Brinkman’s Last Jam
by Trinity Gruenberg
Nobody moves when the bubbling hot pot of freshly made sweet-smelling jelly is transported from the cooking station to be poured into jars and sealed.
The Brinkman’s garage turned kitchen for a few days last week was the last time they will host the massive jamming session after 25 years.
A sign written on a chalkboard said 1996-2020, 25 years, welcome to Last Jam, all good things must come to an end. The cooking began on Wednesday, September 30, and ended on Saturday, October 3 with 18 friends and family and three generations gathered together.
The Roberta and Daryld Brinkman home in rural Verndale played host to 18 women, close friends and family, and a handful of men from around the state and as far away as Idaho, Montana, Iowa, and even Alaska for this one last time, making over 1000 jams in 36 different flavors in 270 batches. Forty of those batches of grape jelly were made from grapes grown in the Brinkman’s backyard.
“The orioles don’t get that grape jelly. Theirs comes from the store,” chuckled Roberta.
These jamming gatherings have taken place every fall as the weather cools off. The cool fall air helps to cool down the warm garage as the jam is cooked over several days. . .