Enjoy By

I have a LOT of condiments, sauces and compotes that I use for specific recipes, and not that often.  Tonight I'm making a tofu curry from Sunset Magazine inspired by a dish at Hawker Fare, one of Oakland's best new restaurants.  It calls for fish sauce.  When I went to check to see if I even had any, the expiration date on the bottle was worn off from condensation and being banged around.  I had no idea when I bought it, so I had to toss and replace.  While in there I discovered a few more items with unreadable dates, and some that I guess I felt never went bad that had expired a WHILE ago.  Gross. I came up with a solution to this problem.  Using circular labels, the kind you might use tagging items at a garage sale, I went through and marked the expiration date in sharpie and stickered the top of the jar lid (or back of bottle). It only took a few minutes to get it all done, and it'll take no time to keep the system going.  FYI, Real Simple has a loose guide to determine expiration dates of food and other household products.