The berries are smashed and ooze red. Sweet goodness mixing with sugar in the saucepan. To make the jam, I bring it to a boil and follow the directions carefully. Too many berries, or too little boiling might make the jam runny. Too much boiling, or too much gelatin makes the jam too firm. It is a tricky balance, this teetering on the edge of not enough and too much. Our lives can be the same way – us wavering in the middle between awareness of abundance, and the desire for more….
I cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender because my momma taught me that way. The shortening breaks into pea-sized bits. I roll the dough out onto the counter and the two youngest climb the step-stool to sneak a piece. The second child doesn’t know what’s better – fresh strawberry jam, or fresh biscuits. He’ll do his best to answer that question at the table.
The saucers of dough line the cookie sheet and bake until lightly brown, scent wafting from the kitchen to the living room. The oldest comes in to inspect our work.
And I see in the midst of the bustle, in the middle of the mess – this is a gift. All of this is a gift for our King. I wonder if He smells the biscuits and sees the bright red jam. Is He delighted in the berries He created, and the way they smear across the cheek of our second son? I wonder if He laughs at the first child counting the biscuits in her head and dividing them evenly, ready to allocate them before the oldest son takes more than his fair share.
He created all of this – not only this bounty, but this life – these children, this home, this family. And I remember how even the smallest things can bring Him glory.
I grab a biscuit, hot and moist, and smear the jam on top.
Yes, this is good – this grace dripping daily….for me.
(pictures making jam and biscuits – recipe below)
Best-Ever Buttermilk Biscuits (BH&G New Baking Book)
2 Cups flour
1 tbls Baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
Combine all dry ingredients. Stir. Cut shortening into dry mixture. Add buttermilk and stir just until moistened. Roll out 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Use a cup or biscuit cutter. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.