Trust the Recipe

I love the honeysuckle smell of spring.

So, when a fellow jelly making friend told me she was making honeysuckle jelly, I immediately went to Pinterest and began looking for the best recipe. I found several. They mostly all looked the same.

Thanks to Middle Sister Liz, I was able to procure plenty of blossoms to make more than one batch of what promised to be springtime in a jar. I was so excited about this jelly!!!!!

When I got home I carefully made certain that I had only the blossoms and no accidental leaves or parts of other less desirable plants before I made the “tea” that was needed to make the final jelly. I was persnickity about it. I didn’t want anything to taint the flavor.

The recipe called for 4 cups of boiling water to 4 cups of blossoms. I put it all into a pitcher together, sealed it with a lid and walked away for a few hours to let as much of the honeysuckle essence as possible come out into the tea.

Later, when I had the preschooler down for a nap, and convinced the older two to play outside for awhile, I went to work gathering everything I needed to get on to cooking some yummy jelly. Once it was all assembled, I opened the pitcher ready to strain out the blossoms from the tea.

I love the smell of honeysuckle. What wafted out of that pitcher and curled up inside my nose did not even remotely smell like honeysuckle. It smelled like stank. Really bad stank.

I considered throwing it out. Clearly I had done something wrong. There was blog after blog about how to make this, and while I had only read a few, not one mentioned the tea smelling like something that would make you want to hurl.

In the back of my mind however, I remembered another floral jelly, one out of Queen Anne’s Lace, that I had made two years ago. It didn’t stink, but it did look like swamp water of some sort. Not anything that looked edible. An amazing thing happened though, when I put the lemon juice called for in the recipe, into the swamp green tea. It magically became  a lovely pink!

I’m not even going to pretend to understand the chemistry behind this. All I can tell you is that I saw it happen with my own two eyes.

So, I poured the nasty smelling concoction into a pot with the other ingredients it required, and almost immediately, just as the magic happened with the swamp tea, the smell of honeysuckle floated out of the stainless steel pot. And, incredibly it was so much stronger than it had been in nature!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:2-4

Trust the recipe.

Change is hard. Sometimes, in order to make things better, you have to go through some stank. We want to give up and toss out the tea….but all too often we react too early. We don’t let perseverance finish it’s work.

I speak from first hand, current experience.

Dear readers, don’t give up on that thing that feels too hard right now. Very often the hard is worth it. It is hard to know the difference sometimes. We have to ask, “Do I toss the tea, or do I follow the next step?” I think the key is knowing whether or not there is a next step to follow. Then other times it’s knowing and being brave enough to take it.

Too afraid to go see a doctor for that thing?
Too afraid to admit you need help?
Too proud to apologize?
Too scared to share truth?

I think you will find you are stronger when it’s all said and done.

Sasha Johns
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Sasha Johns

Sasha Johns is the wife to one amazing chiropractor and mom and teacher to 3 little well adjusted kids. She runs her own little cottage business True Vine Gifts where she repurposes wine corks into beautiful jewelry and home decor. It reminds her daily that Jesus redeems her too.
Sasha Johns
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Latest posts by Sasha Johns (see all)

About Sasha Johns

Sasha Johns is the wife to one amazing chiropractor and mom and teacher to 3 little well adjusted kids. She runs her own little cottage business True Vine Gifts where she repurposes wine corks into beautiful jewelry and home decor. It reminds her daily that Jesus redeems her too.

  • Oh how I love this! So insightful and true! We give up too soon, before the process is complete. I think I need to read this article about once a week, to remind myself to be patient and persevere.

    • Give up and move on is the way of our culture in nearly everything but sports I think.

  • Okay… while reading this post, I fell in love with you. I did. Seriously. I think it was somewhere between-

    “What wafted out of that pitcher and curled up inside my nose did not even remotely smell like honeysuckle. It smelled like stank. Really bad stank.”

    And-

    “Change is hard. Sometimes, in order to make things better, you have to go through some stank.”

    LOVED this. <3

  • Absolutely loved this. Funny, encouraging, and I hope you enjoyed your jelly!

    • Oh it really did turn out to be delicious!!!!

  • Thanks for sharing! This is a great reminder for all of us. Being a jelly maker, I love the way you used what you know to relate spiritual truths 🙂

    • There aren’t as many of us as there used to be! Jelly maker fist bumps.

  • This is just … great.

    I have no better words. 🙂

  • Jess Clayton

    I love this blog. And I really needed it today. So Thank you.

  • Nicely written! Oh wow what an insightful lesson from your kitchen. We do have to get get past threes may, stinky, ugly parts to get to the good.

    • I think one of my favorite parts was that the smell was stronger after!

  • Les

    I can’t even begin to tell you how perfectly timed this is for me, today, reading it several days after it was posted.

  • Pingback: Taste and See.... | True Vine Gifts()

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