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bear by san

March 2017



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muppetology cooking Bork! Bork! Bork!

they'd synchronize their watches and their heartbeats and their ribcages

Woke up this morning to a solid frost which left the yard silver and may have been the end of the lettuce, and spent the morning cleaning out cabinets in pursuit of the &^%*&%^*^%$ brewer's moths, because life imitates--right, you don't know about the brewer's moths yet. Ahem. Anyway, I threw out a bunch of dry goods, which makes me sad. Apparently, this batch of moths arrived in a bag of beans, if I am interpreting the spoor correctly. Memo to me, seal beans in plastic bags upon purchase.

Today is a largely unscheduled day, unless I feel well enough to climb, which is still up in the air. But I will be making heresluck's amazing white bean and rosemary soup, an unvegetarian version (because I have chicken bones that need used). So after I shower I might run out to the Highland Park Market and buy more beans (hopefully without moth larvae), celery, and a loaf of the good garlicky ciabatta. MMm. Ciabatta.

Then I'm going to get started on the next round of research. La.

It's a good life. The dog is making stretching noises.


A Thought!

You could always give grains and beans a couple days in the freezer when you get them. Perhaps.

Re: A Thought!

You still have to seal them in plastic afterwards so they don't *attract* buggy things.

Re: A Thought!

This is a true thing also! But she mentioned that she thought the wildlife had arrived in a shipment of beans.

I keep all of my supplies in clear gallon jars with screw on lids. So far they're visitor-free!
Because I've been living by myself and traveling a lot, I don't use up staples very fast, so I started keeping rice, flour, beans, etc., in the freezer. Plastic bags don't even make these Southern moths stop to ask if they can come in, nor do metal cannisters.

What really amazed me was bugs in the cayenne.
Brewer's moths are *amazing*. I would respect them if they didn't piss me off so damned much.

And yeah, the cayenne. I've had that happen too, and all I got is....

(see icon)
Heh! What I got was little worms in the chili, poor guys. End of that meal.
You can get bugs in cayenne? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I suppose I should be thankful that all my spices are sealed away by default, then. *shudders*
That may be a southern specialty--somehow bugs in South Carolina seem to do things other bugs don't do...but if you have any kind of spices that are more than a few months old, I'd check them. I keep my spices and herbs mostly in bottles with screw-on tops--not sure the little demons have gotten in through that, but they definitely have gotten into things kept in plastic bags and jars with pry-off lids.

Again, in other parts of the country, you might not have these problems.
I live in Minnesota--our non-bloodsucking insects are pretty wimpy, all things considered. This is of course one of the reasons I refuse to move any farther south than Chicago--the bugs get larger, cleverer, and stronger the warmer it gets.
Bugs in cayenne? Eayaughhhhhhhhh! *curls up in a ball*

(This means I should check the cayenne in a ziplock in the bottom of the spice drawer. Sigh. I bet it's infected too. Bloody moths.)
I'm not sure that ziplock keeps them out. I keep things that bugs get into in the fridge or freezer, but I live in the deep south where bugs are especially vile and clever.

Look at it--if it's all nice and loose, with no webs or sticky stuff, it's probably fine.
"The End of the Lettuce"

It's meant to be a short story title, I'm telling you.


I recently (well, a couple months ago) went through a similar ransacking of my pantry due to an explosion in the number of baby la cucarachas I discovered among my egg noodles.

Also, in almost altogether completely different context, I've come across "Boojum" in the Hartwell and Dozois "Year's Best" collections, and it's one of the few times where I've read the same story all the way through in both. *thumbs up*
I thank you, and Sarah thanks you!


Ditto here. I'm catching up with my reading and Boojum rocks!
Moths, ick. I don't have moths, rather, it's some sort of beetle. Thankfully the put-things-in-sealed-canisters works just as well to keep them out as it does for moths.
We had an invasion a few years ago, and I learned that keeping bay leaves in the cupboards helps ward them off. It's a cheap and pleasantly fragrant measure.
Yeah, I'm resorting to bay leaves and mint.
Now I am massively curious about brewer's moths...
I've had these before, and dealt with them. Sometimes it takes a few headhunts to find the source of the infection, mind....
Aaaaugh, moths. We've been doing a rolling purge of the dry goods, as we find more things infested. The culprit appears to have been a bag of corn flour.

It got to the point where my skin was crawling -- I couldn't eat at home for a week. It hurts a little to throw something out just on suspicion of its infection, but the magnitude of this has me adopting a scorched-earth policy, and there are so many eggs I can't see. Death to the wingéd beasties.

Is it the weather this year or something? In twenty-four years of living in temperate climes, I'd never encountered these moths before, and suddenly this year I have an infestation and a bunch of my friends' houses have infestations too. Though perhaps my kitchen-keeping has been too lax.

Sigh. At any rate, I now have traps set out for the moths, and many of the dry goods in the freezer, and I'll be getting sturdy jars for the dry goods soon.

Hrm, bay and mint, I have both of those... Does one just strew the leaves in the cupboard loose, or can one do something more contained with them?
Don't know about the weather, but here (South Australia) we get our infestations every year in February, shortly after the humidity starts coming back after the dry, hot summer. It basically goes heatwave -> thunderstorm -> warm days -> infestation.
Ah yes, one of my not-so-fond memories of Connecticut is pouring a box of pasta into boiling water and seeing all the moth larvae float to the surface. My mom tried to fight them by storing everything in sealed glass containers, which helped but.... I love the fact that so far I've yet to encounter anything like that in Michigan.
I am still paranoid about macaroni and cheese after a couple larval incursions.
Umf. Yeah. I am still putting down the Flour Beetle Revolution over here. Seems to have been a season for it. :p
I feel your insect-ridden pain. I went through some odd and ends (very odd, some of them) this past weekend and was not happy with what I found, and that's besides the hitchhikers in the bags of barley and red beans I found last week and the week before last.

I'm of the 48-hours-minimum-in-the-freezer-and-into-a-glass-jar-with-screw-top school myself, but sometimes we slip and forget.

I have seen the little bastards in the cayenne, and in the Honkin' Big Thing of Spanish paprika as well. They'll go for turmeric, too.
Moths eat through plastic bags rather easily. They are better foiled by Tupperware. I happen to have more Modular Mates than I'm ever going to use in this pantry, many of which are the right size for a one-pound bag of beans. Want three or four?

Also, you want some Pantry Pest brand pheromone lure sticky traps. They do a very good job.
My parents have goldfish. When they get infestations, they feed the moths they catch to the fish, who seem to like it, as long as they don't get overfed.