Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam
by Rosie and Susu
Syal Antilles never felt her parents treated her fairly. When her brother was born, she wasn't allowed to stay at home and play with him. Instead, she was sent to an agri-combine camp, and she had to help pick and clean fruit, then help in the kitchens to make jams and jellies to sell. She felt sorry for herself and it put her in a bad temper. She didn't understand that her mother was too weak to look after both children, and her parents had thought she would enjoy being with other children her age. With the selfishness of youth, Syal just took it as evidence that she was unwanted, a feeling that continued to fester for years.
She was crushing cooked berries for strawberry and rhubarb jam when she suddenly had the feeling she was being watched. She looked up and there was a rather cute boy her age, with dark hair and an intense stare. Syal also noticed he was carrying a huge basket of citrus fruit, destined for making Citrus Curd, and she admired his strength. He didn't look away when she saw him, instead looking at her more openly than before. He smiled at her, but she chose to snub him, looking away. He must be making fun of her, after all. Who would be attracted her in this state?
The boy's continued attention made Syal uncomfortable, so she ignored him, and eventually he left. She never saw him again on Corellia, but she recognized him many years later on Imperial City. By then, he was a Major with the Imperial Navy, and celebrated and decorated for bravery and leadership. She wondered if Baron Soontir Fel remembered her when she was 10 years old, sweating over a steamy pot, her blonde hair in her eyes, arms stained with red juice, in a petulant mood that displayed itself on her grimey face! (She hoped not!)
Place berry mixture in a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 24 hours.
Bring berry mixture to a full boil over high heat and boil rapidly for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Ladel into sterilized jars and close them with the rubber sealed two part lids. Process in a hot water bath if you know how, or remove the jars to a towel on the work surface to cool, then keep jars refrigerated.
Makes 3 cups.
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