26 August, 2006

We stole plums. Some apples too.
See, it’s like this; the yards around Flagstaff have a plethora of fruit trees seemingly neglected of their wares. I shake my head, thinking about how we made jam down in Cornville the year before, wishing we had only had access to the amount of fruit trees housed in Flagstaff. So, funny enough, after a week of big talk about how I needed to make some fine jam, my friends returned from Pine with a bounty of dansum plums. I got giddy with the anticipation of carrying on the tradition. We took the process one step further by sneaking out for a night of neighborhood fruit pickin’. Fruit pirating. We didn’t really think it was a bad idea. There were so many heavy branches spilling forth their glory, their purpose being left unattended, only to rot on the city streets of downtown. So we picked the fruit, and housed them in our old Basha’s bags for later. We didn’t look back… Until the next day, when I got an ear full from a mother reminding me of my virtues. She interjected, that whilst it is fun to be anarchist jam makers, unburdening the trees of their heavy labor, it is wrong to steal stuff. That it is better to march up to someone’s door step and ask them sweetly if they might share some of their wealth. Naturally I agreed with her… I realized that underneath my fixation on Americana charm, lurks misbehavior seeking a ravenous outlet… My sense of right and wrong teetered on the brink, while making plans to acquire jars and paraffin for the afternoon affair of jam making.
Meredith came over to help me pit the plums and set them up in a pot to boil. We got the jitters from the amount of sugar it takes to make old school preserves. She mentioned that German jam doesn’t require sugar at all. I pondered this, and explained that 3 parts sugar to 4 parts fruit was to insure preservation since we were to seal the
mason jars with the traditional, lazy, paraffin wax method. The syrupy concoction grew as we came to realize we had more than enough “ingredients” to fill a case or two of jars.
The next day I called Sergeant “Bigfoot” Boughner to find out the legalities of fruit theft. He seemed to sympathize with my plight, while ensuring me that it is illegal to take without asking, he went on to say that picking fruit is “not an issue unless someone complains.” Boughner added that “spirit of the law and letter of the law are different.” He light heartedly joked that if the police department were to receive a jar of jam to “test’, he would overlook the issue of stolen goods.
With this in mind, I looked up recipes for apple butter. (:

No comments: