Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Here is another assignment.  I will include the instructions for the assignment so as to not confuse the reader.  Or at least to try not to confuse!

Tell a story about something that happened to you recently. Notice how you use the elements you’re reading about … character development, sequence of events, pace, conflict, point of view, resolution, etc. How does your use of these items affect the story?

My neighbor, Pete, stopped by the other day to talk about the jam and jellies I make.  At Christmas time, I had made gift baskets for my neighbors that included some of my jams and jellies among other things.  He bought a few more jars of some of the ones they liked best, the Triple Berry being their favorite.  Pete is a “City Boy” and went on and on about the fact that there are still people out there who make homemade jams.  He was quite animated, talking with his hands as well, in asking about how I make jam and if I can make specialty jams.  I told him I am always willing to try new things.  He’d told me a story about some cherry-jalapeno jam that his mother-in-law had bought for him and his wife.  He said although they like it well enough, they weren’t fans of cherry.  Pete and his wife Andi wanted me to make them a Triple-berry Jalapeno jam.   I told him I’d give it a shot.

The following week, I had some time so I thought I’d work on this recipe.  I picked up some jalapeno peppers at the grocery.  I had berries in the freezer.  I had already researched various jams and jellies with jalapenos in them.  I was a little nervous because I wasn’t finding any recipes with a mix of berries in them so I was totally winging this.  I made a small batch of the jam, processed it in the jars and waited. 

I am not a fan of jalapenos in general but I don’t like to share any of my products without knowing what they taste like.  When I had finally worked up the nerve to taste it, I was surprised that the jam had a little bit of a bite but not too much.  The spice wasn’t overpowering.  Even when we eat at a Mexican restaurant, I appreciate spice as long as it isn’t made so hot just for the sake of being hot.  The jam was an interesting flavor, you could pick up the spice and the berry flavors and I think they mixed nicely.

When I took a sample jar to Pete, he immediately opened it and grabbed a spoon.  In between bites, he’s excitedly telling me how good it is.  I told him I wasn’t sure on the spice level and needed his opinion before I made more.  He tells me that “It’s great for regular people but, we’re from Arizona and we’d love to see more heat in it!”  At which time, his wife steps in and just looked at him.  Between bites, he says “Hi, honey, do you want a taste?”  Andi replied “you could make some biscuits or toast or something”.  Pete just said “It’s great from the spoon!” as they both laughed.  In this short conversation, Pete has eaten half the jar of jam.

It’s fulfilling to see something appreciated that I made.  To them, it’s just a jar of jam.  To me, it’s my creation.  And I truly love sharing that with people!

In thinking about how the items we are learning about affect the story, if I hadn’t set up the character in who was Pete, the story would be confusing.  Without the sequence of events, such as mentioning giving the gift baskets at Christmas, Pete coming back for more jam wouldn’t have made sense.  I think that conflict (he wanted Triple-berry jalapeno jam) and resolution (he got Triple-berry jalapeno jam) were both handled in a way that kept the story from bogging down.

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