Going green, but not in a good way

My husband is not what you would call subtle.  Recently he iChatted me a website that he wanted me to book mark for use whenever I step foot in the kitchen.

With 3 children, working at home, homeschooling, and all the insanity that combo brings, we often communicate best through technology.  That way we’re not left staring at each other and yelling over the din, “WHAT WAS IT THAT I WAS SUPPOSE TO REMEMBER TO TELL YOU?” So we send each other messages willy nilly.  “The toilet paper? It goes ON THE TOILET PAPER HOLDER.” Etcetera.

Anyhoo. I married a man who has certain ideas about cleanliness.  Especially in the kitchen.  It’s not that he’s a clean freak himself.  HOOOBOY. NOT EVEN. But he has issues with germs, mold, bacteria, and general nastiness.

The first time he ever witnessed me licking a cake batter bowl, his eyes rolled to the back of his head just before he hit the floor.  He didn’t know where to start.  The raw eggs?  The licking of the fingers?  The licking of the beaters?  His wife sticking her entire head into the bowl declaring that it no longer needed to be washed?

I attempted to explain to him that I come from a long line of southern women.  And in the south, we eat raw cookie dough, cake batter, and would never dream of leaving any of those delicacies behind on a spoon, bowl, or whathaveyou.

He shuddered.  And even after all these years of wedded bliss, I still don’t think he gets it.  Or approves.

Therefore, a link to a website appeared in my in-box this week.  Oh boy.  Here we go again.  Another interesting article about the perils of e-coli, or salmonella poisoning.  I clicked, because never let it be said that I don’t listen to my husband.  The link went to a website called StillTasty.  It is a Shelf Life Guide about everything Food related.  And unbeknownst to me, I HAD QUESTIONS.

Not only did I get the questions answered, but I learned things that I never even thought about asking.

One habit that I got into after marrying my food-cautious husband, was that I label all leftovers before they go into the fridge.  I keep a roll of masking tape and a permanent marker in my kitchen drawer, and I label what the item is, and the date it was cooked.

This works well as long as we either eat the leftovers in question, or throw them out before they turn green and fuzzy.  And sport wings.  But how long is too long?

I learned some interesting facts when perusing this website.  For example, I’ve been in the habit of tossing yogurt and other dairy products the day after the expiration date.  DON’T NEED TO.  According to StillTasty, the expiration date is a selling guide, and the dairy products are still good up to a week after the expiration date, as long as you follow safe storage procedures. Like keeping the temperature in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees.  Also, the FDA has a handy consumer tip guide on their website.

I thought this was an interesting fact.  I’ve always heard that it’s unsafe to store food still in an opened can. According to StillTasty, while from a safety standpoint, it is okay, the USDA still doesn’t advise it.  The reason is that “canned foods retain their flavor and appearance if you transfer them to glass or plastic storage containers after opening.”

There is also a guide to freezing foods.  Did you know that you can freeze eggs? Me neither!  You just need to do a little prep work, according to StillTasty.  Always remove the eggs from their shells, because when a raw egg freezes, it expands.  And you don’t need a science lesson to know what would happen to the shell.

After you crack open the eggs, pierce the yolks, and mix them to blend with the whites.  Then you add in either of the following: 1) 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every cup of raw eggs, if you’re planning to use the eggs for a regular dish, or 2) 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of eggs, if you’re using them for baking or desserts.  The salt and the sugar both prevent the eggs’ yolks from getting too gelatinous when frozen.

Then you simply place the egg mixture in airtight containers or heavy duty freezer bags and place in the freezer.

Who knew?  What a great way to save money when eggs go on sale!

I’m able to search this sight by individual food as well, to get the information I seek.  LOVE THIS SITE.  Now my husband can no longer accuse me of trying to poison him.  HE CAN LOOK IT UP if he doesn’t believe me.

Now that I’m armed with all this culinary information, I actually think of myself as “going green.”  No more second guessing and food wasting for me.

And no unnecessary food-related trips to the emergency room for my spouse.

Win-win.

13 Responses to Going green, but not in a good way

  • Thanks for all the tips and the great website!! Oh and BTW I also have to lick the batter bowl 🙂

  • My Hubby is a neat freak/germaphobe about the kitchen too as is my dad. It must be a Y chromosome thing! I love licking the beaters, spoons, & batter out of the bowl.

  • Hi, my name is Brooke and I’m a batter bowl licker.

    Shhhh, don’t tell the kids. They aren’t allowed to.

  • Thanks for the website. I will use it obsessively.

    Also, thanks for letting me know that every human being on Earth doesn’t lick the bowl. Seems unnatural. Who knew?

  • I lick the bowls and spoons, but don’t let my kids, either! I figure that over the years, I’ve probably gradually built up an immunity to salmonella and other ickies, but the kids would be getting the modern strains full-force, so I don’t let them.

    Yeah, I’m a great justifier. LOL

    And this is SO cool about the freezing eggs thing!

  • I don’t get to lick the spoons/bowls/beaters anymore because my kids always beat me to it. With four kids someone is always waiting in the wings for me to put the item in the oven or wash my hands so they can run off with the bowl of goodies. However, while I never worry about eating it myself, for some reason I watch my kids like a hawk to make sure they don’t throw up or break out in a rash or something weird.

  • Loved your post and will use the site. My husband is the “if it doesn’t smell bad, it’s okay to eat” consumer in our house and will finish off anything offered to him. I’m the cautious one and will argue with him that “if it says it’s expired, it means it’s expired.” I will now back off until I check the website. I did reorganize and toss out my old spices the month after I retired, thanks to the information on the McCormick Spices site. You can enter the code and it will tell you whether it’s good or not (and about how old it actually is). I have a friend who says she has spices from 1998!

  • My husband also freaks out over the eating of the batter/licking of the bowl. Well, he’s much better now, actually. It only took almost 20 years for him to be able to just walk away.

  • gosh, that’s so funny! every time I make chicken, my husband always says he needs to check my work because he thinks I’ll give him “the salmonella” one of these days!!!

  • I lick the batter too, after all what a wasted to just wash it off. Like everyone else, the kids aren’t allowed. I tell them I am responsible for keeping them well and if I get sick it will be my own fault. I wouldn’t want to get them sick!
    My husband is always accusing me of trying to give him salmonella too. It drives me nuts!

  • That’s supposed to be “what a waste” not “what a wasted”.

  • Oh my gosh, I could have written this article. I am constantly throwing things in the garbage because it is too close the due date. Milk goes if it has been opened a week, regardless of the date on the carton. Yogurt goes on the day after expiration. Canned goods get tossed if there is a dent near the top or bottom rim. And yes, I do eat raw cookie dough, but I do not let the kids. (I make sure they are not looking.) Great site, I really enjoy it!