Mother of vinegar is a bacteria that turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen.Mother of vinegar is a bacteria that turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen.
September 25, 2013
By Kristin Hackler 5:58 pm

Every couple of weeks I find myself going through the refrigerator and sighing at all of the expired food items that have accumulated. From eggs to old wine to that last cup or two of milk, it’s a shame to throw them out, but what can you do?

Actually, a lot of things.

Several of the food items that you think are no longer any good can actually “live on” either in another form or with some quick freezing. Check out the following list for some easy ways to save food and ultimately, save on your grocery bill:

Old wine: Although this is rarely a problem, wine that has been left open for too long can be turned into red or white wine vinegar with very little effort. Just mix three parts old wine with one part pure vinegar with mother (the vinegar with the thready gunk still floating around in it – organic apple cider often has vinegar mother). Place mix in a loosely covered container such as a jar with a tea towel draped over the top, and let sit for a minimum of two months and up to six. Be sure to filter the vinegar before using.

Expired milk: before you toss out that clotted, smelly milk, consider using it to make Ricotta.

  1. If there are only a few chunks in the milk, add a little white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle. Additionally, you can add some heavy cream to the milk along with the vinegar to give the ricotta an extra creamy taste.
  2. Bring the soured milk just to a boil and then remove quickly from the heat. Let the milk set until it starts to separate into curds and liquid whey.
  3. Pour separated milk into a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain for about half an hour.
  4. Once drained, mix with a pinch or two of salt (depending on taste) and store in an airtight container. Ricotta will keep about 4 to 5 days.
  5. Of course, use your judgement on the soured milk. If it’s more than seven days expired or has mold growing in it, toss it out!

Eggs: eggs actually keep quite a while after their expiration date; sometimes in excess of a month. To test if your eggs are still good, fill a cup with water and carefully place the egg in it. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s still good. If it floats, toss it out. If your eggs have been sitting a while and you want to save them before they all turn, you can save the egg whites easily by separating them from the yolk and placing them in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, you can put the egg white ice cubes in a zipper bag and use them whenever a recipe calls for egg whites. One cube = one egg white.

What are some ways you have for extending the life of your groceries?