Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rotten Food

I'm really fortunate to have a wonderful woman come and clean my house once a week.  "D" is worth her weight in gold and I'd give up a lot of things before I'd give her up.  It's really nice to come home after work and find every thing done.  It means I can spend my days off doing stuff I like instead of cleaning the house.  When my mom was alive, D cleaned her house and my mom loved her too.

If I have extra food left over, I usually ask D if she wants some.  You know, like a bag of oranges that's just too much for me and The Husband to eat.   Lots of times I end up with bananas that are overripe...because there's only about a two day window when I'll eat them.  They have to be all yellow with no green on the top...and here's the most important part...no brown spots...none...nada...zip.  I won't eat a banana with brown spots.

I know that overripe bananas are really good for baking...like banana bread or muffins...but I don't really like banana bread or banana muffins.  If someone gives me a piece of banana bread, I'll eat it to be polite, but it's not the sort of thing I'd waste my time baking.  If my bananas get overripe I throw them away.  I know it's wasteful and I should be more frugal, but the truth is I'm just way too lazy to be that frugal.

That being said, D likes to bake so one day when I was home I asked her if she wanted the bananas (they were really overripe...way past the brown spot stage).  "Yeah" she said "your mom used to give me rotten fruit too."  I'm speechless and completely mortified.  It actually never occurred to me that I was asking someone if they wanted my rotten food.  To this day I cringe inwardly every time I think about this.

One of my friends, OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) is very, very, very frugal when it comes to not wasting food.  My grandma was like that.  Grandma hated wasting food...but she was around during the Great Depression so that's kinda understandable....OF wasn't.  I don't know why OF has this thing about not wasting food, but she does.  We frequently argue about whether something is still safe to eat or not.

I have to admit that one time when I left milk in the refrigerator too long, my son came over and poured himself a big glass only to be disgusted when it came out in chunks.  Chunky milk....yum.  He will never let me forget it and always checks the date on my milk cartons before he starts pouring.  I try not to let things get that far but sometimes...in any case, I surely wouldn't try to tell someone that chunky milk was still good to drink.

I happen to be of the opinion that food, say a store bought roasted chicken, after the initial meal, shouldn't be eaten if it's been left in the refrigerator...sitting in it's tray of congealed fat and drippings...uncovered...for a week.  OF, like Grandma, thinks it's perfectly fine.  "It's still good" she says, offering me jerky like strips of roasted chicken.  If I was inclined to eat doggie treats...which I'm not...except when I was a kid and ate a Milk Bone, I'd buy a bag...they sell 'em at Walmart.

OF likes to point out that she's a trained professional who works at a health department and it's her job to know about things like what the spoiling stage is for food.  I like to point out that her field of expertise is inspecting septic tanks. Yikes...I hope there's a difference in the areas of expertise at our local health department.  Yesterday OF all knowingly declared "butter never spoils".   "Yes it does" I said "it gets rancid".  We're laughing at this point and I think she knows she's wrong but doesn't want to admit it...that's her story and she's stickin' to it come hell or high water.  (FYI I Googled the spoiling stage for butter and the general consensus is...3-4 days sitting on the counter...1 month in the refrigerator...and 4-5 months in the freezer...give or take a little depending on whether it's salted or unsalted.  If it's darker on the outside when you cut it, it's oxidized & should be thrown out.)

OF and I bought some bread at Costco a couple of weeks ago.  Since it was a two pack we each took a loaf.  A couple of days ago, I noticed the bread on her counter and mockingly asked if she was going to eat it.  Even she had to admit that it was past the eating stage..."but I can give it to the dogs" she said.  Yesterday when I was leaving her house I saw something laying in the driveway.  It was a hunk of the bread.  I would have loved to seen her face when she saw that the dogs wouldn't even eat it.  I bet she grabbed it and threw it in the trash before I could see it and make fun of her...too late.

I like to make fun of OF for stuff like this but it's not like she doesn't do the same to me.  And truth be told, I'm glad I'm not the only one who tries to give my friends rotten food.  It's the stoopidist thing.