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Language Log

Monday, Jun. 14, 2010 - 4:59 p.m.

The sassafras tree has three different shapes of leaves: an oval one, a two-lobe one, and a three-lobe one. There are sassafras trees all over the place around here. They used to use the root for flavoring root beer, but apparently it gives rats liver cancer, so now they recommend against consuming it. Nevertheless there was a guy at the farmers' market selling it.

Jam-making obsession continues. I think I may have a problem. I ordered a peck of underripe apples to make apple jelly for use in other low-pectin jams; made one batch but still had 5 lbs of sour apples left, so will also be making apple jasmine jelly and apple lapsang souchong sage jelly. My shelf in the pantry is getting full. I keep looking through my cookbook plotting future jam, too. We still have blackberries, peaches, plums and pears to come, and I will not be able to resist any of them. Especially now that I have a food mill and can get the seeds out of the berries. I already do small batches, but maybe I should make them even smaller. I have a feeling my family is going to stage an intervention for me any day now.

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