What happens when pickles expire?

I should probably start at the beginning.

I got home from work hungry.  I ate my dinner and some Indian dal mix (think of it as being like Chex mix, but an Indian version with spices and lentils), but I still felt like something.  I poked my head in my refrigerator, and there… in the very back on the top shelf I saw it:

A jar of Klaussen deli dill pickle spears!

Yum!

I bought them quite awhile ago, and deli pickles don’t stay good as long as regular jarred pickles, but I reached for them anyway.  I had a brief moment of wondering whether or not I should eat them if they were past their expiration date, and then I threw caution to the wind.  <I>What can happen to an expired pickle anyway?</I>  It’s not like cheese that can get moldy.  It’s not like milk that can go sour.  It’s not like fruit that can spoil.  What can happen to a pickle?  It’s already submersed in vinegar, which has been a preservative for thousands of years, and vinegar stays good pretty much forever.  (Ok, I know that’s an overstatement, but let’s just say I expect my bottle of balsamic vinegar to outlast me.  At least it would if I stopped putting so much of it on my salad and it got the chance to last.  But I digress…)

As it turned out, the pickles were NOT past their expiration date… but that led me to wonder: What happens when a pickle “goes bad”?  Can such a thing even happen?  Don’t everyone answer at once… I’m sure everyone’s got an opinion on this one.  🙂

In non-pickle-related news…

I was talking to one of the software developers at work today, and he mentioned he is going back to Minnesota next week.  Since he’s from Minnesota, I asked if he was a Minnesota Vikings football fan.  He looked at me a little unsure and said he didn’t pay much attention to football in college.  The Minnesota Vikings aren’t a college  team; they’re a pro team.  It’s scary that I know more about football than a lot of guys I work with.

There was an electronic software meeting tonight, but Mike didn’t go.  I tried every which way to talk him into it (“Have you ever gone to one and not found it interesting?”, “You always have a good time”, “You need to network”, and of course my personal favorite, “Don’t you want to drink rum with all those music guys afterwards?”), but to no avail.  I feel like it’s so nice for Mike to be able to go to those meetings because he gets to hang out with people who are interested in the same things he is, but I really don’t blame him for not wanting to go tonight.  It’s rainy and windy and kind of chilly, and the meeting is a 30 or 40 minute walk from here.

Speaking of walking in the rain, I walked home from work in the rain in my bright yellow flip flops.  How did that happen?  Well, I wore some nice leather walking shoes to work, but it was raining on the way home, so I didn’t want to wear them out in the rain walking home.  I had my flip flops at work because I led a small yoga class over lunch, and those are part of my yoga “outfit”.  So I braved the cold and the wet with my bare feet and walked home with flip flops, feeling good that even though my feet were cold and wet, my nice shoes were safe and warm inside my bag.  Maybe I have messed up priorities.  🙂

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