So I have this thing about spoiled food. I have a very low threshold. Milk smell a little funny? Gone. Leftovers spent a week and a half in the fridge? Throw them out - I don't even need to smell them. This isn't something I have in common with my housemates - particularly StemmedRose. And when I am being totally sane about it, I can admit that I go overboard a bit.
We had a little crisis at home over the weekend - the large basement freezer broke. All the food was, well, cold, but certainly not frozen. So between Shoryl, StemmedRose and I, we cooked an estimated 17 pounds of meat in one night - precook it to make sure it doesn't go bad, then stuff it back in the freezer for later use. Some food that was securely packaged just got put into a working freezer. I admit to being a little squidgy about this - how do we know it's good?
It may have something to do with working in a restaurant for many, many years. There's only just so long you can hold food - and at certain temperatures, in certain containters, etc - before you can't serve them anymore. Salad mix, for instance, is only good for about a day - maybe a day and a half. Soup can only be on the burners for about 4 hours before it starts to smell a little burt. And food can only be in the window for two minutes, max, before you can tell.
There's a lot of waste in the restaurant business. you've got to get the freshest possible food to the table (especially if your income depends on it). The funny thing is that restaurant leftovers don't last as long as leftovers from meals cooked at home - and I have no idea why that is.
So I'm trying to put this particular concern away for the time being. I'm trusting that it will be good enough, at least, for consumption. No one's gotten sick yet, and none of the meat was discolored or smelled anything other than like raw meat when we started cooking. But for the first time, I think I understand those people that are sure there are germs everywhere, and they're just sure to catch them...(As a side note, one of the absurdities of life, free from me to you: "Eww! This smells awful! Here, you smell it...")