Last week My Little Man and I met some friends at a local strawberry farm and picked berries for a few hours. When we left, we took over 20 pounds of berries with us.
Craziness ensued for the rest of the day, and so after the kids were in bed I settled down to make our supply of strawberry jelly for the year - well, I tried to. I've been making jelly for as long as I can remember, and it was always a fun event - Mom and I together, capping berries, washing them again and again, the blender pulsing, the sugar spilling, the smell of ripe berries permeating the house.
I love it.
Except it wasn't looking to be such a happy experience that night. Because it was a school night, the kids couldn't stay up to help, and the South was suffering from a crazy heat wave. My berry-induced sunburn hurt, but mostly ... I was alone. No help. No hanging out, no sticky memories, no singing to the radio while dripping juice everywhere. On what was typically our date night. Unfairly, I was being rather grumpy about the whole thing, despite the fact that my husband was hanging out in the kitchen with me.
Suddenly, my husband stood up, walked over and looked at the empty pot on the stove, and said, "What do I do?" He grabbed the crushed berries and began to pour. Soon he had the first batch bubbling away on the stove as I kept capping and washing and crushing.
I soooo wanted to stop and take his picture because this was a most wonderful event, but I was afraid I'd ruin it, so ... no picture of my man sweating his way through his first-ever jelly experience; however, this is something I won't ever forget.
It would've been quite easy for my husband to give up on date night, remind me of the long day he'd put in at work, and head off for some peace and quiet. Instead, he braved a sticky kitchen, a cooking unknown, and the hottest job in the room with windows that won't open.
I'm so glad he chose to hang out with me.
And in the end, we ended up with enough jelly for the year in a decent amount of time, but best of all, we did it together.
Together. I love that word.
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