Pease Pudding in the pot, nine days old…

Published October 24, 2010 by Claire

Well, beef stew in the fridge, three days old, really.

But it reminded me of the old nursery rhyme:

Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old.
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot  – nine days old.

I made the stew in question on Thursday and the remainder went into a bowl in the fridge where, as is my wont, I promptly forgot about it. I have a horror of wasting food, although I don’t know why – it’s not as though I were a war baby and lived through rationing! Although, when I think about it most of my childhood reading material was set in more austere times, so perhaps that’s what’s led me to feel that every last scrap should be made use of, and prompted me to eat the leftover stew for dinner.

The difficulty is that although I have this horror of waste, I also have the modern-day terror of use-by dates.

I know the rules – “Best Before” means ‘It’ll be alright after this date but don’t come running to us if it’s not on top form’; “Sell By” means ‘get it out of our shop before it starts going green and after that its the customers problem’; and “Use by” means ‘you’ll die if you eat this, we’re sure of it, and we don’t want you to sue us’.

My father, however, insists that it’s all poppycock and you can simply scrape off the crusty green layer of the item you’ve chipped off the back of the fridge and gorge yourself on whatever’s left… he’s made it to 75 without any noticeable repercussions and so I do try not to panic too much – I trust my eyes and my nose most of the time to decide if something’s edible.

With my stew, though, I posted a thread on T’otherplace asking if they thought it was safe to eat. The general response was ‘Go for it, we won’t miss you anyway’. So I ate it – and if I never blog again you can blame them!

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