List of things I didn’t realize expired

| Aug. 4, 2007

If you don’t maintain them, friendships will tend to whither away. In light of this, I recently had a party at my tiny ratbox apartment celebrating July the 19th, if only to remind my friends that I, in fact, still exist. On a whim, I baked a lemon bundt cake and two pumpkin pies for the occasion. (Mmm… pumpkin pie, the perennial fall treat, now in July!)

As I hadn’t done any baking in close to three years, what follows is a list of other things I didn’t realize would go bad if left idle long enough:

  1. Crisco – I open the time capsule from 2004, and am greeted by a smell like the inside of an old paint can. Given enough time, it appears condensed vegetable oil will separate out into its component parts, which possess the texture of soap and neopolitan ice cream.
  2. Condensed Milk – I admit, this one isn’t that shocking as it’s dairy, but the can at least allowed it to hold out for a good two years before being rendered unfit for baking.
  3. Pumpkin Pie Filling – With a shelf life of three years, this is the one that held out the longest. When the apocalypse comes, all the cockroaches will have to eat is pumkpin pie filling.
  4. Canned Peaches – When I bought these in 2005, I didn’t expect something with a shelf life of two years to have expired seven months before I got around to opening them (or rather, reconsidering not to open them).
  5. Instant Jell-O Pudding – Now this is the one I understand the least. First off, it’s instant dehydrated powder, so I’m not sure what’s left in it to even rot or mutate or whatever Jell-O pudding can do on a shelf for two years. The second is the expiration date itself: September 4, 2006. How can the makers of Jell-O pudding be so precise about a date that was a good 21 months away? Is that Jell-O’s half life?

    But the most poignant thing of all was…

  6. Relationships – Everything has a shelf life. These are all ingredients for desserts that a girlfriend and I were going to make, but we broke up before we had a chance to use them. And so they sat waiting in my cupboard until they, too, expired.


7 Responses to “List of things I didn’t realize expired”

  1. Some girl says:

    … Oh.

    Timing’s a funny thing; I hadn’t visited your site in months.

  2. prhead says:

    Wait, your girlfriend is dead??

  3. Tim says:

    What do I look like, a doctor?

  4. Some girl says:

    He’s right — I’m bored in the afterlife, so I’m haunting your blog.

  5. Tim says:

    Maybe you can anwser something for me, ghost. Is it more exciting being alive or dead? It’s dead, right?

  6. Kazgol says:

    They can be sure of expiration dates years away, and even tell you the time, because they know what the environment is in the container. Knowing what chemicals are present, how they will interact, and the rate at which these interactions occur let them know when things will expire. Most, but not all, canned foods have an expiration date that tells you when there is no more nutritional value, and/or when the flavor won’t be as good.


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