View Full Version : Oldest food item in Cupboard

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 01:08
This thread wll probably only be of interest to the single among us,
and those you have dwelled in the same house for some years.
As Draper has mentioned in the past, one lives alone, apart from
small Jack Russel who is actually the owner of the property.
Draper Brother and family live next door, so while Draper enjoys
glorious freedom, he also benifits from home cooked meals taken
at brothers house,( not fair I hear some bachelors shout) well,
life ain't fair.
Anyway just before being summoned to sunday lunch today,
(roast pork very nice)
Draper recieves call on intercom,( being a engineer Draper has many
such cunning devices rigged up, ie Drapes CCTV system is piped
next door, so sister in law can spy on neigbours in 900 line wide screen
hires colour with full sound without so much as twiching a curtain,
although Draper does not allow her control of PTZ functions).
Intercom call from sister in law.
"Have you got any pepper, I've run out"
"Roger" replies Draper using correct radio procedure he has picked up
from surfing pprune.
So, Draper heads for tinned and dry goods storage facility(cupboard)
for he is certain that a drum of ground black pepper lurks there.
Now as Draper walks to kitchen, drum of pepper of course takes the
opportunity to hide itself, this is a common phenomena and will be
familiar to all who live alone, ie had Draper been seeking salt or other
condiment the pepper would have probably fallen out of the cupboard
the moment the door was opened.
Pepper nowhere to be found so Draper delves into the dark recesses
at very back of cupboard and commences to remove tins and such
Amazing discovery, two rusted tins and small flat carton. labels on
tins just readable, carton faded to dark brown.
1x tin of Baxters Scottish Haggis, I kid you not.
1x tin of Tesco's Mixed Summer Vegetables in brine.
I small tin of John West Sardines.
Now these items have to be at least twenty years old, this could never
happen in a house with a lady installed as they are forever removing
every thing from cupboards and cleaning same for some reason,
I ask you, how can the inside of a cupboard get dirty?.
So gentlemen, what is the oldest food item lurking in the backof your cupboards.?

PS, Draper located drum of pepper hiding in bread bin.

PPS, Draper feels somewhat bloated, said family next door are on healthy diet kick so Draper was forced just now to finish off most of Black Forest Gateau and whole jug of cream alone, no danger of that surviving twenty years, Huh!, things one has to do for family eh?.

[ 02 December 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

3rd Dec 2001, 01:52
Dear Uncle Tony
Just to disprove your theory that it is only men who have a few unmentionable out-of-date supplies stacked away at the back of the cupboard, I own up to contravening the health and safety hygiene regulations. I've just checked the sell by date on a packet of flour that I used the other day - Aug 99 ....oops...and I'm still alive and kicking.

Stoorie (miss) - I'm another one that you have gender reassigned. :rolleyes: :)

henry crun
3rd Dec 2001, 02:30
Results so far, one can of Veraswamy's vegetable curry which has not been available in my neck of the woods for donkeys years.
It might have matured nicely by now.

One can of ?, no label and tin has a slight bulge at one end. Not sure if I should risk opening this one.

One tupperware container of something that looks like sago but could be anything.

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 03:04
I know I've said this before,(see Draper other thread on repeating oneself), stuff just doesn't keep now,Marmalade is the prime example, for us single coves, a jar of marmalade could last six months, one opened it, used it, put it back in cupboard untill one morning to find it empty, swear at it, and go and buy another, (ladies would have got another one before that one became empty, but you all know that), do that now and by the third day its got a fine crop of penicillin thriving away on the contents.
I am certain we never kept thing like Marmalade, Pickled beetroot ,Pickled Red Cabbage, ect in the fridge, Draper loves pickled red cabbage, but even a gannet of Drapers calibre finds it difficult to eat the lot at one sitting, if you don't it turns into black mush in two days even if kept in the fridge.
Time they started putting all the preservatives, artificial colouring and other chemicals back into our food, never done us any harm.
I'm willing to bet that the manufacturers come up with a self destruct mechanism for tinned stuff before long, leave it in the cupboard for more than a month and the can will explode. :(

I Am Ugly
3rd Dec 2001, 03:41
Last Christmas eve, after having a fair few drinks with some friends, we all got hungry. A chef friend who was presents suggested he cook us something.

