Monday, February 10, 2014
This Blog May BUG You. Out.
I love you guys. It's so flattering when people ask where I've been, tell me I need to write something, or encourage me to keep blogging. I wish my blog was my job and I could devote all my energy into it. But alas...real life calls. So here's where I have been...for all of you who wondered. And hey...thanks for wondering. Makes a girl feel real special.
I'm gonna tell you a little story. It's a kitchen story. It's a food story. It's a terrifying story. And it'll bug you out. But I'm here for you. And so when I learn hard lessons, I like to pass them along so that you know what to do if you find yourself in my situation.
It was a chilly Wednesday evening. I had just gotten off work. It was around 8:00 pm. I was hungry. No. I was starving. I work in a pretty freakin' delicious restaurant. And I'm surrounded by good food the whole time I'm there. I've been there almost 2 years now and I still eat everything. That says a lot.
Anyways...back to my horror story. I was starving when I got off work. So I looked in the fridge as I always do, and I assessed the situation, then answered the same question I always ask myself, "What can I make with what I have?" Lucky for me, I love good food. So I usually have some pretty good shit in my fridge. And this particular night I discovered that I had everything to make some shrimp and grits. So as I always do, I looked up a bunch of recipes, picked out the parts I didn't like in each of them, and combined all the good parts to make a meal.
I'm in the kitchen, Alabama Shakes Pandora station playing on the JamBox. I'm all clean and showered. I'm in my pj's. I'm drinking a tasty glass of red wine. Life is pretty damn good. I've got my mixture of chicken stock and milk boiling so I can add the grits. I've got my grits measured out. I glance over at the iPad and see this teeeeeeeny, wieeeeeene bug crawl across it. So I smash it, wonder in my head, "Where the hell did that come from?", and then instinctively looked over at my grits. And that's when the horror story begins, my friends.
There were VISIBLE bugs, teeny, tiiiiiny BUGS all up in my grits. So I immediately throw the grits in the sink and run the garbage disposal, all the while running scalding hot water. I wanted those suckers to DIE. Once I felt I had run the disposal at the maximum kill time, I thought to myself, "Well, shit. Now I have no grits for my shrimp and grits. SURELY, I have some more somewhere in my pantry."
And that's when I searched my pantry. And I found some more grits. Yes. Some more BUG FILLED GRITS, DAMN IT! So what do I do? Freak the fuck out. In my pantry. I ripped that bitch apart. I looked in my flour...BUGS, my rice...BUGS, my pasta...my pasta that was an in air-tight (so I thought) container...BUGS!!!! They were in everything. Everything except the spices, the sugar and the salt.
So I threw EVERYTHING away. And I did a Google search on pantry bugs. And I found a few different things that they could be. Either flour bugs, pantry moths or weevils. But whatever the hell they were, they are all gone now. Like I said...I had to throw away everything! They were in unopened boxes of food, EVERYWHERE. So I tossed everything. The whole time doing the freaky bug dance like a maniac and screaming here and there in complete terror! I tossed everything in a trash bag, then took the trash bag out to the dumpster. I bleached the pantry so much that my hands cracked from so much bleach use (remind me to get a pair of rubber gloves), I washed any appliance that was in the pantry once by hand, and once in the dishwasher. I then re-bleached everything in the cabinet. Then I let it air out, and I bleached everything again. Then I put bay leaves everywhere in my pantry. According to something I read, these pests don't like the smell of bay leaves. And I was desperate. I would have drawn a pentagram, lit candles and spoke in tongues if that's what I had to do to never be in this situation again.
And then I didn't cook. For a LONG time. Because I didn't want to restock my pantry just to throw everything away again. Have you bought a spice lately? They're fucking expensive. And I had about 45 spices. In my head, that's about 150 bucks worth of spices I had to restock.
You know what else I do now? I freeze any pantry item I buy for 3 days. You know why? Because most likely, the reason I had this issue in the first place, is because bugs lay eggs in flour, rice, cereal, pasta, etc. And then you bring said item home from the grocery store. And if you don't use them quick enough, these bugs will grow and mate! And freak you the fuck out. I am having trouble writing this right now. It's such a creepy, crawly story. Can't stop itching.
So here's your lesson. The next time you buy an item from your pantry. Freeze it. For 3 days. Also, put bay leaves on all your pantry shelves. While researching these bugs, I read serious horror stories. Like such an infestation that you could see the bugs flying around. I shudder to think.
I have restocked my pantry since this awful incident and so far so good. And trust me, I examine everything with a microscopic eye before I cook it now.
Nothing like a good ol' bug infestation to ruin your life!