Saturday, February 01, 2020
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Condiments
We have had a mild case of the flu here. Thankfully not the terrible kind that has closed some of the schools. However, it was enough that I didn't get the projects completed that I wanted to do last week.
Except for one project that, like so many, came to me when I was using a product. I don't use Sriracha a lot but I do use it enough that it is a condiment I depend on. Unlike people who love a lot of heat in their food and pour it on everything, I use it sparingly for just a touch of heat and its' flavor.
I say that because, as I was using it in a recipe last week, I thought I'd better check the expiration date. Yikes! Let's just say that I had purchased it earlier than I remembered. I wasn't worried about using right then it since the ingredients would give it a long life but I did throw it away and put it on my grocery list.
I decided it was once again time to go through the condiments and see if anything else was far past the expiration date. I didn't think so as I had done this a few months ago (how did I miss the Sriracha?) and as expected, there wasn't anything else past the expiration date.
However, there were a few condiments that were almost empty that I knew I wouldn't use soon so they also went into the trash. For the first time in awhile, I didn't have to squeeze items in the shelf of the refrigerator drawer where I keep them.
I was relieved to find the jar of yeast I keep with the condiments was still within the time it is good. I used to buy yeast in bulk and keep part of it in the freezer but these days, I buy it in a jar and keep it refrigerated.
Since I was thinking about condiments and expiration dates, I checked a few items in the yellow pantry and decided to put baking powder on the grocery list. I usually replace it regardless during the Holidays but I didn't do much baking this year, while recovering from eye surgery.
Everything else was fine but I was almost out of Tajin so it went on the grocery list for Aldi, where I purchase it but it is probably available at most stores these days. I had a sample that lasted a couple of years until I saw one of Nigella's PBS programs. She kept it just to use on melons.
I love watermelon with just salt the way I grew up eating it but once I tried Tajin on it... yum. It became my go-to healthy treat last summer. Tajin to me is the Mexican version of what sumac is to Middle Eastern cooking. Except sumac has a lemony flavor and Tajin has dehydrated lime in the blend.
I had bought sumac in a bag from the Asian food store in town so the stuff in my yellow pantry is probably three or four years old now. It is stored in a Ball jar so it is dry and it is still good (spices really do have a very long shelf life). I do think it would be a good idea to purchase a replacement bag soon.
There are some spices that should be stored in the freezer because they can get buggy. The two I know of are dried mustard and some types of chili powder. I don't use dried mustard very much so it was kept in the freezer. I don't use it at all these days. I buy chili powder in the regular bottles at the grocery store and use it up before it has a chance to get buggy. If you think of others, please comment below.
The talk about spices reminds me that my son is cooking through one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem. I had given him my copy and he has now far surpassed me in what he has made. He posts photos that always make me hungry. I highly recommend that cookbook.
I think that is enough rambling on about condiments and spices, although they are important... one can only ponder them so long. ;)
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