Elderberry Treasure

The best jam ever

The great thing about books, real live paper and ink books, is that in addition to sitting on your shelves collecting dust, sometimes they call out to you, to just take a quick peak inside, for old times sake, or to jog your memory a little bit. When you listen to them, sometimes there’s a forgotten treasure waiting for you.

I don’t remember now for sure which book it was that I pulled off the shelves of the Valley apt. bookshelves. I want to say that it was the book about writing short stories, which would make sense since I’ve been listening to many of the New Yorker Fiction Podcasts lately, and have been thinking about short stories. But, whichever book it was, I was pleased to find some interesting reading, and something else.

Back in December of 2008, we got a wonderful Xmas present from two very dear friends of ours – a jar of homemade Elberberry jam and a card that went with it, lovingly prepared and shared with us. The jam is long gone, but the card – the card survived in a book about short stories. And it was wonderful, nearly 2 years later, to find it, and be reminded again of the card-creators-jam-makers that made them both.

The inside of the card

The Card always brings a smile to my face. The inside reads:

“Wild Organic Naturally-grown and ripened Elderberries Hand-Harvested in the Woodchuck Country of the Southern Sierra at the Peak of their Flavor; Refined Natural evaporated cane juice from Environmentally tilled tropical plantations cultivated by Happy, Documented Legal Immigrants paid a Fair Living Wage (but a wage that does not support large families which would contribute to the problem of overpopulation over-taxing the Planet’s Resources); Dextrose and Citric Acid produced by Caring Chemical Engineers who are Members of Union of Concerned Scientists, using lab apparatus – made only from 100% recycled and certified “Cradle-to-Cradle” technology and materials; and Sustainably Harvested, Naturally-Aged Fruit Pectin from Old-Growth pectin groves.

Our unique, Special Issue October 2008 Vintage of Hoffman Mountain Wild Elderberry Jam commemorates five consecutive years of high-standard first ascents on the southern escarpment of Hoffman Mountain on the western slope of the High Sierra. Nourished by plentiful organic fertilizers (Bears are common in the area), harvested beside the Little Rancheria Trail by itinerant adventurers, gently simmered with love to the peak of perfection in the charmingly quaint stone-hearth Country Kitchen of the Old Climbers’ Home in Mill Valley, California, these Elderberries are guaranteed to bring a wild reminiscence of tumultuous Sierra Autumn Sunrises to your family’s table.”

And that is why digital books, for all their convenience, are not as good as regular books.