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ChaosTitan
08-09-2008, 06:13 PM
Most things come with an expiration date. Oddly, many things can still be consumed safely after that date has passed (Special K cereal is particularly good at this). As we've been cleaning and packing to move, I've stumbled across some stuff in the pantry that needs a ruling.


Homemade Jarred Grape Juice. Quart jars, still sealed, no rust on the jar lids. It's at least five years old, still clear (or as clear as it ever is, with grapes bouncing around in there). My grandfather made the batch about five-ish years ago now, gave me eight jars, and they ended up crammed into the back of the pantry.

What say you? How long does home-canned stuff usually last? Just open one and try it?


Also, Betty Crocker Icing. It expired back in May, but it's still sealed. It's Cherry, one of my favorite flavors, so I hate tossing it if it's still useable. Or is this one just a loss?

HeronW
08-09-2008, 07:07 PM
Open one juice jar, check the inside of the lid--no rust, no mold, no bubles at the top of juice that isn't caused by shaking it, then sniff, taste a small bit.

If the icing is sealed, again, open, check the inside of the lid for rust, mold, then do the smell & taste test.

Best--though often last resort--toss it all. For the cost of a couple of bucks you don't need to endanger your health. The juice may have 'emotional' attachements but Gramps would prefer you not to get sick drinking his stuff 60+ months after he set it up.

ChaosTitan
08-09-2008, 07:27 PM
Open one juice jar, check the inside of the lid--no rust, no mold, no bubles at the top of juice that isn't caused by shaking it, then sniff, taste a small bit.


Sounds like a plan.

Best case scenario, I get quite the buzz from it. :e2brows:

Siddow
08-09-2008, 07:38 PM
Here's a good guideline:

http://www.pastrywiz.com/storage/drygoods.htm

ChaosTitan
08-09-2008, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the link, Siddow!

Maryn
08-09-2008, 10:20 PM
I've used prepackaged frosting several years after the use-by date. The stuff never dies or goes bad. Even after you open it, if you refrigerate it the worst that happens is it gets a little dry. Add a dribble of milk, nuke it to soften the whole, and keep on spreadin'...

I'd be more leery of the home-canned stuff simply because it's home-canned.

Maryn, whose daughter who loves to bake has ruined tub frosting for the rest of us

CBumpkin
08-09-2008, 11:09 PM
The grape juice worries me, but HeronW laid out the plan I would have suggested.

As for the frosting, I'm torn. Part of me says it will be just fine because there isn't a natural ingredient in that kind of processed food to spoil! (Again, smell and taste.) But, part of me says to toss it immediately and don't look back. But, that's just me! I hate cherry flavored anything. Love real cherries but anything else with a cherry flavor is gross to me.

Maryn: Several years? I was about to say that's spooky, but I can't now. I just realized that I have a large bottle of pure vanilla extract that I bought in Mexico some years ago and gave to a friend of mine. That was back when you couldn't find pure vanilla anywhere in the US without paying an arm and a kidney for it. I was at my friend's house about six months ago and noticed they hadn't even opened the bottle yet! (Which kinda ticked-me off a little!) I just said, "You haven't used this so I'm taking it home. I'll use it." It's still perfect. How old is it? In all honesty, I think it's nine years old!

PattiTheWicked
08-10-2008, 12:20 AM
There is no food that can stay in my house long enough to expire. A can of frosting that isn't used on a cake within the first two days of landing in the pantry will end up eaten with a spoon by at least one of us.

CBumpkin
08-10-2008, 12:39 AM
A can of frosting that isn't used on a cake within the first two days of landing in the pantry will end up eaten with a spoon by at least one of us.

That's disgusting! You're completely off-the-wall weird! OK, I've done that, too. :gone:I don't care for :Cake: very much, but I do like frosting. I've eaten frosting out of the tub twice in my life. The first time was many, many years ago. (I felt like such a rebel! LOL) The last time was actually last week! LOL.

I was walking the aisles of the grocery store and wanted just a little something sweet. Something I could ration out over time. I came to the frostings and thought, That's it! A spoon or two cures the sweet tooth, it's cheap enough and this stuff never dies anyway!

Whipped Cream Cheese frosting. Mmmm..... (It'll be years and years before I do it again though.)

ChaosTitan
08-10-2008, 08:02 AM
I'll definitely eat Vanilla frosting straight, no cake needed. Yumm-y!

The Cherry flavored is to go with a hard-to-find cake mix flavor called Cherry Chip. They stopped selling it in my hometown area years ago, and I only found it again at a SuperTarget here in NoVA. I use it to make cream cheese cookies, mostly, but once in a while Cherry Chip/Cherry frosting cupcakes are out of this world!

kikazaru
08-10-2008, 09:21 AM
I've never bought canned frosting. It's way too easy to make the real stuff (butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, small bit of cream or milk) and it tastes so much better than to buy the canned stuff. However, I would think that your frosting would be just fine being that sugar is a natural preservative and you are only a few months past the date.

Canned goods I'd be a bit more leery of - esp those that have a high acid content. I had a can of mandarin oranges in my cupboard for a couple of years and when I looked at them they were bulging at the end. I'm lucky they didn't explode.

L M Ashton
08-10-2008, 03:08 PM
High acid foods preserve well, though, so I'm not sure why thse would be particularly worrisome to some people. And home canning if you don't know how knowledgeable the person is about home canning, sure, but there's a whole lot of us who do know what we're doing and have no problems doing it properly such that our preserved foods are good for years.

Based on my experience with my own canning, my sister's canning, my mother's canning... I'd say it's definitely possible that the grape juice is perfectly fine. :)

ChaosTitan
08-10-2008, 05:26 PM
And home canning if you don't know how knowledgeable the person is about home canning, sure, but there's a whole lot of us who do know what we're doing and have no problems doing it properly such that our preserved foods are good for years.


Well, my grandparents have canned just about everything (mostly grown from their own garden) over the years, so he knows what he's doing.

I suppose I'll have to bust one open when I get home from work this evening. Give it the sight/sniff test. See if it curls my nose hairs. ;)

L M Ashton
08-10-2008, 05:33 PM
Yeah, and that was the impression I got from your post, so I'm supporting you in testing the theory that it's still fine. I would. :) I've eaten canned goods with zero problems that were older than that. :)

kikazaru
08-10-2008, 05:50 PM
High acid foods preserve well, though, so I'm not sure why thse would be particularly worrisome to some people. And home canning if you don't know how knowledgeable the person is about home canning, sure, but there's a whole lot of us who do know what we're doing and have no problems doing it properly such that our preserved foods are good for years.

Based on my experience with my own canning, my sister's canning, my mother's canning... I'd say it's definitely possible that the grape juice is perfectly fine. :)

I was referring to actual canned goods in a tin can (which I know some home canners do as well) foods high in acid tend not to keep as well in cans as does lower acid foods do.

Some info here about it if you are interested.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/452010.html

L M Ashton
08-10-2008, 06:08 PM
Ah, got it. Bit of a different beast. :)