The problem was the person whos house we were at is known as the biggest cheapskate the world has ever known. His house, a shabby guesthouse, is full of random items belonging to long gone guests as well as his own crop of economy branded food.

After looking through all 6 (yes six) fridges, all we could find was milk, cheap brandy, butter and mango chutney. As the chutney had devleoped into a new ecosystem inside the jar and we soon drank the brandy
all we were left with the milk and butter.

We looked around the cupboards and managed to find some sugar and some flour.

The flour is the only thing that is relavant to the topic but I do like to ramble.

The chef, who is a culinary genius, managed to make some delicious crepes that were enjoyed by all. It was only later we discovered that the best before date of the flour was october 1995...

This means the it was bought some time in 1993.

It tasted fine and no one was ill, but it did smell of lightly of cheese when cooked. :confused:

3rd Dec 2001, 03:46
well i am a girly too :)
but not a good little wench in the kitchen :p
i think i have a jar of vegemite way past its use by date :o

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 03:57
When Draper was a lad at sea, he did a few trips on British tankers, these are vessels that belonged to British Petrolium, they're names all started with British, ie British Skill, British Soldier ect, had we still a merchant navy you would all know this anyway.
Anyway there were many of these vessels, in fact it was the biggest tanker fleet in the world under one flag, when a vessel came into port for dry docking say, they would empty the contents of the meat room, which was actually a huge fridge and take all the frozen carcass's to a storge facility.
When ever another British Tanker was storing ready for a voyage the meat would be brought from this facility,and loaded on that ship, some of these lumps of meat had dates on them from the 1940's, and I was at sea in the sixties, some of them had been continuously loaded and off loaded for twenty years.
Tell you the truth they tasted ok. ;)

[ 03 December 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

Capt Vegemite
3rd Dec 2001, 05:42
Vegemite never has use by date !
Like old fiddle is vegemite,new tunes etc.

3rd Dec 2001, 14:17
Going back a bit now, but the oldest food item(s) in my posession were probably the leftover bits on my plate.
To avoid wasting precious party time washing dishes, my plates would get thrown in the freezer and every week would get a thoroughly good scrape!

3rd Dec 2001, 15:49
Capt Vegemite
i went and looked and there is a use by date of 03 nov 00 on my vegemite

i also have some packets of cuppa soup that have use by dates of may and jun 2001.
i always seem to buy the stuff never use it,chuck it away, buy some more. not sure why. must be some subconcious thing, perhaps it thinks that when ammageddon occurs i will need cuppa soup :confused:

also maybe the oldest thing i have is a container of popping corn that i never use. i think i have actually bought and used other popcorn but i just leave this container alone. it sits undisturbed year after year. one day i will have to do something with it! :cool:

Feeton Terrafirma
3rd Dec 2001, 17:11
I saw something move in the back of the frige a few weeks ago. This happened a few times in the space of a month or so, and eventually my curiosity got the better of me. (big mistake). Eventually I identifed the mobile thingy as a plastic bottle. After some attempts spaning 3 days I was able to trap the bottle in a corner, and as I drew it out of the frige I noticed the label - Thinkened Cream :rolleyes:

Investigation quickly determined that green cream crawls under it's own power and it has an over powering aroma! :( :o

The use by date on the bottle was so old I couldn't read it :eek:

I must actaully have a good look at the contents of the frige, next year. :rolleyes:

Evening Star
3rd Dec 2001, 17:42
I have some broccoli dated Sept 99 in my freezer. Any takers? :D

3rd Dec 2001, 17:52
I have some cans of clams about ten years old. They're down to be investigated this week with a view to making clam chowder. I've frozen stock several years old in the freezer, plus various amounts of venison and other home cooked and subsequently frozen meals that have been there for about two years. I finished the mustard with a BBE Sept 2000 last month, too.

