I would imagine there will be a number of “jam” entries for the A to Z Blogging challenge, since there aren’t that many J words appropriate for this context. And I admit, this entry is a little bit of a stretch for my theme of introducing elements of my new book, Dust to Blood.
In my defense, food is a significant thread through my story, representing the nurturing the lost boys missed as part of their imprisonment by the state. Plus, Russians have a significant sweet tooth. It’s not uncommon to watch them load 3, 4, even 5 cubes of sugar into their tea–or even pop a cube into their mouth before starting to drink. Sometimes, they even sweeten their tea with jam, as explained in the Wikipedia entry about Russian Tea habits, culture, and history.
In researching potential images for this entry, I even found a news story from the London Telegraph reporting on dacha culture and the ubiquity of berry-picking and food preservation techniques. This goes the other way, too, with most meals including some pickled variety of food as well (something Anne comments on in the course of her culinary experiences there), with some potentially horrific results (at least to American-educated tastes!).
I know my foodie friends out there will have some great recipes to share for making jam, but that’s a bit more of a culinary adventure than I’m up for (I have childhood memories of exploding jars of tomatoes that have kept me away from canning expeditions). Freezer jam is good enough for me. 😉