Friday, February 27, 2009

Best When Used By...

"It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe."

-Robert Fuss

If you are like me, you are a label reader! I like to cook, so I like to know what it is I am putting in my food, and what my food consists of. As a diabetic, I have learned to be especially diligent with things. Calories, fat grams, cholesterol... it all counts, but the most important thing of all is the art of dealing with food safely. I didn't learn that from being diabetic, I learned that when a former boyfriend's mother poisoned me, and a few others, with a deliberately mismanaged turkey. If you have known me for any length of time, you have probably heard about my adventure that June 6th, all those years ago! I remember it like it was yesterday, it was probably the sickest I have ever been, and in truth, I don't think I have felt the same since. It was violent, and painful, and it left an impression, both about the guy I was dating, and about food.

Turkey had my respect from that moment on! What I mean by that is that it all became very clear about how things should be done just a certain way. It was about 10 years, or so, after the food poisoning before I ate turkey again, and another 7 years before I dared cook one myself. Turkey and I have made our peace with each other, in fact we are good friends now, mostly because I am so diligent with things. I am pleased to report that as a wife, I have never poisoned Alan or any of our dinner guests, either accidentally or on purpose. LOL. I am a good cook. It's something I take pride in, and do with love. To me, making a good, healthy meal is pretty much the easiest way to say,"I love you."

So I bet your saying to yourself, "what in the world is she on about here?" Ok, getting to the point, I want to ask you if you have been noticing what I have lately? Have you been noticing products left well past the "Use By" date on store shelves? I ask because, I have! And it hasn't been at just one store, it has been at several stores. I bought a Boboli whole wheat pizza crust at Safeway a couple week's ago, and didn't look at the "sell by" until I got home, only to find it was 3 weeks past the date! I dropped the ball! When I realized that, I went through everything I purchased that day to see if I had missed anything else. I hadn't, thank goodness, but it was disheartening all the same.

After that incident I became hyper aware of things, and began checking a little closer. I found some Egg Beaters at a different store in the East Bay that had a "Use By" date of December 31st 2008! The day I spotted that was February 25th 2009! YUCK! I have to wonder if this is yet another symptom of the economy? Are stores willing to push things, and hope we don't notice? I can't believe they are all in some sort of conspiracy to poison us, and yet, how come I am seeing expired food on shelves more and more?

I know that sometimes a manufacturer puts a date that merely refers to the quality of the taste, but sometimes I actually means quality as in the safety of the food. I try to use things well within the recommended dates, but I also know there is a little leeway in some cases. If you follow the USDA posted guidelines everything should be fine, on the other hand, I'd rather toss something questionable then end up...yuck...tossing it! All I know is I thank GOD for the Butterball hotline, but even with it, I don't make turkey in June!

Tell me what you think. Do you always check the date on items before you buy them at the grocery store? Have you ever bought something, and brought it home and then discovered it had expired? Have you been noticing expired products still on store shelves?


USDA Food Product Dating Guide

Butterball - Food Safety


Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Effect Of A Partly Sunny Sky On A Woman From The East Bay

"Where man sees but withered leaves, God sees sweet flowers growing."

-Albert Laighton

In-between the storms that have drenched the Bay Area lately, there was a day of mild temperatures and partly sunny skies. That day was yesterday. The color is starting to appear again, as are the bees. Yay bees! Blossoms too! Ut oh... I am experiencing spring fever a couple weeks early me thinks. It only took one, nearly sunny day to make me smile.


:) "In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head!"

-Emma Racine de Fleur

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #26: Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I've found it has little to do with the things you see, and everything to do with the way you see them."

-Elliot Erwitt

Welcome to the official 6 month mark of the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot! At the end of this entry I will be posting a fun little question for you guys, so if you feel like participating, just leave your answer right there in the comment thread. :) Ok, now on to this week's photo shoot!

Ok, now it is your time to shine! We photographers might tackle a lot of subjects, but we all have one type of photography that is our very favorite. Landscapes, Still Life, Night photography, Portraits, Pet photography, Seascapes, Sunsets, Macro photography... it's all good. For this assignment you are welcome to look in your archives and post your best photo, or you can set the scene sometime within this week, and show off the type of photography you feel you excel at. If you do go with a shot from your archive, try to make it one you haven't posted before, I am really interested in seeing something new if possible. HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT!

Extra Credit: Write a little about your personal style as a photographer. Why do you like a particular subject? What is the most challenging aspect of photography for you?

**Please Read**

You have until next Sunday evening at 9:00 PM ET to choose a photo, add it to your blog or journal, and then comeback here with the link. REMEMBER... it must be the direct link to the entry specific to this photo shoot assignment, not a general link to your blog, journal or website! NO HYPERLINKS ACCEPTED! Also, please remember to link back here, so other folks can do the assignment as well. :)

Linking List for EMPS #25: Birds. 02/16/09


1. Judi (Gilded Flicker)

2. Suzanne (White Geese)

3. Tammy (A Clear Swan)

4. Vicki (Two birds in silhouette)

5. Jama ( A black bird and a colorful Cockatoo)

6. Liz (A series of photos featuring a white swan)

7. Karen (Ducks at a dog park)

8. T.J. (A Great Egret and some Pelicans)

9. Nancy has two entries for us (A variety of birds and a Blue Heron)

10. Coy (Snowy Egret, Blue Heron and a Swan) WELCOME BACK COY! :)

11. Em Dy (Eagle)

12. Greg (Pink Flamingos and a "white bodied bird from Alaska)

13. Your EG Tour Guide (A swan family)

14. Terri (Seagulls)

15. Wammy (Robin)

16. Gwenlyn (Red winged black birds)

17. Mike (A Penguin and the Blue Angels)

Thanks so much for the awesome turnout! Because of you, I got to see a wonderful variety of birds! I am hoping we can repeat things this week, as we photographers get to know each other a little better! Let's discuss photography!

This Week's Question: What sort of camera was your very first? Do you still own it?

Ok everybody... GO BE PHOTOGRAPHERS! I can't wait to visit all of you this week, and get to know you a little better through your photography! This might also be a good week to invite a friend to join us. Come on everyone... HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT!

"The Lone Cypress"
17 Mile Drive
Monterey, California
July 12th 2006