Friday, September 10, 2010

There's a Maggot in My Flour

That is, we live in the south.
That is, life must eat and goddamn but don't we have a lot of life down here.
That is, have you seen Suspiria?
That is, it's not poverty it's a Dario Argento movie.
That is, my friend stopped by the other day and brought my attention to something I never thought worth a second glance. It was so necessary and it seemed so intuitive.
Here's the story:
About two years ago I lived in this lovely little shack back in the BR with a very fabulous, if a little cook-lite, friend. Let me set the scene. When my friend rented the place for us - I was out of the country - our landlady mentioned that people 'keep telling me to put some work into these places, really renovate and up the rent, but I don't want to do that. I want to be able to provide cheap housing for students." Sweet isn't she? Very generous. Your average slum lord. Upon moving in, one of the first things I discovered was that when the oven was turned on, the scent of roasting shit permeated the entire house. Turns out.....well actually I don't think what I found under that oven need be described, but let me just say I baked nothing for the rest of that year. Not one thing.
So there I am, in our tiny, hobbled kitchen sauteing bok choi for my peanut noodles when something hits me on the head and bounces, landing on the stove about an inch to the left of my frying pan. Huh, I think and bend over to see.
To see a big, fat, white, writhing worm thing, Like a maggot. About half-an-inch long and thisthisthis close to having fallen in my food. What if I had stepped away for a moment and it had fallen in the pan? I wouldn't have even known.
And so I look up - really look - and there they are. All of these blanched streaks squirming around on the top of the walls. On the ceiling. And little brown, worm-shaped cocoons stuck to the white paint. I couldn't help it. I screamed.
And then I got mad. What the fuck, I thought. We're vegetarian for god's sake. It's not like there's a new shipment of meat stored up in our attic rotting away.
Is there?
No, of course there wasn't. It didn't take long to figure out where the wormies were coming from - much less time, in fact, than it took me to get up on a chair and wipe my ceiling down with bleach. They were, you guessed it, coming from the flour. All of our dried goods, which we had up until that point been keeping in our open-air open-face cabinets. No matter the container, no matter how air tight the seal, there were moths and well-fed larvae in all of our pasta, flour and bulk grain.

I threw out everything. And I started keeping my flour in the freezer.

So a week ago, my friend comes over - a fellow baker - and I reach into the freezer to get us some gin.
"You're a genius," she says.
"What?" I say.
"Your flour," she says. "We keep getting bugs in our flour. You've got it in the freezer."
"Oh, yeah," I say. "It helps."
"Pure genius," she says. "You should blog about that," she says.



  1. Ye have Indian Meal Moths! We just (finally) got rid of ours after a year long infestation. They will also get into rice and dried beans. You need pheromone traps to really get rid of them. We got our traps at Lowe's. They'll be hiding in your walls waiting for some sort of meal to feast on.

    And I'm beginning to think that these things are a plague. I've heard of so many incidents of infestations lately!