Sweet Strawberry Jam flash fiction

Sweet Strawberry Jam

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge Sweet Jam

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

Although my mother was a great one for preserving and making jams from surplus fruits and vegetables, I never followed her example. I recall her pressure cooker filled to the brim with sweet sticky concoctions which were then sealed into Vacola jars for storage and future use.

Mulberry, fig, quince and tomato are just a few of the jams I remember her making. They were always a favourite heaped onto fresh white bread. Sometimes so much jam was applied, someone would sarcastically ask, “Would you like bread with that?” to which the only appropriate answer was, “Only if I have to.”

But we didn’t just spread jam on bread. Mum would use jam in some of her favourite sweet recipes including a coconut tart, raspberry slice and jam drops, all of which we children devoured as quickly as she could make them.

Although I didn’t take up the challenge of making jam, I’ve always enjoyed a word challenge. Even at school, I liked being asked to write a sentence to show the different meanings of the same word; for example, ‘bow’. I much preferred the creative aspect of such activities to simply filling in a missing word which usually had only one right answer and was a no-brainer.

The word jam and its variety of uses appealed to me in this way and I’ve jammed a few into my response to Charli’s challenge. I hope you enjoy it.

Sweet Strawberry Jam

Overhearing a conversation about the jam session at Lorna’s that night, Ailsa assumed the email was buried in spam which had jammed her inbox recently. She collected her Vacola jars and headed for the motorway. Discovering the traffic jam too late, she had no choice but to wait. The jam drops prepared for supper eased the monotony. At Lorna’s, she jammed her car into a tight spot and rushed inside. The living room was jam-packed, and music indicated a different kind of jamming. Setting down her Vacola jars, she leaned against the door jamb. “Sweet strawberry jam!” she breathed.

And how could I not have a post about jam without a reference to that Newbeats’ hit of the ‘60s I Like Bread and Butter.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

63 thoughts on “Sweet Strawberry Jam

  1. JosieHolford

    You’re a jammy bugger, that’s for sure.

    So how about a little enjambment in there?
    The Jam session
    Overhearing
    a conversation about
    the jam session
    at Lorna’s that night
    Ailsa assumed the email
    was buried in spam which had
    jammed her inbox recently
    she collected her Vacola jars
    and headed for the motorway
    “Sweet strawberry jam!” she breathed

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Hugh's Views and News

    Incredible how much ‘jam’ you got into your piece of flash fiction, Norah. I’ve never heard of jam drops, but they sound mouthwatering. When I was younger, jam tarts were a favourite of mine. Strangely enough, as with last week’s choice of a green or red apple, the red, raspberry jam tarts were always more appealing than the yellow, lemon jam tarts.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Hugh. How could I have forgotten jam tarts!! There’s even a nursery rhyme about jam tarts. I was really slacking off. 🙂 I think I’m with you about those raspberry tarts too. Jam drops are a biscuit with jam added to an indentation made in the top.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m not sure why but I’m often surprised to find that companies are local. I hadn’t realised that Vacola jars were made in Australia — indeed, hadn’t even thought about it — until writing this post. Why shouldn’t they be made in the country in which they are used? It makes sense.

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  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Jam packed with fun this one. I used to help in the jam making but haven’t taken it in as an adult. Around here the big name in jelly jars is Mason or Ball, not Vacola, and I recently fished an Atlas jar out of a brook while kayaking. It will be m vase for wildflowers.
    Your take(s) on the prompt was sweet and fulfilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Plenty of vegetation here too, but not so many wild ground-level flowers. Most are on trees or bushes. I love our native flowers. My wattle is in bloom at the moment and the cockatoos love to eat them — especially the seed pods when the blossoms are done. Yesterday I found a lovely twig full of flowers that a cockatoo had broken off . I put it in a glass jar. It is beautiful too. The tree in my garden so not wild but could be, and the flowers are on a tree rather than close to the ground; so not quite what I think of when I think of wildflowers.

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          Reply
  4. Annika Perry

    Norah, a wonderful post and it’s a delicious treat in three parts! I loved reading about your memories of jam, the drops sound divine and of course you children ate them as soon as they were ready! Great flash fiction which made me smile and the song is a perfect match! 😀

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  5. Prior...

    you really used the word jam so cleverly – not forced at all with the many uses – brought a smile – and then the bits of rhymes gave this such a nice flow.

    and then the ending – to breathe strawberry jam in – mmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Prior...

        No ma’am!! Not forced at all –

        And your story reminded me of when I had strawberry jam on fresh croissants 🥐 in Europe in the 80s
        Never had anything taste like that – with morning coffee – and if I had time to write an additional piece for this week (have a busy week) well
        I would maybe write about hat experience of where I was inhaling the morning jam -// haha

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  6. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Very jammy! I always enjoy your rifs on multiple meanings — what a lot you’ve jammed in this week. Had to look up Vacola jars which seem a step up from our Kilners. Not sure about the music though! A reminder that not all 60s music is worth preserving (get it?). But that might be because my ear’s tuned to Handel this week. No jam in this lovely piece

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Anne. I do like your joke about not all 60s music being worth preserving. I was actually surprised it was a song when I Googled it. I expected it to be a children’s clapping song. I only remembered the verse.
      I’d love to hear the Handel piece. If you tell me what it is, I’ll try to get the correct link. 🙂

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      1. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        If I was in the car on a Saturday morning I used to like to listen to a radio programme Sounds of the 60s, but for every gem there’d be at least two duffers! Don’t think I’ve ever heard the bread and jam one before however!
        The piece is “May No Rash Intruder”. I thought I’d pasted the link I’d been using for my practice https://youtu.be/wjvdP-pFQJg
        but who knows? We’re also doing the “The King Shall Rejoice” and the standard Hallelujah Chorus and Zadok.

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        1. Norah Post author

          That links works, Anne, thank you. What a beautiful piece of music. I’d love to hear you sing these pieces. That would be better than the radio.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Pauline. And I’m sorry about the song. Thinking of jam brought it up for me. I couldn’t think of any way of getting rid of it other than sharing it around. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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