Halloween is over but there is still something haunting you at home. You slowly open the door, bracing for the scary scene about to unfold. There is a mild odor that alerts you that something isn’t right. Then you see it, mold growing on the leftover spaghetti you made last week. It is time. Be courageous and clean out your ghastly refrigerator before you shop for your Thanksgiving meal.
Evil often lurks where you least expect it, in the condiments. Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and pickle relish will keep for several months. But do you remember when you bought that bottle of mustard? Check dates. The “Use by” or “Best if Used by” dates on packages indicate the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the product will remain at peak quality. In addition to checking dates, if the product has an off smell or color, throw it away.
Once your have exorcised expired foods from the chill of refrigerator, unplug the machine and subject it to a thorough wipe down. Warm water and standard dish soap are the best cleaning agents for the scary job. Remove the drawers, wash them in the sink and allow them to air dry. Use an old toothbrush to clean in every nook and cranny. Wipe down jars and containers that are staying in the refrigerator.
That haunting feeling will diminish and a sense of thankfulness will surface once this task is complete.
As you get ready to fill the frige with items for your Thanksgiving feast, don’t over crowd your refrigerator or freezer. Air should circulate freely. Use airtight containers or bags for storing foods. Don’t buy some ingredients too soon:
- Real butter and buttermilk are only good for one to two weeks if they are covered tightly.
- Evaporated and condensed milk is only good for four or five days after opened.
- Sour cream will keep for two weeks. Cover it tightly.
- Whipped cream in a can will be good for up to three months. Cool Whip and similar product will last for three weeks. Whipped topping from a mix will go bad in three days.
- Cranberries can be kept refrigerated for a month and frozen for nine months.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes should NOT be chilled.
Enjoy preparing your feast and eat your leftovers within four days. If you can’t finish them in four days, put them in the freezer.
For even tastier leftovers, call Serendipity to do the cooking for your next celebration. Of course if we cook for you, it will be so good there may not be anything left!