Past its Date

It seems that there are terrible storms everywhere these days from north to south wreaking havoc in their wake. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to watch the news. Maine is never the exception but it is normal for us to get snow storms and not hurricanes that are drenching our country. We get hit with power outages regularly in the winter time although they are short term. Most of us own home generators that takes care of the problem in no time flat. I had run out of fuel one day and had to empty the fridge before everything spoiled. I am usually mindful of the expiration dates on food so I don’t have to throw out basic products like mayonnaise, butter, catsup, mustard, and jam. They last forever so I often forget. When the power went out recently, I noticed a few lapses. I had forgotten about the yogurt and beer. I wasn’t about to eat anything past its prime, but I was at sea regarding beer. Can you drink it after its due date or will you get sick?

I have been known to eat items a week past their date, including canned goods. I have never had an issue. As for the beer, I was skeptical about it going bad and decided to try it after reading this blog: I opened one can and took a sip. It wasn’t flat. This was a sign from heaven that I could go on. I drank it down enjoying the fizzy goodness at every drop. The rest of the cans would stay in the fridge and regain their cold temperature as soon as the power went back on. I was so happy not to have to throw away a six-pack of good brew. It wasn’t as if I could run to the store amid the heavy snow banks.

I pride myself on being frugal and not wasting anything from water and energy to food and drink. It is not a matter of money but of principle. This is certainly true in the case of beer. I think it runs in my family because my parents raised me this way and my brother is just like me. It is that fine Maine upbringing that binds us all to our beliefs.

After my beer, I needed to warm up and decided to shovel the porch and sidewalk in front of the house. This job always gets the juices going and I start to perspire inside my down parka. It is an odd feeling that some skiers get if they are working hard to climb up the hill to the lift they just missed. Just working your way through line on a busy day will do it. Meanwhile I finish my task, remove the parka, wipe off my brow, and sit in front of a roaring fire. Such is the dichotomy of Maine living from warm to cold.