Friday, April 27, 2007

Rats & Weevils

We just moved yesterday, which is why I haven’t been posting much lately. Too busy packing. We still have most of the kitchen left to pack. Mostly the food. The pots and pans are all moved.

Two things came out of this move—first, we discovered we had a weevil infestation. We’d had one, but thought we’d cleared it out. Then I started finding things with little weevils in them, and pasta dust here and there (that’s a sure sign). I read something once about how if you had flour that was weevil infested, you could freeze it for some amount of time, and then sift the weevils out of it and use it. I find the idea of that to be so disgusting that I can’t even fathom doing it. Anything we found that was even remotely suspect went in the trash. After about three shelves of icky little black bugs and packages with little teeny bullet holes in them, I was so creeped out I had to ask Alex to finish the job. I’m not usually girly like that, but this was just too much.

The second (and relatively less disgusting, although as I say, it’s relative) thing is that I realize I keep certain foods for a very long time. Mostly for no good reason. I knew I had a container of Liquid Smoke from about 1971. We’ve been toting that thing around for years. My mother bought it, and she’s been dead for 14 years, so that gives you some idea of just how old this stuff is. And I would never use it. Never. Even if I had a recipe that called for Liquid Smoke (and I’ve seen some lately, which makes me wonder what’s coming back next—dehydrated minced onions? MSG? *Shudder*) I’d go out and buy a new bottle of it. So why, I wonder, do I keep this thing?

The same question occurred to me when I found a little shaker of Molly McButter. That would have been from my early 90s low fat days. So again, we’re talking about something that’s pretty darned old. And because I have this major aversion to using chemicals for cooking (except for Diet Coke cake), I would never use Molly McButter. So why not throw it away? Why have I moved it from East coast to West, and between three houses in the East, and two houses (and counting) in the West? WHY? This is something I can’t fathom about myself.

I’m not particularly frugal, I don’t have sentimental attachment to these things (OK, maybe to the Liquid Smoke with its 89 cent price sticker on it, but definitely not the Molly McButter), and I know I’ll never use them. So why not bite the bullet and get rid of them? Can’t answer that.

Since I have to go over and clean out the rest of our former house, I’m going to end here, but I’m sure I’ll find several other things that we’ve been dragging around for years that I’ll never use. But I still won’t throw them out. Maybe I’ll spend the time packing thinking about why it is that I'm such a culinary pack rat, and have an actual answer for another post.

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