While at the festival in West Virginia, I decided to conduct an unofficial poll. I asked married people in my age group what do they attribute to their marital success. The answers were frightening.
“Marital success, who says I’ve got that?”
“The only reason my marriage looks successful is because we haven’t divorced yet.”
One friend responded that she feels she has a good six months to a year to figure out what she wants to do. She’s not ruling out divorce.
Most of the people I spoke with have kids. All have been married at least 7 years and I guess were starting to feel some kind of itch. Who can’t relate? But the way I see it, there is going to be a glut of divorced women out there in my age group within a few years. Maybe people will regroup, or maybe there will just be a lot of people wanting to remarry but without any hope. I doubt that few of these people will want to remain single.
While on one hand I found my unofficial poll depressing because it made divorce look almost inevitable, I also found it reassuring. This world is a place of suffering; no one is happy. Misery loves company, no?
And that’s why I decided to make Lilac Jelly. Don’t worry yourself, I wasn’t under any illusion that Lilac Jelly would make me happy. But sometimes distraction is the best remedy.
I really wanted to capture the bouquet of the lilacs so I dumbed down the sugar, using a 2 to 1 ratio in favor of the lilac infusion–which is so not jelly. Typically, jelly has more sugar than juice. Also, I minimized the cooking time, which resulted in a soft set jelly, but one with a full lilac bouquet. The lilac color quickly vanished once the jelly got cooking. I have seen recipes that use blueberry juice to artificially enhance the color, but anyone who looks at me in profile quickly sees that I don’t subscribe to artificial enhancement. Even if it is naturally derived. Besides, blueberries aren’t even in season around here.
The resulting jelly is not overly sweet or gloppy. It would bring toast and tea to new levels and would also be a fitting accompaniment to fresh, hot waffles.
Of course, I used it, along with Tulip Petal Violet Blossom Jam, for my weekly batch of Harriet’s Thumbprint Cookies. I wonder what’s Harriet’s secret to marital success?