It was only at the end of July that the Last Laugh Looney Party successfully concluded their Brexit negotiations with Mr Junket of the European Union. Finally they have agreed to ban all SMALL PRINT. (See my blog in the Archive dated 31st July 2017)
Sadly this excellent new legislation came too late for our kitchen food cupboards.
Today I decided to sort out the cupboard where things fall out as soon as you leave the door ajar. Speaking of jars, they are usually the first thing to fall out. Jam jars and quarry tile floors don’t mix. Over the years I have spread more marmalade on the floor than on my toast.
In full de-cluttering mood I removed all 2,000 bottles, jars, packets and boxes from the shelves and laid them out in rows on the worktop. Lines of raspberry jam, strawberry jam, blackberry jam and damson jam. Then an essential row of marmalade — Frank Cooper’s Oxford Original, Robinson’s thick cut and thin cut —- some half empty, some unopened for at least a century. The longest row was for boxes of Aunt Bessie’s Stuffing Mix. We buy a box every Christmas and never use it all. The boxes date back to 1830 so we could send them to the British Museum. We have a similar problem with half-empty packets of spaghetti. You always want a fresh packet, so you are left with enough spaghetti to feed half of Italy. There are far too many more goods to mention, but I almost ran out of worktop before I had finished emptying the cupboard.
Now we come to the small print. I decided to throw out all the foodstuffs that were past their sell-by date. Manufacturers obviously don’t like the thought that their produce could ever go out of date. So, they put “best before” dates in the most obscure places, in the smallest print with the least contrast with the background. Not quite in the spirit of the legislation!
Still, I eventually figured it out with an electron microscope and a lawyer. (Lawyers are particularly good at small print). I was then able to send a heap of Aunt Bessie’s stuffing mix to Mr Junket for his food mountain. I do hope he enjoys stuffing balls. It will probably confirm his view of British cuisine as some of the best in the world, even if it is past its sell-by, use-by and best before dates.