Unopened cans of condensed milk certainly goes off, as do some cans of fruit - tend to jellify.

Radeng is not a bachelor, but is the cook - having been told by Mrs Radeng that she doesn't see why she should keep a dog and bark herself.

gravity victim
3rd Dec 2001, 19:03
If you have any water around at home, it's all millions of years old apparently (cue learned exposition from Draper?) And salt is zillions of year old as well. But its not food so I'll get my coat...

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 19:17
Actualy G V,that is a very good question it is one Draper himself wished to ask of someone , do we have a resident Chemist?.
I understand that the water molecule is very stable and it is possible that individual water molecules have been around for a lot longer than a milion years, but Draper has no specific data on this. :confused:

[ 03 December 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

3rd Dec 2001, 20:09
Sorry to disappoint you Mr D but the only place that is true is at the Poles (frozen). Everywhere else, water molecules behave like couples at a wife swapping party – they dissociate into hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxyl ions (OH-) which move about separately so that, at any point of time, they have new partners. Not the recipe for a stable relationship which would last many years.

However, it is much more fun to assume that it is stable. We usually tell our customers that our water based chemicals contain a small amount of Jamie Lee Curtiss’s urine.

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 20:16
No need to apologise Mr P, science is truth, the last honest pastime that mankind indulges in.
I thought it took a lot of energy to crack water?. ;)

gul dukat
3rd Dec 2001, 20:31
Hi Mr D ..when I was a lad in 1976 I worked in the cold stores in Belfast!. I recall we once had a lunch of fish fingers found buried in the depths of the facility and on the back there was a competition with a closing date of JUNE 1963 .Still ate them though !! :eek:

3rd Dec 2001, 20:36
It certainly does. First you have to freeze it, then hit it with a hammer with all your strength. :D

bubba zanetti
3rd Dec 2001, 22:32
Whilst finishing my Commercial License back in 1980, I was cramming on the weekend for my written exam in Vancouver. I was hungry so rummaged around in the freezer and found a 9 lb salmon. Cooked it on the barbecue and went to bed as I had to leave early the next day on a 7am ferry to Vancouver and the exam.
In the morning I drove to the ferry, and about 1/2 way there felt a gurgle in the old abdomin/stomach. Within minutes I had to pull my VW Karman Ghia over to the side of the highway .. hang my rear end out and let the salmon spawn it's way out my sphincter... violently. Well it was highly humiliating and a bit awkward as I am tall, many motorists honked. Needless to say I headed home and by the time I got into the house I was now needing to vomit. I lay in the bathtub going from both ends with the shower spraying and feeling like death. My girlfriend called her father who was a physcian and he gave me some atropene or some such thing.
I was sick for two days and since then pay strict attention to the age of food on the shelf, in the fridge ... but especially in the freezer. I only started eating salmon again about 3 years ago.
I went to Vancouver the following week wrote my exam and failed ... I was still weak and should have put it off ... later passed alright.
Makes me a little queezy thinking about it...even now.

tony draper
3rd Dec 2001, 22:49
I read that when people returned to Captain Scots Hut in the antarctic,50 odd years later, a lot of the canned stuff was still perfectly edible, also that Russian scientists dined on Mamoth steak cut from the body of newly discovered deep frozen Hairy Ephalump. ;)

4th Dec 2001, 00:48
I have a few packets of old TAA beer nuts Ive been meanin to eat these past 14 years. Lived at the bottom of my nav-bag before they were tossed into the back of the liqor cabinet 6 years ago.

