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The journey of becoming a better cook

Expiration date 
Oct. 20, 2011 3:59 pm 
Updated: Oct. 21, 2011 3:11 pm
Let's start with such things as yogurt ,eggs, cheese,bread, meat, fruit and milk. These items have expiration dates on them. I try to eat them up before they expire to save money. Some people get rid of  them the day they expire for fear of some kind of parasite, mold and many other things . Other people it doesn't seem to bother them.
  Spices have expiration dates too. For some reason oregano, basil, garlic powder seem to be the choice of spice in my home. Some spices seem to stay in peoples cabinets forever. I am guilty of this myself. I haven't figured out why I keep them. I know it probably effects the taste of my food but I can't seem to bear to get rid of them. I used to make zucchini relish every year but I haven't made it at all. So Turmeric is a spice I have that I probably won't use at all. There are many other spices that I used small amounts of that continue to get pushed back. I hope as I get to be a better cook I will  find uses for all these full spices.
Oct. 20, 2011 4:22 pm
Our pediatrician told us one medicine was good for 1 year past ex. date, so use it. It pays to ask!
Oct. 20, 2011 5:50 pm
I am a date reader I have to admit, I always look for a date before I eat it if it has one. when I buy things I look at dates on boxes and cans (sometimes I find expired Items On The Shelf) I dig into the back for the best dates. When it comes to canned Items I try to use it before the expire date but if it is not puffed up it's OK. right now I have some cans of soup I had in my emergency\camping food containers that I forgot about but they look OK so they will be eaten soon. they are a year past due date. almost every day I look in the refrigerator for expired items. spices are ok if they are old you just may need to use more of it to get the same flavor out of it. the other day when I was cleaning out the spice cabinet I found some spices that expired in 1994. My wife and my mom does not care about dates. I found stuff in my moms refrigerator back in may that was about 2 years past its expiration.
Oct. 20, 2011 5:55 pm
History of canned foods It was the end of the 1700s and the Napoleonic wars raged. As Napoleon pushed forward into Russia, the retreating Russian army left a stripped and ravaged countryside. and no food. As a result, Napoleon's army was suffering more casualties from scurvy, malnutrition, and starvation than from enemy muskets. The French government offered 12,000 francs to anyone who could develop a method of preserving food. Nicolas Appert, an obscure candy-maker, brewer, and baker took up the challenge. He had a theory that if fresh foods were put in airtight containers and sufficient heat applied, they would keep. After 14 years of experimentation, he won the prize--given to him by Napoleon himself. Appert packed his foods in bottles, corked them, and submerged them in boiling water. Without realizing it, he sterilized them, stopping bacterial spoilage. later they put the foods into tin\metal cans sealed with lead but they did not serialize the cans long enough. they did not know Tim\metal would take longer than glass. so when Napoleon went back to war they took the food in the more durable cans, but the food was all spoiled.
Oct. 20, 2011 7:22 pm
I always wondered how Penicillin could expire?? Have a friend who is a pharmacist who says the exp dates on over the counter meds are EXTREMELY cautious.
Oct. 21, 2011 2:57 am
I use the dates as a guideline. Then, I smell it. If it smells funny, I make my husband taste it and I watch for his reaction. For me, if it's past the date it smells funny (even if it doesn't), so if hubby tastes it and doesn't grimace then I'll eat it. Most expiration dates on food will say "Sell by" or "best before" - those foods I'll use after that date. If it actually says "expires on" then I'm more cautious about it. Obviously if there's mold or it looks bad I don't use it no matter what the date says. Spices and such are usually used in my home within 6 mos. to a year.
Oct. 21, 2011 3:36 am
I agree w/Mother Ann..."expire" and "sell by" do not mean the same thing! always use a test dummy...errr, taster :o)
Oct. 21, 2011 8:43 am
I look at them as SELL BY dates and not expiration dates and believe there is a difference. And feel that "look, smell," test wins out over anything.
Oct. 21, 2011 11:45 am
Check your shampoo and diswasher detergent. You'll see expiration dates on those too - what happens, they stop cleaning? And bottled water - does it stop being wet after the exp.date? I do use the dates to a degree, but if I sniff and it smells ok and it looks ok, I will taste. If that's ok then I use it. As for spices, they may weaken over time but most will not spoil. Consider that most spices were traded centuries ago and transported by camel and mule and maybe by scow and they didn't expire. Heavens, I'm old enough to remember when there were no expiration dates on things and my grandmother would get all excited if the milk was turning so she could use it to make cake. And we all survived.
Oct. 21, 2011 2:15 pm
Hey, watch it! I'm the taste test dummy in our house. Had surgery 12 yrs ago that left me with a very sensitive nose. Doc says it's an anesthesia thing and some noses (like mine) never recover. I've got a funny story or 10 to go with it. Sounds like a new blog post!
Oct. 21, 2011 3:11 pm
BigShotMama Love the shampoo and dishwasher detergent comment. Great point about spices too.
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About Me
I like to try to create new recipes for cooking and baking contest. I am a certified dialysis technician I am married to a great guy who is my best friend. We have a camp in Newport Maine and we enjoy spending as much time there as possible.
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I like to cook or bake most anything except fish. I am not great at all recipes but the best things I make are soups and stews. I like to try new things. I love to read everyones reviews because it helps me to avoid some of the mistakes they have made.
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Every Thanksgiving we spend at my sister-in-laws house. We always bring a ham and some kind of appetizer. This year they invited my dad to go with us.He would have been alone due to my passing two monthes earlier and my sister traveling to see her son. He had a great time and will come from now on.
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My triumph is that I have finally aloud my husband to cook in the kitchen. I am always afraid of what he would make for us to eat. Turns out he is a pretty good cook and we have a great time cooking together.
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My bread making never seems to come out right. Usually come out very hard and doesn't rise. I hope to conquer this some day.
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