pectin, Penticton

Sesquiotica

I grew up in southwestern Alberta, where the wind comes over the waves of mountains and keens across open brown hills. It is all horses, wheat, and cattle. Our jam came not in jars but in big metal tins: Empress raspberry jam, which I would eat in viscous lakes on buttered toast. Dig the spoon in, scoop, spread, it stays put. I’ve never understood drippy jam.

The nearest place fruit was actually grown was a vacationland for us: the Okanagan. It was a drive over the Continental Divide and through successive ranges until we finally met a warm valley with large lakes and ample orchards. There are towns with names like Peachland and Summerland. There is a long, deep, bendy lake, the sort you would expect to have a Nessie-like beastie (the beastie is named Ogopogo). The heart of the area is Kelowna; farther north is Vernon, a…

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