4th Dec 2001, 01:44
The oldest things in our food cupboards are undoubedly the tins of spices I bought when I was a batchelor and brewed my own curries. As I got married over 30 years ago they must be at least 33! Still perfectly edible, Turmeric, Garam Masala, Ground Coriander and Chilli Powder. The Chilli is still so hot that I can only use the tiniest amount without giving myself third degree burns when I eat whatever I put it in (and, for that matter, when I offload it later - keep a bogroll in the fridge!). Apart from that we had a purge the other day (of the cupboards) and found couple of items dating from the mid 90's, mainly packets of bread sauce mix. I wasn't sure about the bottle of soy sauce bought from the local farm shop in Bedfordshire, though - we moved from there in 1986 - so it went in the dustbin as well, but carefully, if it had gone off it could have taken out the whole carport.

Bally Heck
4th Dec 2001, 02:28
Spooky thing Mr D. Cleared out the kitchen cupboards this morning, binning anything past it's sell by date, (a large bin liner full) and then read this thread. Bit like seeing the spooky head thingy you were talking about on a previous thread. Anyway, as I've only been here 6 years, the oldest thing was 1995.

Funnily enough, when wandering round the supermarket this evening I was almost overpowered by an urge to renew the unopened tub of Bisto which I had disposed of this morning. Reason got the better of me. (so far)

Isn't it strange how over the past few years since sell by dates on comestibles became a requirement, the aforementioned comestibles now deteriorate after that date. Whereas in the old days, a tub of salted pork would last for the duration of a voyage to the new world and home again.

Does the victual know when it's about to become "bar code cancelled" and biologically react accordingly?

Send Clowns
4th Dec 2001, 02:41
Well, the "big burp" (I kid you not) was more than 4 billion years ago. This was when the Earth "degassed" and let out lots of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water, helium etc (no free oxygen of course!) to form an atmosphere. Some water will date from then (not really before, as it will have been dissolved in the rock and the hydrogens swapped around a bit). However some water around is recently burnt hydrogen or hydrocarbons, and you'd never know. But all the old stuff has been peed out by at least a few dinosaurs :D

[ 03 December 2001: Message edited by: Send Clowns ]

tony draper
4th Dec 2001, 02:47
Slightly off topic but re sell by dates being a con.
Drapers old mother died a few years back,and clearing out her house, in common with a lot of elderly people when have been ill for some time, her house was full of drugs of all descriptions, unopened cartons of anti biotics, bottles unopened of expensive tablets of all descriptions, all just a few weeks old.
Anyway, in the spirit of being a good citizen Draper puts all these unopened medicines into a bag and takes them to the local chemist.
Chemist says thank you, wish every one would do this.
Draper replies, well its a shame to see them go to waste thay are perfectly good and probably cost a fortune.
Oh no, replies chemist, they all have to go into the bin.
Just thought at the time perhaps its against some rule here, but I'm sure some African hospital would have been glad of them.

[ 03 December 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

4th Dec 2001, 04:59
My wife will hunt out anything that's past the sell by date, which causes friction when I'm cooking and want whatever the item(s) were...
Anyway, a local supermarket here has a really nifty labelling system that consists of a small round sticker. The outer circle is bright red and the inner circle is a darker red. When they've gone the same colour, the food's gone off (it is used on fresh meats). No idea how it works, but I've been able to get a few more days out of say minced beef than just by going against the sell by date alone - and yes, it does pass the sniff test.
Kudos to Trader Joe's for that. Shame on Safeway for ensuring that their minced beef is good until the end of the day you bought it...
Maybe they should stick those little red stickers to aircraft so that we know when inspections are due? :D

4th Dec 2001, 05:20
Have had a piece of an old girlfriends wedding cake (dark fruit cake), never opened, in various fridges for.. well since '82 actually.

Bally Heck
4th Dec 2001, 06:32

Rolling Thunder.

You've just reminded me I have an old girlfriends knickers on top of the wardrobe. (She did donate them)

I think I'll go and do nostalgia now. (Although it's not what it used to be!)

tony draper
4th Dec 2001, 11:19
Well Mr Heck, if said knickers no longer have a romantic attachment for you, we all know a ppruner who could use them. ;)

[ 04 December 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

4th Dec 2001, 13:14
Mr D,

Your chemist story reminds me of my most cringe worthy moment.

