Thursday 8 March 2018

Out of Date

I suspect the old fear of a Grim Demise is at work with the modern obsession with the Use By Date. Stickers festoon our comestibles and means of toilette and exhort us to discard sometimes perfectly acceptable goods, with the hint but not promise of miasma about to seep into our fragrant lives.

There is a more optimistic attitude to these cautionary stickers at work in the Pipistrello household, with the employment of the Sniff Test and Sensible Judgement. It is only with a heavy heart that I will throw things in the bin, and thus it happens rarely.

Some whispers of doom I flagrantly ignored most recently have been on a packet of soup mix, a kilogram of plain flour found in my freezer, an unopened packet of dried yeast and on a barely used pot of shea butter.

Admittedly, the soup mix didn't end up in the pot but I'm sure that even though it was, ahem, several years past its suggested date of expiration, some long and vigorous boiling would have resurrected the legumes. They are perfectly happy now supporting the kitchen knives and will do so for a very long time, I suspect.

Both the yeast and flour were nearly a year past it and were turned into successful loaves of five-minute bread. It has been a very easy, if not lazy, introduction to the world of breadmaking and has led to thrice-weekly loaves being baked in this neck of the woods.

The shea butter, whose own sticker suggests it to be dead, is being fashioned a teaspoon at a time into a very effective deodorant, along with equal parts bicarb soda and a dash of also-dead glycerin for viscosity. The result works a treat at pacifying the pits, and so passes the Sniff Test for me.

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