Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer Memory, Or Lack Thereof

I went to Target today to find a pair of sunglasses. They're cheep, and I'm not careful.

A side story: Many moons ago, I owned the most expensive pair of sunglasses ever. These suckers cost more than any article of clothing, piece of jewelry, or pair of shoes in my closet. Foolishly, I wore them. To the St. Louis Zoo (a delightful, free zoo... if anyone has a need for last minute vacation ideas). Taking in the sites and enjoying my day, I casually leaned over the railing to look at the water feature many, many feet below. And proceeded to watch helplessly, as my sunglasses became part of the exhibit.


Picking out a pair of sunglasses is no easy task. There's much to consider: size, fit, weight, and bling. Not one to stray far from the blacks and browns, I gathered six pairs that struck my fancy, and started the posing and eliminating.

First pair: crooked.
Second pair: too bling-y.
Third pair: oh, I really like you!
Fourth pair: a definite contender.
Fifth pair: too big.
Sixth pair: too tight.

Back on with the Third pair: Yeah, no question... I really like you.
Forth pair: You're good, but I think I have to hand the win, to pair number three.

One by one, the eliminated sunglasses were placed back into their faux-nose sales racks, and in my hand, I had the pair that made me the most happy, that framed my face perfectly, and put a little spring in my step, which hadn't been before. The most perfect pair of sunglasses in the whoooole world.

So, of course it's tag was missing. This is Murphy's Law of shopping.

Several minutes and some pretty frantic spinning of the faux-nose displays... I came up empty handed. It would seem, that today was not the day, for me to purchase my sunglasses. Sadly, I placed the perfect pair of sunglasses back into its faux-nose sales rack and walked away. (Stopping only briefly, to grab a Snickers bar.)

A few minutes later, back in my car, the sun is shining brightly. I'm squinty and for one moment, I lament my lost purchase. Rummaging around in my cavernous bag/suitcase/purse, my hand comes up empty in its search for an alternate pair of sunglasses.

And then it hits me.

The perfect pair of sunglasses... pair number three... without the tag... that sadly, I had to leave behind...

Yep. Those were the sunglasses I walked in with.

Let's just say, I'm glad summer's over. And all reminders of the day I lost my mind, will be safely tucked in a drawer, until next Spring.

So, with the last of the summer harvest coming out of the garden, I give you my final jelly recipe.

Jalapeno Jelly

(Technically, jelly doesn't have bits/chunks... and this has bits. But I've never heard anyone call it Jalapeno Jam... so.)

What you'll need:
12 Jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped in the food processor
1 and 1/2 Cups cranberry juice (full on juice... no diet cranberry or juice mix)
1 Cup white vinegar
5 Cups sugar
1 Package of Ball pectin (I'm being a little specific here... because over the course of the summer, I've found that Certo pectin has not produced the kinds of results that I've wanted. No doubt, this is "chef-error" and for as many Ball devotes that there are out there, I'm sure there are just as many Certo lovers. But for this recipe, I'd suggest using Ball.)

Bring the jalapenos, cranberry juice, and vinegar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Set aside two cups of the jalapeno/cranberry liquid/bits and pitch the rest. Return the two cups of liquid/bits to the pot and add all five cups of sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil. (You know the kind where you can't "stir it away.") Quickly add your pectin and bring the mess back up to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute.

Ladle into prepared jars and return filled jars to the canner. Boil jars for 10 minutes (starting your timer, once the water is back up to a full boil).

It's no Snickers bar... but VERY yummy! An easy A-/B+. Sweet, with just a hint of hot. Unforgettable! Or so I say...


  1. Hilarious. Better than even hunting for sunglasses while they sit perched upon your head...