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Household Oddities – the year was 2008

July 30th, 2013

or maybe earlier? In any case there are some people who go dumpster diving for starvations, some for salvage of interesting things and others probably related to investigations.

I don’t do dumpsters (see yesterday’s comments) but I wind up going cupboard diving. Every once in a while it is useful to note what is on hand. Like in the baking cupboard. After tossing out the partly open and strange I was still left with

grains, spices and ?

grains, spices and ?

I thought I recognized some of them, but then I lived in the UK from Jan 08-Aug 10, Afganistan Sep 10- March 11 before returning here for about 4 weeks. Then I started my repetitive departures for other parts of the world, cruise ships or any other excuses I could find (medical conferences and continuing education are always good excuses, right?)

So I have these packages of grains, rice, seasoning all of which seem to be US in origin or US procured. Except fot the coconut flakes which had to have come from Rewe.  The spices I brought back from Conference trip to Albuquerque.

There are also all these bread mixes

at least they are all German

at least they are all German

which places them possibly after I retired but before the bread machine paddle went missing. I was so fascinated by the process that I started checking dates on other packages, cans, bottles, containers.

dating from 2000 on.....

dating from 2000 on…..

US packaging is easy – there is an expiration or best used by date on everything. German packaging gives you the production date and assumes you are smart enough to figure out if it is still good. Most of the UK origin goods had no dates what so ever, but since I know when I moved the household goods back, this doesn’t prove to be an issue. A total surprise was the expired ketchup; but without College Guy at home it no longer flows like water.  Let me close this section by saying that the biocontainer will be well used in the morning.

The absence of school children in my life means a lack of brown paper lunch sacks. Given that everyone in Germany brings their own bags to grocery stores, I don’t have a source there either. Now at this point you are shaking your head. First the cupboard, then all those interesting but not safe to eat items and now brown paper bags? Perhaps she has completely flipped her cork?

No, the whole search was actually quite practical. A desire for a bowl of popcorn started me off on the exploration. The bag of kernels was, of course, in the very last of the cupboards.

the reason for the evenings adventure

the reason for the evenings adventure

The ack of paper bags eliminated microwave preparation and forced me to improvise with pan, oil, stove.

what an insult to the cookware

what an insult to the cookware

But I had my popcorn!

much healthier than Gummi Bears

much healthier than Gummi Bears

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  1. Ruth
    July 30th, 2013 at 20:11 | #1

    My mother, of most sainted and hilarious memory, used to date all her canned and boxed ingredients. On Passover, she’d save her spices from one year to the next. I swear that her cinnamon was at least 10 years old. So one year, the Hubz put some interesting dates on some of her canned good, e.g. 1867. The Mommie laughed with the rest of us. So in my dotage, I find I date everything, too. My favorite is dating a bag of toilet paper to see just how long 12 rolls last us. My mother would be howling with laughter.

  2. July 31st, 2013 at 00:48 | #2

    It’s a bit amazing what we sometimes find in our pantry, and how old it must be.

    We make popcorn routinely on the stovetop. I use a deep skillet and olive oil. It makes the best popcorn…

  3. July 31st, 2013 at 01:22 | #3

    In the hospital four years ago they casually mentioned after the fact that my popcorn days were over, and I almost objected more to that than to the colectomy. Sort of.

  4. Carmen
    July 31st, 2013 at 11:04 | #4

    I can’t see how popcorn is an insult to cookware – unless you burned it…

    Heavens. By the time you are ready to move, the kitchen will be no problem at all!

  5. isobel
    July 31st, 2013 at 11:06 | #5

    But I had my popcorn!
    “much healthier than Gummi Bears”
    I suppose you have to decide what you’re going to get between your teeth. :-)

    I started to clean out my “study” aka stash room. Amazing what yarn I found. Fortunately there is no “sell by” date. After all, stash improved with aging.

  6. Barbara L
    July 31st, 2013 at 11:08 | #6

    Love it! Last shot of popcorn and laptop ….priceless!

  7. August 4th, 2013 at 12:11 | #7

    San Francisco recently instituted a citywide ban on plastic bags, then started charging a ten-cent fee for the paper bags you have to use instead. The idea is to promote reusable bags, but the law is also designed to rid the city of plastic litter—this would benefit the environment, because paper bags are considered more ecologically friendly. Right? Not quite.

    • August 4th, 2013 at 13:46 | #8

      Right, just like all those people who believe that wood-burning stoves are environmentally friendly. Not considering at all the cost of the cut wood and all the waste products that go up the chimney. Purpose made re-useable bags of recycled materials might be about the best. Only topped by home made sacks of repurposed fabrics.

  8. S & P
    August 6th, 2013 at 08:13 | #9

    1) book a cruise

    2) throw everything out but about 5-10 items

    3) and then pick up duffle bag with clothes for the ship and leave
    no one will ever know or think it was you

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