Sweet Raspberry-Flavored Memories

When I was about 9 years old, Smuckers decided that it would be a good idea to start selling the "seedless" version of their black raspberry jam. They clearly did not consult me on this product decision.

I remember standing in the aisle at Miller’s grocery store in Somonauk with my grandpa for what seemed like hours looking through every single jar on their shelves for the real stuff. With seeds. The way it is supposed to be made. Black raspberries have seeds! It just wasn’t right!

For some reason, this made me feel like my world was forever changed that day. And my grandfather saw it all over my face and heard it in my voice, as did the rest of the town I’m sure.

The "seedless" jam became a running joke in our family, and one of the sure ways to get me fired up and irritated all over again as if I was still that 9-year old little girl throwing a fit in the middle of the jam aisle at the market.

So imagine my surprise when under that year’s Christmas tree were four jars of homemade black raspberry jam – WITH seeds. Grandpa had managed to stash away some of that summer’s berries in the cellar freezer and then got the wonderful woman who delivered our mail to take them and turn them into the jam that I couldn’t survive without. And the Christmas jam tradition was born.

Of all the gifts that have ever had a place under that tree, those jars of jam were what I looked forward to the most.

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