Opinion: Is Theresa May preparing us all for no jam tomorrow?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2019

Which strawberry jam is the best in East Anglia? Picture: Getty Images/istockphoto

Which strawberry jam is the best in East Anglia? Picture: Getty Images/istockphoto


The Prime Minister has revealed that she enjoys mouldy jam for Brexit. I mean ‘breakfast’. Is it all part of a grand plan to get us ready to preserve our food stocks after a no-deal? If so, I’m ready.

Theresa May is putting the ‘conserve’ into conservative* with her confession that she cheerfully scrapes the mould off jam and carries on eating it.

The jam-related newsflash came after a cabinet meeting on food waste which may soon become one of those quaint things we worried about before Brexit - imagine! A time when there’d be enough food to go to WASTE rather than trying to think of another Stockpile Dinner involving cardboard, dust and dried noodles.

Despite having been brought up by a doughty woman who made her own bread, wine and yoghurt, who gutted rabbits and plucked pheasants and who had a terrifying compost heap (a punishment was being asked to take the equally terrifying compost bucket to the heap at night, it didn’t help when my Mum told me that it was a natural habitat for animals, all of which I imagined were supernatural, like Black Shuck or Big Foot), I have grown up to be the kind of person who shuns May’s jam thriftiness.

If there’s any mould on my jam, it’s a no from me – ditto cheese, milk and men.

To be fair, jam doesn’t hang along for long enough in my household to grow a coat of mould - it barely makes it through the door before it seeminglyvaporates – but you get my point. As an aside, in my house, jam is kept in the fridge – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Perhaps I should ask Theresa May because she’s clearly pre-planning for a no-deal Brexit food shortage when there may well be no new jam tomorrow.

Much as it makes my teeth itch to watch high-ranking politicians trying to pretend that they’re normal people who do normal things like scraping the mould off jam or eating a bacon sandwich at a café in front of the world’s media (Ed Milliband) or that everyday occurrence: eating a hot dog with a knife and fork (David Cameron), May’s jam scraping has cast my cavalier attitude to food waste/food stockpiling into sharp relief.

My husband’s favourite hobby is standing in front of the fridge and sighing. He is in charge of a commercial kitchen, and food waste is his kryptonite: if there’s food waste at work, it literally eats into profits. If there’s food waste at home, he’s not angry with me, he’s disappointed. There’s nothing chillier than someone’s disappointment in front of a fridge other than someone’s even chillier disappointment in front of a freezer.

n my defence, I am what is known as “a feeder”. If someone sets foot inside my house, I will offer to feed them and in order to do that, I need food and by food, I don’t mean jam covered in a forest of fungus. I am, it is fair to say, ready for that no deal food shortage – although I’m not sure who will be grateful that I’ve got a spare vegetarian haggis or eight jars of instant gravy granules (to be fair, that’s almost a meal) when they pop round with an appetite.

While my husband is in complete control of his kitchen at work, he doesn’t do the weekly shop and therefore finds himself facing a kitchen at home which is regularly out of control – I know that if he’s honest, he enjoys it. He is the Marie Kondo of the kitchen up against the Marie Kon-don’t – but if Armageddon comes, he will be glad that I am programmed to provide to whoever is in the house.

On the minus side, I’ve just told you all that I’m prepared for the worst - so if it all goes spectacularly wrong, I’ll be serving vegetarian haggis in gravy at my place from March 30 onwards. I reckon I’ve got enough to make it to Easter.

* Yes, I am aware that ‘conserve’ isn’t in the word ‘Conservative’. I just wanted to spread a bit of jam-based humour.

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