Mid-late last year my wife made Jalapeno Jelly with peppers from her garden. It doesn’t smell good, not like the orange, grape, and strawberry versions I prefer, in that order, but it tastes great. I love it! She cooked it too long, though, and so it’s very dense and difficult to dig out. I refer to it as Gummy Jalapeno in a Jar. The other day I wanted some and used a plastic spoon, which cracked a little. It’s best to dig it out with a butter knife.
But I was amazed by what I saw when I opened the jar. The week before, I had twice dug out a swath, leaving a double deep gash. But the surface was now as flat and shiny as the day she jarred it. Very strange. Store-bought marmalades, jellies, and jams don’t do that. Nor do preserves of any kind. The hole you create is still there weeks later.
So this time I recorded the day and hour in my notebook as an experiment: how long does it take for my wife’s Jalapeno Jelly to slump back into the jar? (You know glass is said to be the same way, though it takes many millennia for it to register even a minuscule change, and other scientists dispute it) It was 6 pm this day. I’m going to check it every hour.
7 pm: It’s already flat. Now I’m tempted to eat some more and take a picture every five seconds to create a short clip of the process. I love altered-motion, blooming flowers and big cats chasing prey. Mine will be a time-lapse of 720 frames, which will run for less than half a minute. Perfect for YouTube.
Hey, it’s something I can do to beat the tedium of retired life. Sure, I do laundry and dishes throughout the week, and not long ago I added two shelves to my hall closet for storing paint (spray and gallon cans) as well as other home and garden products that need to stay cool and dry per their instructions. And sure, I am often semi-content to watch a lot of TV, which involves much thumbing the remote, and occasionally I feel annoyed when family requests a task or chore of me while I’m so engaged. It’s not that TV is better; it’s just that sometimes I don’t want my boredom disturbed.
Most of the time, however, I’m eager to experience something new, a test of brain and brawn—yeah, yeah, brawn is diminishing, but brain is still pretty sharp as far I can tell and convince others—and so I don’t really mind having my boredom interfered with; it’s part of life. Give me a project that requires saws and drills and even little jars of jalapeno jelly and I’m happy.
Next day: tilted the jar forty-five degrees in the fridge at 5:30 pm and set my phone timer for an hour. Didn’t hear the alarm because I left my phone in the bathroom, so I didn’t check the jar until a little after seven. But sure enough, it had flowed level. Oh, man, I have got to take sequential pictures!