Not jam tomorrow

Close up shot of apricots in a bowl, two empty glass jars and a bag of jam setting sugar. Preparations for apricot jam-making. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Unlike Alice, to whom the Queen offers jam tomorrow (1), the Big T will have jam today. Apricot jam to be precise.

In a rather reckless moment you see, I bought 10 kilos (20lbs) of apricots.

Well, At $1.59 per kilo (admittedly, based on buying the whole 10kg box), it would have been wrong not to.

So I am going to make jam. Jam today. Jam for us, and jam to enter into the preserves competition of some upcoming A&P shows (think County Fairs).

I like making jam. It’s fairly easy and generally rewarding; a good way to preserve excess fruit. The notion of competitive jam-making however, is both new to me, and daunting.

And that’s kind of the point. I’m easily distracted and a hopeless procrastinator. Last year when I discovered a townie friend regularly enters her garden produce and preserves in A&P competitions, I thought “how cool, I should do that.”

So I am. I’ve downloaded the entry forms, diarised the delivery dates and bought the fruit.

The phrase “jam tomorrow” expresses an unfulfilled promise (2); we are definitely going to have jam today.


(1) From Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There

… “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”

(2) Since Carroll’s use, the phrase has also been employed by CS Lewis, John Maynard Keynes and singer/song-writer Billy Bragg.