I used to work in a chemist and people often brought in empty tablet/medicine bottles. Very seldom did pillars of the community like you bring in half full bottles so it wasn't something I was used to (m'lud).

One day a lady brought in a paper bag full of bottles. I, my vocabulary as ever attuned to the language of the pub, said, "They're dead are they? thanks."

Only when I got into the dispensary and opened the bag did I realise that the bottles were only half used and the lady had brought in her recently deceased parents' old supply. :o :o :o :eek:

4th Dec 2001, 14:55
NEVER use condoms past there use-by date.

TRUST ME! :eek:

gravity victim
4th Dec 2001, 16:11
Your little memento of past love reminds me that my brother, who spent a brief and unsatisfactory spell wering the pointy helmet of the Metropolitan Police, once told me what they call those citizens with a penchant for appropriating ladies' underwear for sniffing purposes...
So happy snurgling, Bally old chap..... ;)

4th Dec 2001, 16:18
Bought some frozen beef from the government warehouse Gialo, Libya 1986. Got back to camp and read "Packed in Eire 1973".

It smelt fresher than the fish in the market :D

Bally Heck
4th Dec 2001, 17:13
Oh Mr Draper

They have more of a romantic attachment than you can know.

Mr Victim sir. I wasn't snurgling. Just reminiscing about the lady who used to wear them. What the late Douglas Adams referred to in his enlightened tome "The Meaning of Liff" as "Mavis Enderby".

Now...to those not in the know....how enigmatic is that?

4th Dec 2001, 23:17
I think the oldest items of a culinary nature presently in the house must be the Tabasco (about 15 years old) and the Angostura bitters (definitely over 20).

PPRuNe Towers
5th Dec 2001, 19:09
"Mavis Enderby" (n.)

The almost completely-forgotten girlfriend from your past for whom your wife has a completely irrational jealousy and hatred.

6th Dec 2001, 15:11
We had kitchen clearout last week. There was a box of OXO cubes so old that its shadow had worn a hole in the back of the cupboard.

Or we got mice... :D

7th Dec 2001, 00:27
Had a tin of reduced cream that we found in '98 as we sold up to move to germany. It had expired in '87. Interestingly we had moved house in '87 and again in '89 and taken the bloody stuff with us! We didn't try it out.

Short and Sweet
7th Dec 2001, 01:07
House sat for my Aunty and Uncle a couple of years ago for 6 months. Had 2 other friends move in to help look after the place. :D

Anyway had to clean out the freezer to put our stuff in there. It was a mess. At the back of the freezer found a plastic bag of frozen white liquid with a label attached proclaiming the contents to be expressed breast milk from when my youngest cousin was a toddler. My cousin was 13 at this time!!

Needless to say put it back in the freezer where it probably still is to this day. :eek:

8th Dec 2001, 00:17
Found some loaves and fishes in the freezer marked "Use by 25 AD".

Not really.

tony draper
8th Dec 2001, 01:08
For gods sake don't bless them Mr F, or they will have to evacuate your street. ;)

8th Dec 2001, 03:13
In an effort to reduce expenses (It's working!) I recently moved back home to have the old man put me up. Well, the rent is cheap! :D However, some of the previously undiscovered lifeforms I found in my cupboards upon moving out of my previous abode were somewhat worrying. Agents Scully and Mulder would have wet themselves with excitement. What also worries me is some of the things I've discovered here... :eek:

tony draper
8th Dec 2001, 03:25
Bathroom cupboards can be interesting also, there's one of them funny shaped bottle of Hi Karate after shave,I think they stopped making that about twenty years ago, don't know where it came from, never used the stuff.
Draper always used Old Spice. ;)

8th Dec 2001, 05:13
Hmmm. soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, old girlfriend's lipstick, deod, shot glass, elastoplasts, ear wax remover system, small bottle of cognac, precision small scissors, two firework sparklers, one space available pass. Check. Old Spice... which one was that? The Redhead?