Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jammin' Jelly Exchange in the Pouring Rain

As I posted earlier, I am participating in Molly of Batter Splattered's Jammin' Jelly Exchange, where jam-makers the world over unite to ship each other samples of their creations for their mutual approval and enjoyment. Earlier this month Molly sent me the address for a lovely lady living in Victoria, British Colombia who does not have a blog, but apparently reads them and enjoys eating jam.

So last week I got the address in my email, snagged a small cardboard box from work, took out and packed a jar of Belizean Orange Marmalade and a little jar of my Apple-Ginger Chutney, and then proceeded to procrastinate about actually mailing the thing. My problem was, I told myself, that I couldn't get to the Post Office during normal working hours, and the UPS store closed too early! Excuses, excuses...but they lasted me until this past weekend, when being out of town for a wedding gave me another reason to not mail out the precious jam.

Here they are, all wrapped up and ready to go:

I was totally completely planning on mailing the jam this week. In fact, I was going to do it on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And I was really really going to do it on Thursday on my way down to class, but then I had a paper to finish and, well, you know how these things go.

So it was Friday and pouring rain when I realized that I absolutely HAD to mail the box today, or suffer the wrath of the Blogger Food Exchange Gods who loathe tardiness and procrastination. Either that, or wait until Monday, when the vicious cycle would start all over again. As it is, I had to walk past the UPS store to drop off a paper at the Anthropology Department, so I really didn't have any excuse. Except that it was cold, gray and pouring down rain. No cats and dogs here, just freezing, wet, heavy drops of precipitation that somehow managed to penetrate all defenses and leave one clammy and cold.

I put on my hiking boots, the ones that are supposed to be at least semi-water proof. I put on my hoodie and my sturdy double lined rain and general foul weather coat with fuzzy warm pockets. I stuck my paper in a ziplock bag and put the precious jam box in one plastic bag and then another, just for good luck. I grabbed the largest umbrella in the stand and ran out the door before I changed my mind.

Despite the raincoat, the waterproof boots and the umbrella, by the time I got home I was soaking wet. But the box of jam stayed dry long enough to make it to UPS, where one can only hope they will manage to deliver it safely to Canada. While filling out the customs form, I had to indicate the value of the contents of the box, and I promptly found myself in a quandary: How exactly does one calculate the value of homemade jam? How much should I be billing myself per hour for stirring pots of fruit and sugar? Isn't home made jelly one of those "priceless" items like you see in those VISA card advertisements? "Sugar, 1.29 a pound. Organic apples from your favorite farmers market, 2.59 a pound. Home made apple butter? Priceless."

I can't wait to see what priceless preserves show up in my mailbox!

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