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If the recipe says... - Drinking from the Fire Hose — LiveJournal
and trying not to drown

Mrs_Sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-09 10:10
Subject: If the recipe says...
Security: Public
Location:Home and on my corner of the couch
Mood:confusedconfused
Tags:cooking, rl
...it seems to taste better the longer you wait, is twelve years too long?

Back in May of 2000, jebra and I canned several cases of rhubarb chutney. Sadly I have almost two full cases left. The seals appear to be fine but ten years is an awfully long time. Should I try it or should I empty the jars and feed the chutney to the compost pile?

This entry was originally posted at http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/721665.html.
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Bob
User: bwittig
Date: 2013-03-09 15:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Didn't they find canned goods still edible from one of those polar expeditions after 10-100 yrs? Was it lost or deliberately ignored?

As long as it is still vacuum sealed and smells good, (and tastes good)...it's when they start bulging that you need to call the haz-mat team.
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not sure about old canned goods. I think it lasts longer than what the manufacturers recommend, but this was home-canned and I just wasn't sure. I'm pretty sure now as we decided to feed it all to the compost pile and in emptying the jars I found two that had lost their seals (the contents turned into tarry hockey pucks) and three more with a bit of white mold (or something) growing on the top. The other dozen and a half may have been fine, but I'm glad I didn't risk it.

As for lost or deliberately ignored, well neither of those is quite right. I knew the jars were in the pantry (in the basement) but I wouldn't necessarily think about them. We don't do all that much cooking at home so there weren't tons of times they would have been great with whatever it was we were having for dinner. And they do contain a lot of sugar so I was usually reluctant to open a jar for fear I'd consume the entire thing.
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johnridley
User: johnridley
Date: 2013-03-09 16:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've totally eaten stuff that was canned 20 years ago. No problems here. It made me the man I am today. Oh, wait...
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
LOL! We fed it all to the compost pile. Seeing as not all of the seals were good and three jars had visible stuff growing in them, I'm no worried about making the right choice.
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johnridley
User: johnridley
Date: 2013-03-13 00:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well obviously not if the seals are not good. I very rarely saw a bad seal on canned goods - my mom canned > 1000 quarts a year some years, she had the procedure down.
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Polly
User: polly_b
Date: 2013-03-09 16:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Truthfully, I'd be too scared to eat it. But I had a serious case of food poisoning once so I'm gunshy. *shrugs*
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can totally understand that. In the end we fed it to the compost pile. I think that was the right choice as after opening the jars I discovered stuff growing in three of them and two or three that had transformed from rhubarb chutney to rather sticky hockey pucks.
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unbroken_halo
User: unbroken_halo
Date: 2013-03-09 16:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Um... the general rule of thumb for home canned foods is 12 months. So, I would be very careful opening the jars if you are going to. The seals on the lids can and do shrink with temperature changes, so bacteria may get in. Not to mention some foods going to vinegar or crystalling from age or the sugars used.

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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We fed it all to the compost pile. And you're right about the lids; even though we stored the jars in our basement (where they stayed cool
throughout the years), several had lost their seals and had visible changes to the content. It smelled good but I'm glad I didn't go for a taste.
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unbroken_halo
User: unbroken_halo
Date: 2013-03-13 22:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh good, I am so glad none of them exploded on you. I had a jar of pickles do that to me once after 2 years. I am very careful now when I can.

I can't wait for spring here! I am hoping the last freeze is over and am going to start my seeds next week. On the schedule for this year is bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries and cukes.

Hopefully, I can keep my cats out of my little greenhouse this year. Last year, they ate all the sprouts before I had a chance to transplant and it was too late to start over.
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-15 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh no! Bad kitties! Hopefully you will have better luck this year. I haven't figured out what I want to grow this year, other than the rhubarb which is, of course, a perennial.
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maddiec24
User: maddiec24
Date: 2013-03-09 19:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd pass, but if it's still sealed and it tastes okay, use your own judgement.
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It all went into the compost. I know several of the jars lost their seal because the contents had shrunk, but at least one jar seemed to me to still be sealed but had a speck of white stuff growing on the top. I didn't try any and I'm glad I didn't.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh Lord, no wonder! When did this happen, that you ended up in the hospital?

In the end the contents of all of the jars went into the compost pile.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-16 18:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It sounds awful! I'm so glad you recovered!
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Thistlethorn: KW-PlainJane
User: thistlethorn
Date: 2013-03-09 22:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:KW-PlainJane
I'm in the "I've-had-food-poisoning" camp. As diabetics, it's better not to take the chance, i think. Rhubarb season's not too far away, right? :-) *hugs*
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 18:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Rhubarb season should be here soon. And it isn't as though I won't have enough -- my garden produces the tallest rhubarb I've ever seen. Two years ago I put out a call on freecycle for anyone who wanted fresh organic rhubarb to come get some. We had something like a half dozen people come through and take away grocery bags full and there was still so much left it wasn't obvious harvesting had been done.
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Thistlethorn: 3thistles
User: thistlethorn
Date: 2013-03-12 21:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:3thistles
Oh, I love rhubarb. But I don't use it often, especially now, since I'm diabetic & rhubarb requires sweetening. (I adore stewed rhubarb, rhubarb pie & rhubarb crisp.)
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Jen
User: greenlady2
Date: 2013-03-10 06:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm in the 'don't risk it after ten years' camp. A couple of years or so should be fine, but not that long. I know it must feel like a waste, and maybe everything really would be okay, but in my opinion, it's not worth it to risk food poisoning, which can, on occasion, be fatal.
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 19:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It all went into the compost. jebra tells me he wants to can more this year so it won't be all that long before I get to have some. I expect to see fresh rhubarb in my garden within the next month or two.
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lolabobs
User: lolabobs
Date: 2013-03-10 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have no knowledge of chutney and I have no wondrous scrapbooking skills, but I do have the desire to wish you a marvellous and relaxation filled birthday!

Lots of love x
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 19:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for the birthday wishes!

Are you serious about being unfamiliar with chutney? I always thought chutney was an English thing and everyone in the UK would be familiar with the stuff.
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lolabobs
User: lolabobs
Date: 2013-03-14 13:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah, I meant that I wouldn't like to make a judgement call on edibility or not of said chutney. I'm familiar with chutney as a concept as it were, though I don't tend to eat it myself.

My Mum bless her, once, when stuck for a dessert idea saw a jar of pear chutney in the cupboard and thought it would make a good sponge pudding base - she served it up to a recoiling family! (Who then teased her about it for many a year!)
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-15 03:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd be willing to try your mom's pear chutney pudding. I know my rhubarb chutney is good on everything from baked chicken to icecream.
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lolabobs
User: lolabobs
Date: 2013-03-15 07:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Does your rhubarb chutney have onions and garlic in though?
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-16 18:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes to the onions, no to the garlic. Would you like the recipe?
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I just like watching things explode.: sga john copper
User: trillingstar
Date: 2013-03-12 07:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sga john copper
I'd be fine with a few years' aging but after that it sounds sketchy. Perhaps it's time to plump up the compost pile. *nods sagely*
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2013-03-12 19:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's what we did, emptied the jars and poured it into the compost bin. Where it will be turned into compost and used to fertilize the rhubarb bed. Recycling in its finest form! (LOL)
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