I love making jam. A piece of bread with homemade jam is the best. It’s apricot season now.

The jam season starts in springtime with strawberries, then apricots, peaches, all kind of berries, plumps… Ripe and juicy fruits with a lot of taste give the best jam. And then it means standing and sweating in the kitchen bringing the fruits to boil.

In autumn come the rose hips. They are challenging. Already to collect the fruits is tough work: picking the little orange fruits from the prickly shrub is scratching your fingers. To get the purée ready is rather sportive (at least with the simple equipment I have) and needs patience and persistence.

It’s worth the effort; ‘conserve now, enjoy later’ that’s my favourite slogan. The whole winter through we will have a delicious reminder of summer time.

I love making jam not only for the result (for once tangible and tasty) but also for the contemplative process. It’s reflective work. Preparing the fruits (especially the rose hips but also the elderberries) and then waiting for them to boil. Nice empty space to wander off… for thoughts to come, pass by or keep swirling in my head.

What about putting learning in a jar of jam?

I think to some extent the idea of the jam pots make sense: I can document and conserve my ideas, thoughts, insights for future re-use. I boil them down and transform them in words, stories, pictures for storage.

There are different options to do so:

  • Start a blog to keep track of your thoughts and share them immediately
  • Keep a logbook and enter your observations
  • Make a list of ideas, anecdotes, insights

And then there is a difference…

Apricot jam is other stuff than ideas and thoughts. When I get my ‘thinking pots’ out it’s not about consumption but recycling. I am not sitting at the breakfast table; I go back to the kitchen to recook my thinking, to blend it together with new ideas.

  • Review and rework your lists, make new digested lists — Mark Levy Free eBook: “List-Making as a Tool of Thought Leadership” http://www.levyinnovation.com/1565-2
  • Write a follow-up blog post with new ingredients added
  • Dig into the notes you took; what do you see now? What has developed further, what have you missed? Is there a way of going a step further?

While the apricot jam will be gone by late winter I still have my blog posts to get philosophical.