Seth’s Strawberry Jam (& second dates)

On our second date, Seth brought me homemade jam instead of flowers.

“I thought you could get more use out of it.”

That, to me, was the height of romance.

The next morning, I spread some on my toast. Sweet, fresh, fragrant. It was better than I’d imagined. Much like our second date.

Since then, he has not only brought me flowers (hand picked and arranged by himself) numerous times, but he’s given me more jars of jam.

And now, after last week, I know how to make the magical jam. The romantic jam.

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Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies

I’m a bit high-strung. (My friend Danielle is probably going “What? You? Nooooooo.” in a way only she can as she reads this.) You could say I’m Type A. I like to plan and organize and be prepared and feel accomplished.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

And when I can’t do that it makes me feel a bit out of control, a bit frenzied and harried. When my to-do list doesn’t get done, or I fail to plan something, or something doesn’t go as planned, it generally sends me into a tailspin that is dizzying and defeating. I’m left feeling overwhelmed and/or underachieved.

Yesterday was an exercise against that. Monday was too. Today will be again. As will the rest of the week, I’m sure.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

It started Monday morning when I ran over a nail. I spent two hours struggling, straining, and swearing (sorry, Grandma) while patching my tire. My hands are scraped and scratched to the high heavens. I have bruises on my elbows, knees, shoulders and shins. There were a lot of tears, a weepy phone call to my dad, and a lot of moments when I wanted to give up.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

But I didn’t. I kept going. I got the damned thing patched and made an appointment to get new tires put on my car (something that was due, anyway). Even if that was a detour my day couldn’t recover from, the accomplishment of knowing I was strong enough to do it stymied any feelings of inadequacy I felt at not checking items off my little list. It was enough to not do it all.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Tuesday was the same. I went to the mechanic, prepared to spend both time and money (for which I’m in short supply of both) getting new tires put on. Only to find out they had ordered the wrong tires and wouldn’t be able to get them in until the following day. I wasn’t entirely upset about it…less time at the mechanic meant I was free to go home and whip up a pie treat for Pi Day. BECAUSE I HADN’T PLANNED SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME. It hadn’t made my list or been prepared in advance. In truth, when I was reminded Monday night of Tuesday being Pi(e) Day, I felt like a bit of a blogging failure. What was I doing with my time if not being perfectly prepared with pie? (Aside from fixing a tire and beating myself into a bloody pulp in the process, working, taking care of my dog, buying 8 pounds of butter, etc.) Luckily, the mechanics tire mess-up meant I had extra time I didn’t think I had.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Meaning now you’ve got a recipe you didn’t think you’d get. Even if it is a day late. Because, even though I managed to make these delicious, easy, flaky, gorgeous, scrumptious, mini mixed berry balsamic hand pies (what a mouthful…literally) yesterday in celebration of Pi Day. And even had time to take pictures afterward too, I spent the rest afternoon delivering them to my friends and taking Edgar for a nice long walk downtown before enjoying a delicious pizza date with my man. And I’m better for it.

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