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Most of you probably know that I sold Pampered Chef a year or so ago. Will was probably as into it as I was--he knew all the products and the selling points to go with them. One of my favorite stories of Will's Pampered Chef career was the time he went up to a lady in the cake mix section of the grocery store and told her, "If you have a Pampered Chef Rice Cooker, you can have that cake ready in only 8 minutes. Talk to my mom, she can hook you up." So you can imagine my dismay when I had to prompt him--twice--on the name of the cornerstone of the Pampered Chef family of products.
Making jam is the kind of thing that makes me feel like Martha Stewart and Caroline Ingalls all rolled into one. Canning has its own special tools and its own language; most of the recipes I found said "process for 10 minutes" and I had no idea what that meant. Even when I found out that it was shorthand for "process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes" I wasn't completely sure what it meant. My husband's family, on the other hand, has been making jam and homemade pickles, and canning salsa and who knows what else for years and years. (Oh, they're crunchy, my husband's people. The stories I could tell you!) My sister-in-law taught me how to make strawberry jam one summer. Did she teach me out of pity or did she want extra hands helping? I'll never know, but I'll always be grateful.