Sunday, June 5, 2011

Forbidden Fruits Create Many Jams

The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:12 

In June, my baker’s rack is groaning under the weight of bottled fruit and jams. The freezer is also full. Each year, I peel and pit, squash, or dice the ripe fruit from my back yard. I have a tree trunk with one nectarine and three peach grafts; several varieties of apple on another tree, seedless and Concord grapes, cherries, strawberries, feijoa, mulberries, almonds, avocados, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. God blesses me bountifully. Some years, I have so many peaches that I give away bags and bags of them!
Every evening in late June, most of my time is for peaches, preserving them in light syrup or as thick jams. A few get sliced and frozen for nonfat smoothies. Excess juice freezes for party punch.
I heard once that “forbidden fruits create many jams.” 
Do you know the difference between jam and and jelly? Jam is made from the fruit's flesh and contains fiber; jelly is made from the juice and is usually strained clear. I make jams.
Most jam recipes call for more sugar than fruit. Four cups of berries or peaches need five cups of sugar, plus pectin, to thicken and jell. All those nutritious mulberries, perfectly provided by God for our delight and nourishment (come on, He could have just given us tasteless fiber and left it at that!), He declared “good.” Now when God says it’s good, it’s good!
I don’t want to know the extra calories I add to God’s perfect, juicy fruit when I make sweet jam. I’ve made something into a forbidden fruit—to my diet—by adding a foreign substance, although I give them as gifts at Christmas. (I have recently learned to make delicious low-sugar jams.)
When you’re tempted to sample the proverbial forbidden fruit, remember that it may seem sweet or exotic at the moment, but it’s a deception. It’s sure to make you ill or fat. Pluck from the Tree of Life, and find nourishment in “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

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