Monday, 27 April 2015

09:09 – The weather remains unseasonably cool, with lows for the next several days in the 40’s (< 10C) and highs peaking around 68F (20C). The furnace runs occasionally, since it's set at 68F. I much prefer this weather to the hot, humid summer weather.

We transferred another 50-pound (22+ kilo) bag of white granulated sugar to PET bottles yesterday. Ordinarily, we store sugar in those square PET jars that Costco sells nuts in. One of those holds about four pounds, just enough to refill the ceramic sugar cannister that Barbara keeps on the kitchen counter. It’s mostly used for iced tea, of which Barbara makes and drinks a couple gallons a week. I use it only when I make hot tea, at about five tablespoons per pot.

We had only 11 of the nut jars available, so I decided to do something I had on my list anyway. I filled two 2-liter soft drink bottles with sugar, because I wanted to check how much would fit in that size bottle. It turns out that a 2-liter bottle filled to within an inch (2.5 cm) or so of the mouth holds 4 pounds 3 ounces (67 ounces) of granulated white sugar, or 1.90 kilo.

One of the big advantages of repackaging dry staples yourself for long-term storage is that you can label them however you wish. Those two 2-liter bottles of sugar are now labeled “Sugar, Granulated — Expires 26 April 1985”. Why date them 30 years before the packing date? Because the “authorities” have a nasty tendency to confiscate food from “hoarders” during emergencies. It happened in the aftermath of Katrina and Sandy, and it happens regularly every time there’s a serious emergency. The cops search homes and steal any food they find, supposedly to redistribute to others who need it more than you do, but in reality probably mostly to their own families and friends.

But even cops have drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to “best-by” dates, let alone “expiration” dates. What they want is commercially packaged foods that are within their best-by dates. There’s no way they’ll steal home-packaged foods, let alone ones that “expired” 30 years ago. Heck, even homeless shelters and food banks won’t accept donated canned goods that are past their best-by dates. So whenever we repackage food in 2-liter bottles, foil bags, and similar containers, I always label it with the contents and an “expiration date” that’s 30 years before the date we pack it.