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  • JAMS & JELLIES
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  • JAMS & JELLIES

    Breakfast was an important meal to get the day running so all messes had a liberal supply
    of marmalades, conserves and jams. Plus you needed to have the appropriate and traditional
    condiments for the meat meals served through the year.

    Seville Orange Marmalade

    Officers’ Mess Fine Cut Seville Orange Marmalade

    Each Officers’ Mess has its own traditions, rules and rituals but you can be pretty sure that one tradition is common to all messes – marmalade at breakfast. Woe betide the cook who runs out of marmalade or failed to cook up a batch in reserve. He’d be as popular as a ‘rat in the ranks’ and probably last just as long.

     
    Strawberry Conserve

    Officers’ Mess Strawberry Conserve

    In many messes the officers will stand on the entry or departure of the Commanding Officer and when visiting another Officers’ Mess it is polite to follow the lead of those present. However, it’s wise to keep an eye on your jam or conserve to ensure no scoundrel from the other regiment tries to help himself to your serve.

     
    Mint Jelly

    Officers’ Mess Mint Jelly

    Traditions run deep in the Officers’ Mess – rules, rituals, even the food that is served. Many messes have a traditional roast night once a week. Lamb roasts are always popular and always well attended. The pressure is on the cook to produce his mint jelly - or ‘lamb jam’, as it was often referred to - to accompany the meat.

     
    Raspberry Blackberry Conserve

    Officers’ Mess Raspberry & Blackberry Conserve

    Traditionally the subjects of women, politics, religion and work are touted to be out-of-bounds in the Officers’ Mess. However, complimenting the cook on his magnificent fruit conserve was deemed to be a smart move as it usually ensured a decent serving of the main meal... and as the saying goes, “An army marches on its stomach”.

     
    Cranberry Sauce

    Officers’ Mess Cranberry Sauce

    A custom peculiar to the military, and in the spirit of good cheer, is the Christmas dinner tradition of role reversal. The youngest member of the mess switches tunics and places with the Commanding Officer for the day. This soldier then becomes the honorary commander for the dinner. The officers serve dinner to the non-commissioned members and they in turn serve dinner to the stewards.

     
    Redcurrent Jelly

    Officers’ Mess Redcurrant Jelly

    A military tradition that has been preserved over the ages involves Christmas dinners. It is one of the few times where mess rules are bent in a playful way. The officers and senior non-commissioned officers not only organize the dinner, but they also prepare and serve it to the junior ranks of their unit. When the dinner is over their task is not complete until they clean up the cafeteria.