Friday and Saturday we made a pitt stop in North Carolina. Two years ago we moved to Hillsborough from Philadelphia and stayed for a mere 18 months. In our yard were two prolific fig trees which I am still damning myself for never taking advantage of jam-wise. Although we only lived in NC for a short time, we were welcomed back with open arms by the old gang.
We were hosted by our friends, the Gopals, who have 2 little ones of similar age as our kids. Actually, we both have sons named Venu and they are only 3 months apart in age. Saturday morning Mrs. Gopal took us blueberry picking. Organic blueberries only $2 a pound. It was a slight torture for my kitchenless jam making soul, but I tried to stay aloof.
Saturday evening we went over Subal and Mahamantra’s country homestead for a pot luck party in our honor (I still can’t believe that everyone would come together to see us….).
It was great fun and, as requested by our hosts, I brought some jam along for sale. I really wasn’t expecting such a positive response from the ladies, but after they heard 6 year old Darvy Gopal’s testimony that “this is so much better than the stuff we buy at the store!” (she got a free sample of Sweet & Sour Cherry Conserve), they snapped up my jars like a bunch of giddy housewives playing Super Market Sweep.
Here’s some photos from our NC trip. Of course, the blueberry picking and all the wonderful vegetarian food prepared by the Gopals went undocumented. I was too excited being with old friends to remember to whip out the camera.
This was a little sad but thankfully was not some kind of dark sign from above. We have my entire jam stock (over 400 jars) in my husband’s car…now renamed the jam mobile. When I was picking out jams to take to the party, I noticed some of the 4 ounce sample jars popped. One, a Blueberry Conserve, actually exploded and expired. Ho-hum. Just a small casualty in the big battle against crappy jam.
Boing! Boing! Everyone in NC has a trampoline….a fact much appreciated
by my Tigger-loving son, Venumadhava.
We had an impromptu kirtan on Subal’s lawn. My husband, Madhava, was singing and playing kartals. My daughter, Madhumati, was taking in the sound vibration. And the mosquitos were sucking the blood out of all of us.
I was so flattered that young Debbie Harry wanted to buy some jam! Actually, this is baby Karuna, who is naturally platinum. She really likes Mulberry Jam…and her mommy’s makeup!
And here are the ladies who bought me out! The punkest group of Hare Krishna women I’ve ever seen. Yes, that is Manic Panic in Mandakini’s hair (to the right of Radhanuga, the French skinhead).
At 2:30 am we stopped at a motel in South Carolina. Today we will roll into Alachua. Our entire family is excited–kids will start a new school, my husband will start a new job. And my jam business is about to go to a whole other level. Fun fun!