I can't remember how I spent the last seven days! Other than Father's Day shenanigans, my mind is blank. I know I was sober, so I don't even have an exciting reason, just distracted I guess. Anyhow, it's (already!) WEDding WEDnesday, and I haven't petered out on you yet.
Last week, I was reading Alli's blog hooray for her Father's Day gift plans, which included homemade jam and some darling cards. It inspired this post about my wedding favors:
You guessed it. Homemade jam. Or, as my great grandma 'GGma' called it, preserves. That's right, my mom and I undertook the massive task of canning +/- 120 half-pint jars of Pear Honey in her kitchen, which we completed in just a couple of days, with three arms, collectively. My mom had just undergone surgery, so one of her arms was in a sling. Trooper!
My dear friend, Topher, was kind enough to bring by several bags of ripe (complimentary!) Bartlett pears to my mom's house one day, sans me, from his family's orchard in the Delta. I honored his family's sweet gesture by printing on the backs of each favor tag: "Made with <3 by Cassi and Deb. Thank you all for making this day perfect, and a special thanks to Wallace Chan Farms in Courtland, CA for kindly donating the pears." Nothing corny like 'the perfect pear'--instead of 'pair'--which I see everywhere now...thank you etsy. Oh, and if we weren't already in too deep, mom and I thought it would be a swell idea to kick the day off with canning blackberry jam, using the berries she painstakingly picks every August in the Delta, then ease into the pear honey...
Can't complain, though. That stuff is its own food group. And when there's only a teaspoon left in the jar, Gabe and I are not our normal accommodating selves. Sometimes injuries are sustained.
The twine used to fasten the tags to each jar was hemp--a roll I've had in my crafts drawer for years and finally put to use. The paper was the same I used for all the other paper projects, as I mentioned in my last post, as well as the same font. Unfortunately, Office Depot does not carry it anymore, but it was this beautifully simple, and cheap!, recycled bleach-free matte card-stock paper, that I bought in two different sizes: 4-card perforated, and 8-card perforated, plus envelopes. I used the 4-card to make the save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, comment cards, and table markers; and the 8-card I used for the wedding favor tags.
I was so grateful to have my Mamaw (Cherokee for 'grandma') fly in from KY to help my mom and me assemble the favors. It was warming to have all three generations working together on this particular task.
Of course I can't share with you the recipe, which, is not my rule. I am happy to share any and all of my personal recipes with whomever, but I can't claim this one folks. Apologies. So far, none of the guests have begged me for the recipe; however, maybe half have claimed they didn't get any jam either because they left it at their seat, or there was none at their table. Some have gotten pretty creative, but I know for a fact they are all just ploys to try and get more jam, which I will officially be out of after I give away the last jar in my cabinet. We actually gave a jar to Gabe's grandpa for his birthday a couple of weeks ago, and he lit up like Christmas morning--and sent us home with two jars of his own yummy goods: kumquat-pineapple preserves and apricot-bing butter.
I don't remember, since it has been almost two years, whose idea it was to make and give preserves as our wedding favors, but I do remember knowing I wanted to give our guests something meaningful, usable, and memorable. Sure, bubbles are fun for a few minutes, and when else are you going to indulge in Jordan Almonds, but I feel the pear honey was a perfect expression on mine and Gabe's style. We never do things the easy way, we are very ambitious in our undertakings, we're proud of our families, and we're total foodies.
We just love hearing our guests share with us how they use their pear honey in various applications: on English muffins, vanilla ice cream, pork tenderloin, a la carte, etc. I hope this inspires you to go for it in your projects, wedding-related or not, because the reward it great! Have a peary wonderful day! Okay, I had to throw in some corn...