Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Freeze your grains. Trust me.

Yesterday was one of those days. I had to work late and missed Sacred Harp. And, according to Rebecca, it was, like, the best Monday night singing ever. Drat.

So I tried to drown my sorrows in cheese, focusing my frustrations on a giant vat of macaroni and cheese with Dill Havarti and Gruyere cheese.

At some point during this process, I discovered that our entire pantry was infested with grain moths and their nasty pink squirmy maggot-like larvae.

(Look, I pride myself on not being a super-squeamish girl, but you gotta admit, there's something primally disgusting about finding worms in your food.)

(Who knew this blog was going to be so disgusting, anyway? Seems to be my favorite topic.)

So, when I first saw worms in my lentils, I squealed and dropped the bag of lentils in horror. Steve wanted to know what the fuss was about, so he picked up another infested bag. Recoiling, he practically threw the thing across the room.

We spent the next half hour throwing away all of our bulk foods, while I overcooked the macaroni. Here's a sample of our conversation:

"Why do you have so many lentils?" Steve asked, throwing away the fourth bag of French green lentils.

"Haven't you heard? We're living in the end-times." I said. "I mean, duh. I'm storing beans for the impending apocalypse."

(Seriously, you can never have too many lentils. You never know what might happen. Lentils have seen me through some hard times. Supposedly, my parents were so poor when my mom was pregnant with me that, in utero, I largely subsisted on lentils and mung beans and rice.)

Steve washes his hands, with ritualistic fervor, for the tenth time.

"Eeeeeek!" I squeal, throwing another infested bag into the trash.

In the next room, the dogs cower under the dining room table, wondering what they've done wrong this time.

That was my evening. Thank goodness, the moths hadn't infiltrated the bag of all-purpose flour I had recently bought, and I was still able to make the roue for the mac and cheese. Whew! Life without cheese sauce? That would be bad.

So now our cupboards are completely bare except for canned goods, one bag of rice I bought two days ago, and one bag of flour I bought last week. Seriously.

Rebecca has finally converted me to Mason jars.


  1. Ewwww. This reminds me of a dream I had last night, wherein I was reheating frozen rats (much like I did when I still had a pet snake) and they came back to life. Which wasn't so bad actually, because two of them were very friendly and wanted their bellies scratched.

  2. this before, and it's always pushing me towards small amounts of stock items that i regularly go through for all bulk goodness. It's lowered my shopping bill as i buy less and it's helped my conscious as i throw away next to nothing. This is still very much a work in progress...

    I bought a bunch of storage jars from Ikea a few years back. They have a lid that flops open and a clasp to close super tight. I can even take them to fill at Berkeley Bowl and skip the plastic bags, if i'm inclined to carry them and remember. Plastic just doesn't taste good :(

  3. Another mason jar convert! As Rebecca can attest, the Mahoney children were raised almost entirely on food that lived in mason jars in our kitchen (cereal, crackers, beans, sugar, mixed nuts... you name it, it went into a mason jar on the shelf) due to a similar maggoty experience my parents had when they were young and childless and didn't keep things encased in impenetrable glass.

  4. My dream after this experience was even worse - larvae turning to moths in my stomach!! Arrrghh!!

    That was after my friend Kim told me that grain moth eggs often come in the flour or beans, FROM THE STORE! With my basic biology knowledge, I have to admit that this seems more likely than rogue grain moths flying all over Oakland looking for lentils to colonize. But ... eeeeewwww.

    I think right now would be a good time to go into serious denial.

    Dreah, I admire your reserve! But while I joke about the end-times, I have to admit, I am totally a hoarder. I have a strange depression mentality - I hate wasting rubber bands, and I never feel like I have enough lentils, whole wheat flour, or toilet paper. Steve mocks me.

    I did get some big glass jars (bigger than mason jars), however ...


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