The Jam-maker’s Lament


Not too lamentable a ballad, fortunately, as my Mum had hinted that she ought to look at the back of her jam shelf, and suggested (nay – she may actually have asked) that it was something I could do whilst I was visiting. Coming from a family of jam-makers (by desire, that is, not by profession) I was not fazed by the contents of this shelf, and although I do need to check my own shelves when I get home I am confident they will not be of quite the same standard – the record was a jar of damson from 1974, followed by some rowan jelly from 1976 and some matrimony jam (? – I need to look that one up) from 1982. All-in-all I disposed of the contents of over 30 jars of assorted jam, no doubt just a little past their best, and even without subtle persuasion my Mum has agreed that the jars could be recycled rather than used to augment the overflowing shelves of empty jars. So, let that be a warning to all fellow jam-makers …. Be warned!

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6 Responses to The Jam-maker’s Lament

  1. croftgarden says:

    We were discussing vintage wine last night and how it has become a brokered community – I thought about your post and mused over the concept of vintage jam.

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm ….. we would need to carry out research on the ageing process of jam and at what point ‘vintage’ jam turns into something unidentifiable (there were certainly some unidentifiable specimens in my Mum’s collection). Do you have a volunteer taster in mind?

  2. croftgarden says:

    Don’t worry about what it tastes like – no one eats/drinks traded commodities it is all about ££££. So get yourself a fancy name, a classy label, some hyper-inflated PR and Sothebys next stop.
    So what am I bit for Lot 1: a rare example of 1974 damson preserve hand made on the remote island of Luing by a distinguished artistant jam maker?

    • Cathy says:

      A couple of flaws in this otherwise excellent entrepreneurial plan (other than the vintage jam now having gone to the big jam-maker in the sky): the damson was not made on the island, but in Rochdale, as my parents did not retire to Luing till 1987ish, and the damson wasn’t actually made by her but by a geography teacher from my old school (and if a geography degree is a good qualification for jam-making I had better start re-labelling mine). Thinking caps required again then…

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