Expiration Dates

               A friend was over the other day. Yes, it has to be a male friend as no woman would probably even notice, let alone care………

I handed him a yellow squeeze bottle of mustard for his brat. He shook it and squeezed. It spurted clear, then brown, then yellow. “How old is this?” he asked. To which I replied, “I have no idea, why?”
He handed me the bottle and pointed.
“Hmm,” I said. Then I grimaced, “ohhh….”
Well, doesn’t mustard last forever? I mean, really, how bad can it be from June 2004? He shook his head. “May I?” he asked a he tossed it into the garbage.
I was nervous later as I handed him the container of half and half for his coffee. Let’s see, I bought that for my brother- in- law at Christmas. He saw me squinting through my bifocals at the top fold. “Whew! February 6,” I said and smiled. It was only Jan. 22. I was safe.
After he left I took inventory.
Refrigerator, pantry, lazy Susan, spice drawer.
A can of beets – hmm — nothing I usually eat – July ’01. Oops. Evaporated milk – no- – – 2000? A container of green Cool Whip – yuk. Almond Accents – no date – they must not expire. A silver rectangle in the butter holder on the door – hmm – cream cheese? soft Crisco? butter? Odd consistency; a finger tip to my mouth confirmed – Crisco.
None of these compared however to my spice drawer — oh, my, that alone filled the trash can. My daughter, the cook, who uses only fresh ingredients, would die if she saw the Cumin from 1985 and the white pepper in an unrecognizable label marked 49 cents. A jar of Ginger reads OK27C. I am praying that doesn’t mean Oklahoma as I haven’t lived there for 40 years. Nahhh ! Impossible. Rosemary Leaves marked 39cents. Ok – Ok –  I began to toss. It will cost me $100.00 to replace my spice drawer alone at this rate.
I opened the Dill and it still “smelled” like Dill. That went back to the drawer. How often do I use Dill? Of course that’s the issue – I obviously use none of these very often. But Cream of Tartar at 59 cents goes….
Don’t judge me my friends until you go through your own kitchen. We do this, we women. We save it for a rainy day (well, a day when we’ll need it for something we’re cooking).
That reminds me, I need to make a replacement list before I trash these as the next time I make Rosemary Chicken, I’ll be driving frantically to the store.

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