.

    If you are EVER itching for a visit to the hustle ‘n’ bustle of Toronto, you have a place to stay.

  3. Nancy Carr permalink
    March 18, 2012 1:35 pm

    Yea for Caroline!! Can’t wait to sample some of your productions. Especially anything with rhubarb.

  4. Lisa permalink
    March 22, 2012 4:02 pm

    There’s a part from the book I’m reading right now, “Das Glasperlenspiel” from Hermann Hesse, that stood out for me and made me think of you and Sandra and a few others.

    “…sie haben etwas getan, sie haben etwas vollzogen, sie haben einen Sprung gewagt, es gehörte Mut dazu. Wir andern, wir haben Fleiß und Geduld gehabt, und Vernunft, aber getan haben wir nichts, gesprungen sind wir nicht!(…)Aber ich wünsche mir: einmal, wenn die Stunde kommt und es notwendig sein wird, mich auch losmachen und springen zu können, bloß nicht zurück ins Geringere, sondern vorwärts und ins Höhere.“

    Couldn’t find an English translation, but here’s my unofficial one:

    “…They did something, they carried something out, they dared a jump, it required courage. We others, we’ve had patience and diligence, and reason, but we haven’t done something, and we haven’t jumped!(…)But I hope: when the time comes and it is necessary, to be able to let go and jump, just not backwards into something lesser, but forwards and into something greater.”

    Sometimes following the practical path isn’t always the right way. Aren’t you glad you took that leap of faith?

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