After my whirly-gig thingy in a kitchen cupboard broke under the weight of produce I finally got round to performing a long-overdue kitchen cupboard clear out and unearthed things that went out of date back in 2010 – the year we moved into our house!!
I ended up throwing quite a few things away, which made me feel a bit ashamed really, but my kitchen cupboards are now fresh and tidy and I actually know what I have in store.
It did make me think though: do all sell-by dates really matter?
Not eating or throwing away out-of-date food was one of my mum’s bug bears about me. I think it was her post war era sensibilities that were totally at odds with me throwing away food she saw as perfectly edible.
This is the woman who had a turkey in her freezer for 10 years! It was in our family for so long it even had a name. She wanted to feed it to us all on the first Christmas we’d all been together as a family for years – we protested as it could have resulted in the swift demise of our entire blood line! She ended up gifting it to friends, who were aware of it’s heritage, defrosted and ate it on Christmas day and lived to tell the tale.
Further proof to my mum that freezing things literally cryogenically freezes them in time, that whenever you defrost them they are as fresh as the day they were frozen – even if years have gone by!
Tins got a similar treatment, according to my mum anything that came in a tin would literally last at least your own lifetime, if not the lifetime of you, your children, and your children’s children!
She used to buy un-labelled tins of things from a friend of questionable repute which literally resulted in an Open-All-Hours type lucky-dip lunch of anything from beans and peaches to soup and pineapple!
This was a motto my mum lived by and it never seemed to do her any harm!
She also had a rather fast and loose approach to defrosting things…but that’s another matter entirely!
So, it begs the question: are sell-by dates for real????