And can someone help me with this, please? In one book Len (I think) remarks that they know that Matey's making jam for the sale because they're all being limited to aone spoonful of jam per girl, for tea. So does this mean that Matey was resonsible for all jam in the school, and that the girls had waht she made? I know that some of them had jams and jellies in their tuck boxes, but was all the rest only made by Matey do you suppose?
As early as Lintons, Matey is making 'home-made' jam for the sale, though at the Fairy-Tale sale it seems to be part of a general effort from all the staff, who are handling the confectionery stall:
The staff had undertaken to provide a sweets and confectionary stall, and were all hard at work in the Domestic Economy kitchen, turning out cakes and bonbons of all sorts. Matron had donated twenty dozen pots of home-made jam, which always found a ready sale.
The 'donating' and 'home-made' sounds rather as if she'd made it somewhere other than the school domestic economy kitchen, but as her home is
the school, presumably she did make the jam there. But the staff never provide for a sweet stall of their own again (as far as I can remember), but Matey's annual jam contribution seems to continue.
And as you say, the fact that the girls are being restricted in their jam intake at tea in a later book suggests that Matey is now responsible for all school jam - I think this is one of the occasions on which she is being treated by EBD as a semi-housekeeper figure, rather than someone who is solely responsible for school health. It doesn't make a great deal of sense to me that, with a full kitchen staff, it is the school matron who's responsible for all school jam - and it would be a huge amount of jam, given the size of the school and the fact that it seems to be eaten at two meals a day!
And another food question from Joey and Co
that I've meant to ask about on here for years - the jar of koumiss the Maynards bring to the Richardsons' chalet when Roger is laid up! I had to look it up to find that it is a mildly alcoholic kind of dairy drink originally made from fermented mare's milk by Central Asian peoples, and which used to be thought of as a wonder food for invalids:
Toward the end of the 19th century, kumis had a strong enough reputation as a cure-all to support a small industry of "kumis cure" resorts, mostly in southeastern Russia, where patients were "furnished with suitable light and varied amusement" during their treatment, which consisted of drinking large quantities of kumis. W. Gilman Thompson's 1906 Practical Diatetics reports that kumis has been cited as beneficial for a range of chronic diseases, including tuberculosis, bronchitis, catarrh, and anemia. Gilman also says that a large part of the credit for the successes of the "kumis cure" is due not to the beverage, but to favorable summer climates at the resorts. Among notables to try the kumis cure were writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov. Chekhov, long-suffering from tuberculosis, checked into a kumis cure resort in 1901. Drinking four bottles a day for two weeks, he gained 12 pounds but no cure.
Does anyone else know anything about koumiss and whether it was something EBD would have come across in the UK or on her travels? Joey was the one who sent the basket along with jelly and other invalid fare for Roger, so presumably she had it to hand at Die Blumen, but it still sounds like a quite exotic thing to have lying around in your holiday home! Was it commonly served to invalids in the UK in EBD's day? And given that Roger refuses goat's milk, would he ever have drunk koumiss??