Friday, August 13, 2010

Strawberry Jam and Free Online Books

Yesterday I had a hankering for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I slathered the bread with peanut butter then dipped a knife in to the jar of Smucker's strawberry jam. As it jellied itself out on to my peanut-buttered slice, a lifetime of memories slid out with it.

Image courtesy of Never Enough Thyme
We lived on a dirt road in rural Georgia. In the early summer it was our (the kids) job to pick the wild strawberries growing across the road. When we had enough, Mama got out the jars, the pectin and the pressure cooker and made strawberry jam.

I lurked in the kitchen most of my growing up years, learning to cook. You can better believe I was underfoot when it was strawberry canning time. My favorite part of the jam was the frothy pink foam that Mama skimmed off the top. She let us gobble this down as soon as it cooled. I would watch as she scooped that steaming syrup full of strawberry chunks in to scalded mason jars. These were arranged in neat rows on a folded white towel.

Image courtesy of Never Enough Thyme
Next came the lids, screwed down tightly, the heat sucking them in. I would count them, then come by later and count them again. Within a day or two I would hear a 'pop' and know that one of the jars had sealed, and the lid had popped back out.

As these memories washed over me in the midst of making that sandwich, my upcoming trip to NY flashed in my head. Ahhh. The family reunion. Mama won't be making the trip. For the first time ever, we'll be going without her. My aunts and uncles won't be there, either. The generation that made us has passed.

The good news is that the newest generation is growing in leaps and bounds. At least three of my second cousins have new babies. And we'll 'get to' be the elders.

The other good news? By the time I finished eating that peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I felt lighter than I had felt all week. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you for hanging in here with me as I trudged that heavy road. Now for your reward! Noah Lukeman, President of Lukeman Literary Management and author of "The First Five Pages", is generously offering a free ebook on his blog, Ask a Literary Agent. Click on the excerpt from his latest post to read and follow his blog and to download his new ebook.
"This blog has now reached its one year mark, and I thought it would be convenient for readers to have all the information from year one easily at their fingertips. I have thus assembled all of the questions and answers from year one into a PDF file, so you can conveniently have all of this information in one place, and can read it at your leisure, whether it's on your computer, or on your favorite e-reader..."

AND, as if this weren't enough, at the bottom of his download page there is a link for The Gutenburg Project. Here you can download over 33,000 ebooks (in the U.S.), exciting news to me. These classics have expired copyrights. They're digitized with the help of volunteers and made available to the reading public. Meaning you and me!

So drop me a quick hello, then click on over to Noah Lukeman's blog. Follow him for his current articles and then download his free ebook. By the way, Noah invites us to ask questions of him in the comments section (but asks not to query him).

Happy reading!

~Olivia J Herrell


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for the links. It seems that Noah's blog has been around longer doesn't it?

It's peanut butter for me that brings back childhood memories.

Did you know that Charleton Heston was a sucker for peanut butter, too? I'm between blood runs. Gotta fly, Roland

February Grace said...

Thank you so much for the heads up on the ebooks!


Gail said...

Isn't it wonderful that our senses can evoke such strong memories?

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Roland, you and Charlton Heston, huh? :)

Bru, you're welcome!

Gail, yes it is. You do such a marvelous job with that on your blog. I always get a sensory treat when I stop by. Thank you for that.


Anonymous said...

I loved your post! Never made jams or jellies but I can put up a mean jar of pickles. And not like Aunt Bee's from Mayberry, but more like Clara Edward's prize winning pickles.
Thanks for the links!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Mmm, Catherine, your pickles sound yummy! You're welcome and thanks so much for stopping by.


The Words Crafter said...

Mmmmm, you took me down some long memory roads. In the summer, we used to help Mom and Grandma do lots of canning. And I loved the jellies they'd make. There's a little kid in all of us who craves a good pb&j. My mom used to make mine a little differently once in a while-I like to mix them together before spreading it around on the bread. I also like pb and bananas. My husband loves freezer jam. See? Peanut butter and jelly is magical-it touches everyone! Thanks!

Stephanie Lorée said...

Hey Olivia. I'm hopping by on the crime/mystery bloghop, now that I've finally gotten some time to do so. Things have just been crazy lately!

Anywho, Gutenberg is awesome isn't it? You may want to check out Google Books too as they have a plethora of free ebooks available from expired copyrights.

Happy writing!

Scribbler to Scribe

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Wordscrafter, freezer jam? Mmmm, don't know about that!

Mesmerix, I'm a little embarrassed. My blog's not much about crime or mystery, though there will be crime stuff in my first novel and mystery in the second. But I love both and I think that was one of the criteria for joining.

I'm soo behind on everything, reading blogfest entries included. And my wip? It's been so long...I've gotta get back there. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, can you tell?

I will check out google ebooks, thanks!


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