September 30, 2009

pioneer town.

So I was pretty astonished when I realized how much money I used to spend keeping myself entertained--Betty Draper wasn't the first to point out that only boring people get bored, and since this is the Desiree Show I began to get concerned about what all of this might say about me. In the interest of proving that I am indeed a dynamic and fascinating young lady, let's discuss the blackberry jam workshop I taught, shall we?

Free (or Relatively Inexpensive) Diversion #2: Get Active with a Community Group. I joined up with the lovely folks at Claremont Food Not Lawns, a "local community organization dedicated to replacing our lawns with edible gardens in the name of sustainability and self-sufficiency" (their words) to host a jam-making workshop. We went up to Mt. Baldy to pick wild blackberries then came down and made jam.

Picking berries is pretty much the most wholesome way to spend a Saturday afternoon, btw. People brought their kids. It was like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Also? When it's like a gazillion degrees outside and your other option is melting into the couch with ice packs at various pulse points, it's time to haul yourself to mountain climes where the air is cool enough to breathe.

The Claremont United Methodist Church let us use their kitchen, which was huge and featured this massive stove that looked like the dinosaur version of the stove in your kitchen. The Methodist kitchen was approximately the size of my bedroom. Thanks, Methodists!

This picture was taken through a little window above the sink, which--when I'm on the kitchen-side lecturing about the pros and cons of sterilizing jars this way or that way--makes me feel like a tv chef. Kick it up a notch, indeed.

Bonus: Food Not Lawners make an enthusiastic and gracious studio audience:

So to summarize: great day outdoors with foodies who care about sustainability. It cost me nothing (CFNL paid for the jam supplies) and I got to leave with a jar of organic home-made blackberry jam.

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