This weekend, I looked in my fridge and found a gallon of milk with about a cup of milk from awhile ago. And when I say awhile, I mean it expired on November 26th – yep. I sniffed it, tasted it and to my surprise it was perfectly fine. I drank the last cup and I didn’t have any adverse side effects (not going to mention them, we all know what they are).
It got me thinking about best by and expiration dates. I routinely keep milk past it’s best by date with no ill effects. I rely on smell and general ookiness. Basically, it may smell fine or just on this side of fine, but bells in my head are going NNOOOOOOO! I tend to toss it then, just for the safety of it. I do this with pretty much everything.
If lunch meat smells fine, I’m going for it. If it smells fine, but is a little more slippery than I think is right – out it goes. I don’t buy any honey or sugar lunchmeat because of this reason. They go slippery very fast. Soft cheeses get thrown out when mold appears, but hard cheeses just get a scraping – especially parmesan. I am convinced that stuff never goes bad – just gets stronger.
Meat, I am a lot more picky about. Raw, in the fridge, I give it a week, no more. I can’t really go by expiration dates because so much of my stuff gets frozen directly upon being brought home. Chicken will let you know it’s bad. I have had this happen way too many times because of being lazy. Beef, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily smell much worse as it ages. When I say age, I mean over the course of a couple days. This definitely throws off my radar. At that point, it’s a call to mom to say “Can I still eat this?”. Maybe it’s because I don’t eat a lot of beef. When I want it, there is not much delay from it thawing in the fridge and cooking it. Mmmmmm, tacos.
Fresh fruits and veggies are easy – they ooze, they go. If they just dry out like onions or carrots, then I try to see if there is a soft inner part that I can use so it isn’t a complete loss. If I am using them in soup or something liquidy, then I may just throw them in. Dry veggies freak me out. I was sad when I had a pineapple leak all over the counter. I didn’t realize it was ripe because it was still green, but it didn’t like my counter 😦
Leftovers are a little more fuzzy for me. I know that some people only keep them a day or two and there are others that keep them until a little eco-system has been brought to life. I am a little in the middle. I usually try not to eat anything over a week old. This can cause issues when you are cooking recipes that have 8 servings. This time, I had some mac and chesse from this post for breakfast and it was fine. I made that on New Year’s day – very long for me, but it was one sad little peice. I saw no extra moistness (hate that word. Moist – ew) or separation or sprouting of life. It still smelled like, well, pretty much nothing. I take that as a good sign. I ate it and it tasted good – not sour or anything. Then, you have the Amish breakfast I made. I froze one pan and there are two pieces left. One at home and one here at work. My dilemma stems from the weekend being the time I make a breakfast that isn’t microwaved since I have the time. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s making me a little squemish. Yes, this comes from someone who just ate month old milk – lol. I will most likely have it, though.
Condiments are tossed. If I need it, though, and it is expired, I may still use it depending on what it is and toss it after……then continually forget to replace it (damn yellow mustard!!).
Have I scared you now? 🙂