Sunday, 5 September 2010

Perhaps I should just hire a cleaner....

I've been hankering after a freezer.  Like you do.  We have one at the bottom of our fridge but it's only a piddling thing and once you've stuck in some bags of frozen peas, frozen chips, leftover Chicken Tikka Biriani and some pies, there's no room for the vital things like a bottle of vodka.  Plus now I've got the allotment more or less up and running I need somewhere to store my gluts of beans, carrots, kale, etc., not to mention the raspberries and blackberries for immersing in said bottle of vodka.

I'd been idly perusing the aisles (both virtual and IRL) of Currys & Comet and had decided that an upright one about the size and shape of a washing machine would do.  And then, out of the blue, we found that TLH's sister had a taller one just sitting and mouldering, unloved and unwanted, in her garage, so we went to rescue it yesterday.  This was very kind of her as they're not the cheapest things on the planet and this has saved us a few pennies at a time when a few pennies need to be saved.

However, the downside to this (after the pulled muscles and barked shins it took to manhandle the thing into the car and then back out again) is finding somewhere to put it.  You've not seen our garage, have you? Well, it's full.   (I listed everything we had in this bit then took it out because TLH would have conniptions that you'd all want to break in and nick it all.  Yes, even the broken picture frames.  He would have got very stern. So you'll just have to imagine how full it is, i.e., Very).

So *gasp* tidying up and chucking stuff out had to be undertaken.  This would be a major task, make no mistake. TLH got started and I just stood around a bit awaiting instruction.  Then I wandered off because there's no point getting between him and a project, I'd just be getting in the way - but I have to show willing, yeah?

I decided to get on with making dinner - Beef Curry, yum.  I do it all properly, with all the individual spices and powders which means that I don't exactly have a spice rack, I have a spice cupboard which has got pretty much everything you can think of in there, but it's got so full (like the garage) that I can't remember the last time I saw the back of it so, while the beef was slowly cooking away in its tomatoey, garlicky, gingery, spicy sauce (I simmer it for at least 2 1/2 hours so the meat just falls apart) I thought I'd put my Field Archaeology expertise to good use (glad to know all that money spent on gaining two degrees in the subject hasn't been entirely wasted...) and excavate the spice cupboard.

There were some empty packets and forgotten jars with a quarter inch of indeterminate dust in the bottom, and these just got flung out.  But then I found it and even I was shocked.  A jar of mild chilli powder with a use by date that wasn't even in this decade.  Look:

Ancient chilli powder

 Yes, that's right, 1996.  It's been in the cupboard for as long as I've been married to TLH and for that reason alone, I put it back.  I don't know why, I'm just a sentimental old thing I suppose (or maybe just a dreadful slattern who can't be arsed to chuck anything away).

9 comments:

Emerald Window said...

I understand the sentimentality. But I would put it in a frame or on a special shelf, because the contents inside probably taste like dust now and you might grab it one day in a hurry and your chili will not be very yummy.
Cenya
ps. LOVE your humor.

Twain12 said...

LOL sounds like my spice cupboard

Gill said...

When did they start putting dates on these things? Some of the items in my spice drawer don't *have* best-before dates. So they're fine, right?

Mrs Jones said...

Ms Window - ah, now, you see the reason it's not been used before now is that I don't use mild chili powder. I either use fresh ones or dried crushed ones. God alone knows why I got the powder but I'm glad I did because it's like being in touch with a piece of my past *whispers* that's my excuse and the one I'm sticking with...

Twain12 - hello there! And are the actual shelves all really sticky too? But because they're above your eye-level you can't see it and therefore don't give a toss? Good lass...

Gill - hello as well (blimey, 2 new commenters!) As far as I know they've always had use by dates on them but I recommend you test yours thoroughly and give us a report back, from A&E or wherever. You know, for 'science'.

Alienne said...

My spice rack was like that too - it was sticky because it is next to the cooker; in the end, when I had to wrestle things off the shelves I had to give in and clean it. Well, detox it really.

ALL of the condiments in the locals' pub (as opposed to the touristy pubs) in the village I used to live were out of date - 4 or 5 years at least. Most of us knew better than to eat there - a sandwich was safe but no one in their right mind had anything else. And that was in the 1980's Gill, so they have had them that long.

Kate said...

I've had a giggle reading this - you're a talented comic writer, and that's something few can do.
Um...any chance you'll post your recipe?

Vodka in the garden sounds good.

Mrs Jones said...

Ms Alienne - also on the spice shelf was a really rather sweet ceramic olive oil bottle thing (you're meant to decant the oil from a big glass bottle into it so you can then put it on the table) that had been a present and I'd never used. It was completely welded to the shelf through the medium of the unidentified sticky. Seriously I nearly brought the entire shelf down trying to remove it. And, yes, to my shame I didn't bother to clean the shelf afterwards. I'm such a slut.

Mrs Jones said...

Antipodean Kate - hello! And thank you for your very kind comments. Yes, I'll put up the recipe because it's very, very good - I adapted it from Anjam Anand's North Indian Lamb Curry because I don't like lamb. I'll make it again within the next couple of weeks and take photos as I'm going along, as I did with my How to Make Blackberry Vodka post a few weeks back. Pictures always help, I feel. The recipe is unbelievably simple but you do need to have the spices to hand.

Anonymous said...

I am so insanely jealous of your freezer!!! I too have been hankering after something extra as the little one with the fridge just isn't big enough for all the surplus from the veg garden.

And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who desperately needs to go through the kitchen cupboards and generally have a good sort out. Having said this last night B and I took a trip to Wickes and bought paint! The pantry has been cleared out (after I ran out of room for all my chutneys and B got sick of me harping on about the mess) and the decorating should commence in the next couple of days!! I'll let you know if I find anything pre 1996!

Cousin K xx