Raspberry Jam with Pear Infused Brandy…and Grandma

Raspberry Jam with Pear-Infused Brandy

Hello! Yes you read that correctly! Bartlett pears are soaked in brandy for several days. The resulting brandy is included in a batch of red raspberry jam to make the most rich, delectable raspberry jam you’ve tasted! So what does raspberry jam with pear infused brandy have to do with my Grandma? I will tell you…


Grandma Pauline

My Grandma Pauline was quite a woman. She moved to Nigeria at age 35 (considered a spinster in the 1960’s) to be a missionary with Sudan Interior Missions. My Grandpa John and his first wife Beulah were missionaries at a boarding school for missionary kids. When Beulah passed away in a tragic car accident, Pauline married my John about a year after. Beulah was the love of John’s life. While John cared about Pauline, he never forgot or stopped missing Beulah. It sounds really sad and tragic, and it is. But Pauline made the best of it. She was faithful and loving to John for over 50 years. She was also a fabulous Grandma to her 12 grandchildren.

The last few years of her life, Grandma Pauline was suffering greatly from Alzheimer’s disease. Before it got really bad, Grandma, well, messed a bit with Grandpa. I love my Grandpa, he was a bossy pants extraordinaire. After 50 years of marriage, Grandma learned to mess with him a bit. I think she did it just for fun.

My sister Heather and I visited my Grandparents a few years ago in Sebring, FL. Most people only visit that area of Florida to visit Disneyworld, an hour away. We went, we saw, we had a fabulous time! When Tinker Bell flew over the crowd from Cinderella’s castle, Heather commented, “that Tinker Bell is a man!”. We have never forgotten the argument or agreed. Tinker Bell is not a man! She is magical! Obviously!

disneyworld sisters disneyworld

After visiting the Magic Kingdom, Heather and I drove to the middle of nowhere…Sebring, FL. We experienced Grandma messing with Grandpa first hand. My Grandparents often disagreed about why the flowers in the front of their house were dying. Grandpa claimed he didn’t water enough. Grandma claimed the deer (there are deer in Florida?!?) ate the flowers. After he left the room, Grandma looked at me and Heather with a knowing look and said “Your Grandpa thinks it’s the watering, but I know it’s the deer.” When Grandpa came back into the room, she pretended they hadn’t just had the same conversation and started in again. During that trip, the following “argument” between my Grandparents ensued during dinner over a jar of raspberry jam.

Grandpa: This is good jam.

Grandma: Thank you.

Grandpa: You didn’t make this jam, I made it. You put a bunch of  raspberries in the freezer and they melted to the bottom. I scraped them off, put them in a pot and made a batch of jam.

Heather: Becky made this jam. It says very clearly on the jar “love Becky”.

Grandma and Grandpa both pretended not to hear and continued to argue about which one of them made the jam. The answer, it was ME!!!

I would bet money that Grandpa never made a jar of jam in his life. And where would they get fresh raspberries to spoil in the freezer anyway? Also, Grandma cheated wildly at Rummicubes. Heather and I figured that she let us cheat when we were kids, so we could let her cheat at the end of her life. While “sharing” our horribly uncomfortable hide-a-bed/extra-thin-mattress/too-few-blankets bed that evening, Heather and I giggled about the whole situation. (I say “sharing” because I was accused of “hogging the covers’. No matter how old siblings get, some things never change.) Saucy minx Grandma!

grandma and heather

All that to say, I usually think of Grandma when I think of raspberry jam. And she would love this jam with pear-infused brandy. I hope you love it was much as Grandma Pauline would. And be a little saucy after you eat it. Grandma would approve.


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