June 16th, 2009

Ratatouille: Whaa?

The Gift of Jam

I want to say at the outset that my grandparents are nice and well-meaning folks. As this tale progresses, you'll see why I mention this and don't want it to be overshadowed by subsequent revelations.

Over the years, Kit and I have made several batches of jam since that's something that we rather enjoy. (And I never tried it before she suggested it one time, though I've long been a jam eater. She gets credit for opening this culinary door for me.) We've shared jars here and there with family members. We have a fondness for expressing affection via food, I suppose.

So my grandparents recently sent back a box of jam jars. It contained 13 jars, of which we recognized about 5 as originating from us. Many of the others were definitely not ours since they were brands we haven't used. But it was nice of them to go out of their way to return the jars, something we didn't really expect. See, very considerate folks!

Also, within the box, were two jars that were not empty:


They'd sent a gift! But this gift really takes the jam-gift-giving tradition to a whole new level. Upon closer examination of the peeling, yellowed labels, you can see what I mean:


They are nice and well-meaning folks. I'm almost entirely certain they aren't out to poison us. But what should one think when one receives food from multiple decades in the past?

Poll #1416892 Jam Through the Ages

Thoughts on the Jam

Ye gods. What worries me is that if this is a gift, they must consider this "the good stuff."
5(11.9%)
This is your genetic line, buddy; brace yourself for your old age.
15(35.7%)
Now Jun '84 would've been okay but Jul '83? That's crazy talk!
5(11.9%)
Check out that rare two-story "a". Totally pre-Palmer.
4(9.5%)
Do you realize they've been planning this practical joke on you for over 20 years?
13(31.0%)

Symbolic Reaction

:P
8(18.6%)
XD
12(27.9%)
8|
1(2.3%)
(O.O)
17(39.5%)
D:
5(11.6%)

What Should I Do with It...

Eat it, ya wuss! C'mon, be a bacterial daredevil.
8(18.2%)
At least open the lid to see how high pressure buildup pops it.
15(34.1%)
Set it down very gently in the trash and back away.
5(11.4%)
Display it on the mantle as a proud trophy that just dares houseguests to comment on it.
9(20.5%)
Hide it in the attic as an heirloom for Timothy to uncover decades from now.
7(15.9%)

What Words to Employ When They Ask About Their Gift...

"Truly stunning"
7(16.3%)
"Jam jars are always useful"
7(16.3%)
"Inspiring" (of various emotions)
5(11.6%)
"Saving for the right time" (1988)
9(20.9%)
(Distract with a joke involving funny words:) "Weasel"
15(34.9%)