The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Mainly About Marmalade
Mainly About Marmalade.
De Quincey was an opium-eater, and his book of "Confessions" is a classic. I, like every other Billjim, am a jam-eater, but my "Confessions' will not become a classic. That's the difference between De Quincey and me. But I'm going tc ''Confess" all the same, and chance it. I'm a connoisseur in jams, and my opinions of the various varieties are worth knowing.
Marmalade is misquoise; that's all there is to it, though often we do get "Silver Thread" among the 'Golden". Quince is quoise; plum may be palatable, depenos on the species. Lemon—and-Melon,
Raspberry, Apricot, all are good. Strawberry is far above rubies.
I remember, once, at Moascar, they ladled out Strawberry to us, good and plenty—Australian butter with it, too—three times a week. O golden memory! Since then Marmalade has ever been my portion—Marmalade and Gyppo butter! I can only express my feelings in verse;
O! Marmalade where are the charms
That Q.M.'s have found in thy tins?
My stomach receives you with qualms;
I eat you because of my sins.
Judged by the quantities consumed, Marmalade is easily the most popular jam—far ahead of all rivals; judged by my palate, it is a non-starter in the popularity stakes. It's wholesome stuff, I'll grant you; but custom, alas! has staled it's variety—if it ever possessed any.
Now, Strawberry is a classy conserve—top hole, as the Tommies say. Its elusive flavour and fragrance are utterly charming. Verse again;
O Strawberry Jam is divine;
A fellow could skoff it all day;
It's better than old Richon wine.
The proof? It inspired this lay.
When "putting on jam", you spread Marraa-late thin as gossamer; for Strawberry you need a trowel. Isaac Walton was a wise-headed old angler. A couple of centuries ago, he wrote of the Strawberry: "Doubtless the Almighty could have made a better berry, but doubtless he never did". And Isaac, on his fishing excursions, always took a little pot of Strawberry jam in his creel. Result: he never returned home without a creel full of fish—but the jam jai was empty. A tip for any of you fellows who go a-fishipgin the Wady Kelt: Don't take Marmalade, or you won't get a bite; the Kelt fishes were fed up with it long ago.
There is some reason to believe that Pharaoh's hosts, which pursued the Israelites, were issued with Marmalade. A curious tablet has been discovered, bearing this design: A soldier holding out a clay jar, labelled "Ma Tinala-dy". The fellow's face bears a pained expression, and above his head is an inscription, which has been thus interpreted, "Marmalade again!!" (The famous drawing in "The Anzac Book" was probably a crib from this tablet.)
O orange groves of Jaffa, beautiful though you be, you have much to answer for. But you have given us luscious fruit as well as Marmalade;
so we forgive you. Carry on; and in due season let golden bails shine amid your clustering leaves. We will never turn down your oranges, big ones, three for half. Our sorrow is, that such fruit should be put to such use as the manufacture of Marmalade!
Have I slipped? I cut out eating Marmalade for a month; then I got an attack of jam hunger, and capitulated. And, lo! Marmalade was delicious!