Thursday 21 November 2013

Good and Great

The other day I was having a snack, toast and homemade strawberry jam, and I was thinking to myself how good the jam was. I made the jam so I am more than a little biased, but it is pretty good.

I learned to make jam a few years ago when I had bought far too many strawberries than we could eat, because the price was so good. I had done the same thing the week before and ended up composting the soft, furry strawberries before we had a chance to eat them. They were a real good price, but not good enough to buy for use in the composter. I combined the strawberries with some of the rhubarb that I had harvested to make the jam. The rhubarb is another thing that generally ends up in the composter after a year or so in the freezer.

I found a recipe and just tossed the fruit and a bunch of sugar together to make the jam. There is a little more involved, but luckily, the first batch turned out pretty good. I made another batch and this time I just used strawberries. Another success! Over the years I have continued the strawberry/rhubarb combination, but have added peach jam (my favourite), and have even made cherry jam once. It was pretty good, but not good enough for me to make another batch. Probably because I was the one who had to pit all of those cherries. I have a cherry pitter that I inherited from my mom, but after the first ten cherries or so, it stopped being fun and became an onerous task.

Now, I generally have strawberry/rhubarb and peach jam downstairs in the pantry. I don’t know if it is any cheaper than buying ready made jam, but I get a kick making it and it only takes me about an hour and a half from start to finish. It tastes good and the house smells great for a while, there is no down side. Like I said, the jam I make is pretty good.

I guess there is a difference between good jam and award winning jam. I have had award winning jam before, and it is very good. You might even say it was great. The trouble is, the difference between good and great isn’t that much. Maybe it’s because my taste buds aren’t very well developed, but they have no trouble differentiating between good and bad. I suspect that where food is concerned, everyone can tell what bad is, but good and great is pretty subjective.

Good and great are subjective in a lot of different things. I had a good job, I enjoyed the work and the people and the pay was good, not great. It wasn’t a great job, because to me a great job is doing the thing you would do without getting paid for, but getting a shit pile of cash to do it. My brother-in-law makes great apple pie. He actually makes award winning apple pie. He decided to pass the recipe on to Maegan a few years back and hopefully she will pass it on to someone in many years. His pies are great, but I am more than happy to eat good pies and to tell the truth, the pie doesn’t spend a lot of time hanging around my taste buds.

I think this blog is pretty good. I get a kick out of reading it and I hope that others do too. It isn’t by any stretch of the imagination a great blog. I read great blogs and I am envious of them, but I am simply not willing to put in the time to make this great. Even if it were possible.

There is a distance between good and great, but the distance between good and bad is much, much further apart.

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