Saturday, October 8, 2011

The mystery food project

We are blessed with a lot of kitchen storage space.  Shortly after we moved into this house 25 years ago, I decided we needed more cabinets, so I installed a whole wall of them in our TV room, right outside the kitchen door.  Some of that space is used for lightbulbs and paper products, but most is food. 

The flip side to having lots of cabinets is the potential for accumulation of food that has long outlived its official shelf life.  And sometimes mystery food that you aren't even sure when and why it arrived, or what you planned to do with it.  It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but today you wonder why.

For some people this is not a dilemma.  When they come upon superannuated mystery food, they throw it out without a second thought.  I am not one of these people.

Fortunately, I have had excellent experience with superannuated food.  My conspiracy theory of the world includes a section on expiration dates, which I believe to be a plot by manufacturers to get you to throw out perfectly good stuff and buy more.

Recently my husband and I were discussing what might happen in a global disaster, since the worldwide food supply chain is only a few days long.  He opined that we could eat for a year on what was in our cupboards.  I thought that was an overstatement, but had to admit that we do own a lot of food.

And I decided to embark upon a project to eat it up.

I'm not going to try to eat from the cupboard every day (although we obviously could, for a while if not for a year).  But I am going to try to use up some albatross food every week.

To start off, here's a bag of bread mix that somebody brought me as a hostess gift a long time ago. 

Yes, you read it right -- 2003.  But it baked up nicely and even rose as it should.

I thought it was kind of pedestrian as bread goes, but my 12-year-old granddaughter and all the men thought it was wonderful, and the kitchen certainly smelled of cinnamon all afternoon.  A couple of slices got Zoe through three hours of arduous math homework, and helped the guys survive till a late dinner.  To date nobody has died, which is good because now the project can continue to another week.

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