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Almond Flavouring

(Cross-posted to SF0 for the task: Death Kava - Eat a food that frightens you. See more pictures there: Death Kava)

For many years a little bottle of almond flavouring has been sitting in my cupboard, always travelling with me when I move house, but I have never used it, as I am a bit frightened of it.

Why am I frightened of it, a harmless little bottle of almond flavouring, when I have no nut allergy? Well, before it sat at the back of my cupboard, it sat in my mother's cupboard, and before that, it sat in my grandmother's larder. I am not sure how long it was there. The price on the bottle says "1/1", which means 1 shilling and 1 pence, and therefore suggests the bottle may be quite old. I am worried that in that time it may have turned to poison.

I asked my mother if she could remember where it had come from, and she said she wondered if before my grandmother had owned this little bottle of almond flavouring, it had belonged to my grandmother's friend, who had run a shop called "The Pantry". When the shop closed, she stayed with my grandmother for a while, and perhaps some of her unsold shop items would have made it into my grandmother's larder. I'm not sure this is the case though, as the price label says "Redmans", which is probably the name of a shop.

The label on the bottle says it was made by Clayton & Jowett in Liverpool. Searching the web, I found an advert for essence of lemon made by Clayton & Jowett from 1948. I've also found a photo of a bottle of peppermint essence from 1920 by Clayton & Jowett, and the label of this almond flavouring at least looks more modern than that.

There is no sell by date on the bottle, and if there's no sell by date, then obviously it must never go off. I conclude that it is time to get over my fear and use the almond essence. I sniff the bottle and it does still smell very almondy and surprisingly quite pleasant.

I looked through Vegan Pie in the Sky and found a recipe for pear frangipane tart. I made a press-in almond crust, and then in the filling, where it called for almond extract, I used some of the ancient almond flavouring from the bottle. Disguising the almond flavouring in a tart seemed the best plan, I would hardly even notice it was there.

I cooked the pie and made a bit of a mess of it, but I have eaten some and I am still alive, and not transported back to whenever the almond flavouring was made. Maybe the effects take a while to set in though?

Almond Flavouring
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Ah, yes, maybe it takes a while ... wow, you're brave. I wouldn't have touched it, but kept it forever in the kitchen, balefully looking at me from the cupboard.

You're sill here, so it wasn't poison, then. Are you glowing in the dark, or otherwise feeling like you should be climbing up the outside of buildings in a silly costume?

What powers does one get if one is bitten by a radio-active almond?

The label design iconography looks like could be any time from post-war up to the mid 70s. But the way that it quotes an ML volume but is priced in s/d makes me suspect it's from the 65-71 period. (I don't think that kind of twist-snap lid was around before the mid 60s either.)

What to do with the rest of the bottle, though?

Ace! I'm glad you made use of it and didn't die/suffer as a result. Points! The tart looks lovely.

Edited at 2012-08-02 10:37 pm (UTC)

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