Can I eat this? redux

Knowing that I’d missed at least one Can I eat this? question posed to AskMe, I scoured the archives… and found even more than before:

- Freezer fiasco
- “Sell-Before” Sauerbraten
- highly suspect pork
- lots of suspect pork!
- Another crockpot/chicken question
- Spam from the trunk of a car

- five-day-old pizza dough
- refreezing thawed hash browns and fries
- overnight rice
a nice puttanesca, perhaps?
- pasta, canned sauce, and canned fish, all past their “Best Before” dates

- backpack Velveeta and cupboard Colby
- The positively Biblical-sounding honey from a fallen hive
- 13-year-old triple bock
- Why must I cook Patak’s curry paste?
really miscellaneous
- I can’t stop eating sand.

- fizzy tomato sauce
- fizzy salad dressing
- fermented applesauce

- Kulfi: explosive, poisonous, both, or neither?

putatively healthful
- Is this health drink harmful?

a splash of color
- Why has my garlic gone blue?
- Wait — why has my garlic turned blue?
- Okay, then, why has my garlic turned fluorescent green?
- Why is my coconut milk blue?
I am participating in NaBloPoMo.

Don’t put your lips on it!

[note: Ask Metafilter's Can I eat this? questions deserved their own tag, so here it is.]

The hive mind at Ask Metafilter draws on a pool of 60,000 members to answer questions on any topic: romantic, technical, medical, cultural. But perhaps the most entertaining discourse, second only to Steve, Don’t Eat It!, occurs in the wake of the question “Is this safe to eat?” Here I present a compilation of food safety questions from AskMe. Goggle in amazement as people take chances with:

- “How long will scrambled eggs keep?”
- “I hard-boiled a dozen eggs this morning. They’ve been sitting in the same water they boiled in which is now at room temperature (about 20C/70F) for approximately six to eight hours.
- “The ice cream made with this maybe-undercooked custard is in the mixer right now.”

- “… today I learned that you’re very much not supposed to store raw veg & raw chicken together in the fridge overnight, and now I know better than to do it again. But…
- “ XMAS DINNER: Is it safe to eat these leftovers?” [I would totally eat these, and very recently did eat turkey & stuffing similarly mistreated.]
- “Pizza [topped with chicken] purchased hot on Wednesday night and kept in the fridge till Friday….Good to eat?”
- “Should I eat this cooked chicken in my fridge? 6-7 days old, and in a zip-loc.”
- “I left a [chicken patty with mayo] sandwich in my car this morning, unfortunately on the back deck (sedan).”

fish and shellfish!
- “I made a tuna sandwich for lunch and left it at home [on the counter]. Will it still be edible?”
- “How long is it safe to keep cooked shrimp in a refrigerator before eating?”
- “Erm, I just ate raw swordfish… Am I gonna die?”
- “I just found some frozen scallops in the back of my refrigerator, and I imagine they have been there for about two years.”

preserved pork
- “Is it OK to eat raw pancetta? It tasted good, but it was very, very chewy, so chewy that I ended up having an unchewable lump of fat in my mouth that I had to spit out.”

the savory course
- “ How long does Chevre keep?
- “I left my cheese out overnight. Is it still okay to eat?”
- “Mmm, walnuts. Hey, what’s that cobweb stuff?
- “This wine’s cork has gritty brown crystal and organic matter on the bottom. What is that? Is it bad?”

taters and tomaters
- “If I remove the sprouts, are these potatoes safe to eat?
- ” ‘Refrigerate after opening,’ says the tomato sauce. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

potential botulinum carriers
- “Would homemade mango chutney which was placed in a strawberry jam jar as soon as it was made and hasn’t been opened since (as far as I know) still be OK to eat after one year in a pantry cupboard at room temperature?
- “Why did my hummus explode?” After being advised that exploding hummus may well indicate botulism, which produces no off smell or taste and can easily be deadly or debilitating, the original poster adds “It totally smells fine. I have yet to decide about eating it.”

And finally, my two favorites. One, a simple question seeking an inventive answer:
- “Can I eat a live wasp? If so, what would the safest method of eating it?”

Second, a long dramatic arc detailing the struggle between financial prudence and every other kind of prudence:
- “But hey, this is expensive crab meat.

I am participating in NaBloPoMo.


In a recent Ask Metafilter question about undrinkably bitter lemonade, I gave a few quick tips on keeping the tart, zingy flavor from the lemon zest without extracting the pith’s bitterness, and some quick instruction on making infused simple syrup.

To my surprise, my off-the-cuff comment was added to the sidebar on the main page of MeFi.

Wow. People like lemonade.

The admins labeled my comment as “perfect lemonade recipe,” but it’s not a proper recipe with measurements and proportions, just a few hints for tarting up your favorite lemonade. Here’s the proper recipe, along with a recipe for ginger iced tea, and a few hints for cooling summer drinks:

Continue reading

Ask Me!

If you’re still not using Ask Metafilter, you’re missing out.
You’re missing intense and geeky discussions of specific word usage and shifts in the language.

You’re missing fun and useful threads of advice, like this one on getting through the winter.

You’re missing semi-sociological conversations about power dynamics and gendered space, like this question asking “What happens when men pass each other on the sidewalk?”:

Help me understand the power dynamics in play when two men pass each other on the sidewalk.
Over the last few years I’ve started to get an inkling that there’s a whole separate silent conversation happening between men on the street that I, as a woman, am not really ever aware of. How they make eye contact, how much space they allow for each other to pass, who moves aside, etc. When someone bumps me with their arm I assume it’s accidental; I’m starting to think such things between men are not always so (at least if the number of almost-fistfights my ex got into are any indication).

I realize much of this probably happens on an unconscious level, but I’d love to hear any explanations or rules anyone can lay out, and whether this is a constant thing or contextual.

The ensuing discussion is fascinating and in some places contentious.

Anyone can read Ask Metafilter, and if you pay the $5 cover, you can join, ask one question each week, and give advice all the live-long day.