Deborah Ross: 'My kitchen food cupboard is terrorising me.'

Related Topics

If you ask me, there are some things in life that you expect to fear, like flying and motorways and pit bull terriers and the prospect of white goods breaking down, which always means "getting a man in" who won't turn up, and then another man who won't turn up, and this second man may be the same as the first, but how will you ever know? These are sound fears, common fears, decent and upstanding fears, but lately I have developed a most unexpected fear: I am frightened of the food cupboard in my kitchen. Or, to put it another way: my kitchen food cupboard is terrorising me.

I can't pinpoint when it all began, but I started to notice that even though I knew I had something in this cupboard – black peppercorns, for example – I would buy another packet rather than search for them and when I'd finished, I'd open the cupboard door a crack, lob this other packet in, close the door, lean with my back against it, and exhale with relief. "Phew, that's one condiment dealt with for today," I would say. And when I needed peppercorns the next time? I would buy yet another pack and, I'm telling you, if I haven't spent £457 on black peppercorns in the past few days alone, I'd be very surprised.

Oh, this cupboard looks benign enough, but it is evil, and who knows what is living in it after all these years. If pressed, though, I'd say you'd find the following: tins of golden syrup with half-cocked lids; ancient pots of hundreds and thousands; a spilling bag of decade-old lentils; fancy exotic chutneys that seemed like a good idea at the time (wardrobe and quince, anyone?); umpteen bottles of food colouring (all green); 768 packs of black peppercorns, crazy spices (star anise, what's all that about?) and herbal teas with names like Mango Madness and Tropical Carnival which no one ever drank, because they all taste of old, dirty pond. See? See?

Terrifying. Of course, the solution is to have a big clear out but, although I made an appointment with myself to do just that, I'm afraid I didn't turn up. Great. Now I'll have to wait in for myself tomorrow, too.

Next week: those lone fish fingers embedded in the icy wall of the freezer. How scary are they?

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.  

The Only Way is Ethics: The birth of a royal baby will not top the news for long

Will Gore
Mosul falls: Talk of Iraq retaking the town, held by IS since June, is unconvincing  

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

Patrick Cockburn
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk