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Do the Best Things in Life Come with an Expiration Date?

As a pessimist, I would say that they do. But I am not so sure. As I prepared for tomorrow’s feast, I noticed this small familiar object that I have mostly ignored over the years.

My wife and I have been married for 43 years. I don’t remember when we acquired this can of cinnamon but I am pretty sure it was soon after we married, if not before. I looked at the can to see if there was a date on it. There wasn’t. Obviously, we don’t use a lot of cinnamon in our diet but we do use it in a pumpkin…

  1. Fat Dave

    Must be pretty stingy with the cinnamon.  But seriously, are you tasting it?  Ground cinnamon, like many spices, loses its potency relatively rapidly.

  2. Mama Toad

    Love this post.

    My parents bought a summer cabin in 1966, years before I was born. Several summers ago, we converted one of the very small bedrooms into a larger kitchen. As we transferred items to the new kitchen cabinets, I came across spices and other items that I swear came with the house. Do you think my mother let me throw any of them out?

    When I lived in Oregon, I shopped at Albertson’s. There is no Albertson’s for hundreds of miles where I now live. I left Oregon 13 years ago. I still have a package of 500 Albertson’s Q-tips (yes, I packed them up for my x-country move). I use them frequently, I think, but like the flour of the widow who fed Elijah, my Q-tips never seem to be depleted. 

    May your grandchildren enjoy your container of spices, and share the family heirloom with their children as well.

  3. Southern Pessimist
    Mama Toad: . I use them frequently, I think, but like the flour of the widow who fed Elijah, my Q-tips never seem to be depleted. 

    Exactly. The flour of the widow who fed Elijah is the perfect metaphor for the miracle of life that shows up in Q-tips that never seem to be depleted and tins of cinnamon that never run dry.

  4. RightinChicago

    “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everone drops to zero.” – Narrator of Fight Club. Strictly speaking, everything has an expiration date if you wait long enough. So yes.

  5. flownover

    Use by dating is a recent phenom. Ignore it in most cases, although spice does go stale.  everything else will tell you in a quick sniff.

    Being half swedish, I always heard that a normal svenska couple could tell how long they have been married by how much was left in the tabasco bottle they acquired upon marriage. at fifty years it was pretty near gone , eh ?

    mexican cuisine and cajun talk cook shows have ruined all that.

    uff da ! habanero flotbrot and lutefisk comin up ! eh ?

  6. Stu In Tokyo

    Uh…..ah….. I think you should ask your lovely wife how many times she has bought the small bag of cinnamon and refilled that can……

  7. wilber forge

    Seems Ludefisk and Hardtack have no expiration date. Mom had a pantry in the basement. The expiration dates on the goods were beyond the grave. Twelve year old Smuckers jelly is a little scary.

  8. Southern Pessimist

    As a clueless southern boy, I have no idea what habanero flotbrot and lutefisk are. Willing to learn, however. Willing to learn.

  9. Mama Toad
    Southern Pessimist: As a clueless southern boy, I have no idea what habanero flotbrot and lutefisk are. Willing to learn, however. Willing to learn. · 0 minutes ago

    You might regret saying this… Lutefisk. Flotbrot is just a kind of flat bread from Scandinavian…cuisine.  (can one say “cuisine” when talking about lutefisk?)
  10. Palaeologus
    flownover: Use by dating is a recent phenom. Ignore it in most cases, although spice does go stale.  everything else will tell you in a quick sniff.

    Being half swedish, I always heard that a normal svenska couple could tell how long they have been married by how much was left in the tabasco bottle they acquired upon marriage. at fifty years it was pretty near gone , eh ?

    mexican cuisine and cajun talk cook shows have ruined all that.

    uff da ! habanero flotbrot and lutefisk comin up ! eh ? · 8 minutes ago

    That’s perfect. My Norwegian dad (who would likely have Tabasco dating from the mid 70′s if he hadn’t moved so much) received a lovely clock for the mantle when he left a job in the early 80′s. The inscription: oof da!

    Maybe I’ll make him some smoked serrano lefsa for his birthday.

  11. RightinChicago

    @ Southern Pessimist…. The less you know about lutefisk, the better. Just know that it’s fish that’s been buried and dug up. Ewwwwww

  12. Southern Pessimist
    Mama Toad

    Southern Pessimist: As a clueless southern boy, I have no idea what habanero flotbrot and lutefisk are. Willing to learn, however. Willing to learn. · 0 minutes ago

    You might regret saying this… Lutefisk. Flotbrot is just a kind of flat bread from Scandinavian…cuisine.  (can one say “cuisine” when talking about lutefisk?) · 7 minutes ago

    Went to your link. Lutefisk sounds much worse than turkey jello and that is pretty bizarre. 

  13. Southern Pessimist
    Palaeologus

    flownover: Use by dating is a recent phenom. Ignore it in most cases, although spice does go stale.  everything else will tell you in a quick sniff.

    Being half swedish, I always heard that a normal svenska couple could tell how long they have been married by how much was left in the tabasco bottle they acquired upon marriage. at fifty years it was pretty near gone , eh ?

    mexican cuisine and cajun talk cook shows have ruined all that.

    uff da ! habanero flotbrot and lutefisk comin up ! eh ? · 8 minutes ago

    That’s perfect. My Norwegian dad (who would likely have Tabasco dating from the mid 70′s if he hadn’t moved so much) received a lovely clock for the mantle when he left a job in the early 80′s. The inscription:oof da!

    Maybe I’ll make him some smoked serrano lefsa for his birthday. · 7 minutes ago

    I may have smoked some serrano lefsa in my youth but I am sure I did not inhale.

  14. wilber forge
    Southern Pessimist: As a clueless southern boy, I have no idea what habanero flotbrot and lutefisk are. Willing to learn, however. Willing to learn. · 14 minutes ago

    Traditional Ludefisk is dried fish cured with lye to preserve it. Takes about three weeks of soaking to make it appear edible, which it is not.

  15. Palaeologus
    Mama Toad

    Southern Pessimist: As a clueless southern boy, I have no idea what habanero flotbrot and lutefisk are. Willing to learn, however. Willing to learn. · 0 minutes ago

    You might regret saying this… Lutefisk. Flotbrot is just a kind of flat bread from Scandinavian…cuisine.  (can one say “cuisine” when talking about lutefisk?) · 12 minutes ago

    You can say it. But can you really mean it?

    (link includes mild CoC violations courtesy of Dennis Miller)

  16. Palaeologus
    Southern Pessimist

    Palaeologus

    flownover: Use by dating is a recent phenom. Ignore it in most cases, although spice does go stale.  everything else will tell you in a quick sniff.

    Being half swedish, I always heard that a normal svenska couple could tell how long they have been married by how much was left in the tabasco bottle they acquired upon marriage. at fifty years it was pretty near gone , eh ?

    mexican cuisine and cajun talk cook shows have ruined all that.

    uff da ! habanero flotbrot and lutefisk comin up ! eh ? · 8 minutes ago

    That’s perfect. My Norwegian dad (who would likely have Tabasco dating from the mid 70′s if he hadn’t moved so much) received a lovely clock for the mantle when he left a job in the early 80′s. The inscription:oof da!

    Maybe I’ll make him some smoked serrano lefsa for his birthday. · 7 minutes ago

    I may have smoked some serrano lefsa in my youth but I am sure I did not inhale. · 9 minutes ago

    Good thinking. Inhaling is always a bad idea when Scandies are cooking.

  17. Macsen

    I appreciate the sentiment behind the post, and can imagine it applying to other spices, but cinnamon? Really? A little can like that wouldn’t last a single holiday season in my kitchen, between Thanksgiving recipes and Xmas cookies (we’re Jewish, but cookies are cookies…). We need at least a whole new can for Passover too, now that we’ve learned the secret of cinnamon-coated matzoh balls (you’ll never look at chicken soup the same way again, I promise).

  18. Jimmy Carter

    I see an expiration date on my bottle of water, but I don’t see one on My tap.

  19. dittoheadadt

    Don’t know the veracity of this, but I remember hearing years ago that if you put a tub of margarine in your car trunk and left it there for 20 years, it would still be margarine.

    Or was that about Twinkies…?

  20. flownover
    Jimmy Carter: I see an expiration date on my bottle of water, but I don’t see one on My tap. · 8 minutes ago

    tap water mostly maintained by chlorine gas,  just imagine if the house next door has been empty for two years and the water sits in the pipe, better pray for back pressure.

    the expiration on water will always be two years from bottling, silly rule from a couple years back, no basis whatsoever.we bottle the stuff with a residual bactericide called ozone. 

    quite a talk about lutefisk eh ? golly, wonder what do they think about potato sausage and aakavit ? lefsa with lingonberry jelly . 

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