Monday, May 27, 2013


June 27, 2013

I'm afraid it gets worse.

Along with the ancient box of corn muffin mix, I explained a couple of days ago, we also composted four boxes of barley. . . and I can't possibly explain how a single family (a couple, actually) comes to own four opened and expired boxes of barley.

I do know that we had, for some time, added pearled barley to stew when we made it, but stopped doing so suddenly and permanently after Erin sobbed about it at the table one evening, "why do you always ruin the stew by putting oatmeal in it?!?!"

We were laughing about that memory this morning with my mom, which got us riffing on my complaints about the family stew recipe.  Years ago, some point early in our marriage, I had to forbid the addition of whole cloves to the stew.

My mom wasn't that familiar with cloves, so I reached up in the spice rack to let her sniff the cloves so she could understand why, though lovely in hot tea or wine punch, they would be an objectionable ingredient in beef stew.

The label described in detail all the different ways you might use the "pungent-sweet flavor" of the "dried flower buds of the clove tree picked just before they open."  

It also specifies where these cloves, in particular, had originated.  I have to admit that I was on geographic shaky ground when I read that "Top quality cloves are produced in Penang and the Malagasy Republic."  A quick google showed me that Penang is a state in Malaysia.

The Malagasy Republic, however, no longer exists, and hasn't since 1975.

I think, perhaps, I should pitch a new PBS series:  Antique Roadshow--Pantry Edition.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


May 25, 2013

Do you collect antiques?  I don't.  

At least I don't on purpose.  I have a few things in my house that came from my family or Walter's that probably qualify:  a terrific old rocker, the clock his grandparents received as a wedding gift in 1905, possibly some other stuff.

I'm not sure how old something has to be to qualify as an antique.  It probably depends on the category.    Furniture probably has to be older than a car to be called an antique.  I'm not sure.

What I'm even less clear about is how old food has to be considered antique.

Do any of you have food in the house that's older than your oldest child?  

I tidied up the pantry today as my Saturday chore, tossing out things that had passed their "use by" date.  I found this:

I searched for the "use by" and couldn't find one.  I was about to stick it back on the shelf (which evidently, I have done before) when I spotted this info for a special offer on the back panel:

Walter and I got married in October 1984.  I'm guessing this was one of our first newlywed purchases.  

Should we put it up on the mantle next to his grandparent's wedding clock?