I didn’t get to the supermarket for a few days after my arrival in Anchorage. Until then, I used the milk and oatmeal my hostess already had. When I mentioned that I’d be replacing what I used, she looked surprised.
“Uh, that’s really old milk. I meant to warn you off it,” she said.
It had tasted fine to me. That is to say, it tasted about as good as nonfat milk ever tastes – like the water they used to wash a cow. All that mattered to me is that it loosened up the oats in the bowl.
I nearly changed my tune when I checked the “sell by” date: April 5. It was then May 6. I was drinking milk a month past its prime.