Saturday, December 15, 2018

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Some pantry chatting

Christmas Eve a few years ago

Thank you for the comments and suggestions about losing everything in the freezer.  I appreciated them very much.  When menu planning, I still have to remind myself the items in the freezer are GONE!

Oh, well... life continues as usual.

I already checked spices to see if any needed to be added to my grocery list for the Holidays.  They were already up to date when I checked early in the baking season.  Mainly because I check throughout the year so there is no need to spend more than I want at Christmas.

What I had not checked yet was the date on the baking powder.  I assumed it was fine, even though I hadn't baked as much this past year.  When I looked, I was shocked.  Honestly, I think my jaw fell... that shocked.  The Use By date was in 2016!  Proof that time goes faster than we remember.

I threw it away and Rumsford baking powder was immediately added to the shopping list.  I am so glad I checked before doing any baking that needed it. I've been mixing and freezing shortbread dough for the (refrigerator) freezer and that recipe does not need baking powder.

I had another expiration date experience last week.  I received a bread machine as an early Christmas gift (I have missed having one the past few years, I mainly use the dough cycle!) so I needed to purchase a jar of yeast at the grocery store.  I picked up one jar and looked at the expiration date and thought it seemed kind of early, it was April 2019.  So I picked up a jar a little further back on the shelf and the expiration date was an entire year later in 2020!

I don't recall who it was that always gave the recommendation to check a few items on the shelf for expiration dates before making a purchase.  I started doing this at the time and I've been surprised at finding items past their expiration date on the shelves.  I mainly check for baking items and canned goods purchased to "put back" and deepen the pantry.

Our Christmas dinner is going to be tomorrow, when our son and his family will travel here as well as our daughter-in-law's family.  One family lives further north and the other further south so they will meet and dine here in between.  It didn't work out for our usual Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year so I suggested a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner here in mid-December.  That worked great for all of us.

I had already been decluttering a little at a time so a few weeks ago, I began cleaning a little at a time.  What is it about company coming over that one's house suddenly seems such a mess?  I don't know where all those spider webs came from in our small bathroom.  It makes me wonder where all those spiders are!

Today I make pies and set the table so tomorrow I only need to bake the ham and a couple sides.  I'm also baking some of the shortbread cookies to make certain there are simple cookies for Piper. We will get to cuddle baby Oliver again.  He is more alert than when we saw him as a newborn.

I don't get to see our son's family and these friends often so each time we can get together is precious time.  Especially when food is involved and I get to use my favorite china.  ;)  The other ladies are bringing their specialties.

It would be perfect if my daughter and her family could be here but they tried that 1,000 mile trip at Christmas time... once.  When there were only two or three small children.  Instead we all agreed it best to visit in warmer weather.  When we see them this summer, it will have been two years since we were all together.  But we make it work.

Now... there are pies to bake.  Here is a newborn photo of Oliver with his mommy, my daughter-in-law is pretty even after sleepless nights!  He will be two months old soon.


Rebecca said...

No need for me to tell you to enjoy those grandchildren! Your day sounds well-played organized.

Yes, expiration dates can be tricky. I don't always abide by them...checking the quality before being ghasty about discarding them.

Decluttering continues around here, too. I set a few realistic goalsi .this area as I approach a significant birthday. 😊

Vee said...

Merry Christmas a bit early! Your table is beautiful and your home and heart are ready to welcome everyone in. It will be wonderful to snuggle with the baby and to see Piper and her mama and daddy and her other grandparents again.

Gravy and I have not yet made friends so when it was suggested that I try Wondra, I set about to find some. I was so excited about finding it four stores later that I just grabbed the first one. I checked the date after the fact. It expires this month. Now I wonder if Wondra can be used as a straight flour in cooking. Gravy and I won’t be meeting for at least two years and it would be a terrible waste.

Happy pie baking! 🥧

Anonymous said...

I sure hope all will go well for your dinner and that you get some cuddle time with baby and sister!!

You are like us...tis the day we get together that is important...whenever that day happens...we never worry if is a holiday or not...we try to make the rare gatherings special as we can whenever...

Blessings, Elizabeth

Suzan said...

Your daughter and her baby are so precious. I love that photo. I am sorry that they will not be with you but it is understandable. Only my son will be home this Christmas. It is going to a tough one as it is the first Christmas without my father. I must dig out our Christmas plates. Thank you for the reminder.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Oh, Oliver looks so dear. Blessings on him, and you, and all your family, Brenda! May you have a wonderful happy meal together where no one is too tired but just full of contentment and joy.

Baking powder may last longer than you think. If you mix it well together and add a bit to vinegar and it fizzes up, it should still be good....Or, I just read this method: "to test if baking powder is still active, spoon 1/2 teaspoon in a bowl and pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of boiling water over it. Right away it should bubble up violently. If it does, it’s still good. If it doesn’t, discard it and open a new tin". cream of tartar will last forever if stored in a cool dry place....

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Enjoy! I know it it’ll be a sweet time! said...

Sweet picture!

Bonnie said...

Brenda, I just finished baking all of my sugar cookies. It is one of the few recipes that calls for baking powder. Most of my recipes use baking soda. Well, this year, I was careful to check all of my spices, but forgot about the baking powder. AFTER, the cookies were baked and had turned out perfectly, I looked at the date - 2013! I threw it out immediately, of course, but somehow the cookies are just fine! Merry Christmas, my friend!