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Regular readers are familiar with my current flat-share living situation. One of the main issues of contention with the three of us (me, L’il Sis and CrazyD) is food. We each insist upon different kinds of food, different brands, whether to buy organic or not. This means that we often run out of staple items and have three times what we need of other items. For instance, we currently seem to have cornered the market on quinoa but ran out of lettuce for last night’s salad. The results were surprising.”Mmm, Mom, this salad is particularly tasty tonight. What’s in it?” Should I tell them that I stripped leaves from every non-toxic plant in the house to add bulk to my measly serving of lettuce? What they don’t know won’t hurt me.

But it does illustrate the problems with co-habitation when nobody is truly in charge.

L’il Sis was doing some baking the other day and reached for the eggs. The carton was empty. “Damn it!” she ranted. “I was making these muffins for my work lunches this week. I haven’t time to go to the store. Now what am I supposed to do?”

“Uh, I sometimes use soaked chia seeds. They get really gummy, like eggs. That might work.” offered Crazy D. He actually is an excellent cook and baker, so L’il Sis pondered his suggestion. I remained silent but made an unpleasant face. Remind me not to eat those muffins.

“It might work but I don’t have time for that either. I could have sworn I bought another dozen eggs last week. Where could they have gone?” With that, she began emptying the contents of the fridge, daring to go to, as Gill refers to it, “the third tier” where the fetid, rotting things live, forgotten like an old dinosaur pit. I could just hear Gill’s voice in my head saying,”If you’d bought the nice chicken coop I suggested, the Eggo, and put three chickens in the back yard, this wouldn’t happen!” (Of course it wouldn’t ’cause I’d be in jail for having chickens within the city’s boundaries and, with me incarcerated and unable to act, the local coyotes would be having a jamboree in our yard while plotting the demise of said chickens. A lot of aggravation for a dozen eggs.)

“Oh, thank God!” L’il Sis exclaimed, dragging out a carton of eggs from the nether regions. She glanced at the ‘best before’ date.

“Um, how do you people feel about slightly expired eggs?”

“No problem,” Crazy D. offered. “Eggs keep for a long time. Use them.”

“So let me get this straight,”I commented. “First of all, you’re asking ME about expired food? The one you’re always criticizing for having food that’s ‘gone slightly off’ and claiming ‘it’s fine’? That takes some nerve! And would you actually TRUST anything I said about food being unusable?”

“You make a good point, Mom. You are the last person I should be asking.”

The muffins turned out and we’ve all eaten at least one. Nobody has died…proving my theory that ‘best by’ dates are mere suggestions. And to prevent a similar situation from arising again, we all went out and bought a carton of eggs. Now we have three dozen. Anybody have a good recipe that calls for 36 eggs? My new favorite word is :”Cluck…”