Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir
I have never heard of this a special ceremony , but maybe it was a special ceremony only in Julius's family . It might have been special because making these jams was labor intensive and seasonal . As someone below has said Russians often take preserves in their tea . Another respondent referred to the custom of putting a sugar cube between the teeth and drinking the tea through the sugar cube. When I asked my Russian relatives who emigrated from the USSR in 1992 about this custom , they said they had never heard of it.
My bobe Frahdl used to make a compote of stewed peaches and whatever was available in the stores in Boston in the summer . When she added blueberries , she would call it "bluzberry compote" and would refrigerate it with the peach etc. pits intact. I always loved eating it in the summer.
I wonder if anyone has come across this behavior : my grandmother would re-use old teabags and she laughed at me when I made tea at her home and used one used teabag per person . Also , when I had tea with a famous Yiddish actress in New York , she made tea for four of us by dipping one teabag into four cups of hot water until the water was pale yellow . My Soviet emigre cousins always served very strong tea . So , was this weak tea just a case of two individuals being thrifty or have others ever heard of this behavior ??
Henry H. Carrey