Scraping The Bottom of the Jar
I named this little dessert Joy in a Jar as it has been proven to ease the pain of a breakup; hasten the recovery of knee-replacement surgery; and, bring the biggest smile you’ve ever witnessed to my granddaughter’s sweet face. Unfortunately, the effects of my Joy in a Jar are temporary: the sting of rejection returns; the reality of painful rehab sets in; and, even the radiant smile of my happy-go-lucky granddaughter is eventually replaced by a smirk and an eye roll (she is, after all, 14).
We all have temporary fixes to get us through life. Most crutches are benign and can be a welcomed relief but that’s all they are—a fleeting reprieve from the source of our struggles. Sooner or later we find our ourselves scraping the bottom of the jar, again.
When I find myself emptied I know exactly what to do. I make Joy in a Jar for others. Filling their jars, fills my own.
Over the coming year, should you find yourself at any time in a season of struggle, I invite you to join me to recast your thoughts, reset your heart and take action. Serving others just might be your Joy in a Jar (and, with fewer calories. Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake is definitely not low-cal).
Joy in a Jar (recipe, yields 8, 8 oz jars)
Many of you have requested the recipe for Joy in a Jar, so here you go!
Begin with saying a quick prayer of thanksgiving for the person you’re making this for. THEN . . .
Mix 1 2/3 c graham cracker crumbs ¼ cup sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter. Spread on a cookie sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, stir 2 T blueberry preserves into 1 pint fresh blueberries.
In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat together 1 8oz package cream cheese (softened at room temperature), 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, ¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 package (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix, 2 t grated lemon rind, and ½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Fill 8 oz jelly jars, with a of layer graham cracker crumbs, cheesecake mixture, and blueberries; repeat layering, ending with blueberries. Sprinkle a few cracker crumbs on top. Seal with screw top lid and refrigerate.
Remove from refrigerator and say a prayer of petition that the recipient will be blessed with abundant joy on their journey toward healing. Say AMEN and deliver.
(You can also use a basic no-bake cheesecake recipe and layer it with cooked cherries. It’s actually prettier in the jar and I think even tastier. Another, super-easy concoction for kids to make is Banana Pudding layered with Vanilla Wafers.)