My journey to the back of the cupboard led to the discovery of the mummified claw of Rameses II – Susan Morrison

Being trapped indoors, self-isolating with Covid, meant that I could take a deep dive into cupboards, crannies and so on.

Susan Morrison's cupboards apparently go all the way back to ancient Egypt (Picture: Mahmoud Khaled/AFP via Getty Images)
Susan Morrison's cupboards apparently go all the way back to ancient Egypt (Picture: Mahmoud Khaled/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s extraordinary what you find when you go a-clearing. I found three bottles of gin I’d forgotten about. Admittedly, each half empty, but still a win in my book.

There were four jars of Marmite ranging in size from one formidably large, two medium sized and my small ‘travelling’ jar. I’m told Marmite is available in some sort of ‘squeezy’ contraption. Not in this house. My Marmite is jarred, always.

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This supply is a good thing. This means I am unlikely to fear a scarcity of the black stuff for at least six months. This pandemic is grinding on, there could be shortages of vital foods, like Marmite. And gin.

There was also a jar of Bovril. No idea when that was bought, but Bovril, like Marmite, lasts forever, so I didn’t bother checking the sell-by date. Put Marmite and Bovril jars together and they make rather a fetching family group, and yes, I did do that because lockdown isolation drives you a little crazy and you take your fun where you can find it.

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Does cinnamon become toxic as it ages? When I checked the bottom of one jar, it had passed its best-by date when Nick Clegg was last considered a serious politician. Think that’s bad? Here’s some nutmeg that remembers Gordon Brown at Number 10.

At the very back of the cupboard something in a jar gave me quite the start. It looked like a mummified claw from the tomb of Rameses II. Turned out to be some sort of desiccated candied peel.

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Why are there four huge bottles of spring water at the back of the pantry? And why does water have a use-by date on it? Does water go off? Gin doesn’t.

There was a solitary packet of Lemsip. I was feeling a tad sniffly at that point, so I made one up. Went out of date in 2017. Perked me up no end. Was tempted to make it with gin. Trust it more than the water now…

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